Necessity they say, is the mother of invention.
Denoting the attributes of an ideal Techie demands a measure of societal awareness that is necessary to solve problems. Hard work, dedication and skillful flair are also important but when all the cards come to play… practical solutions hold precedence.
Chris Gathingu is an exemplary figure in the Kenyan tech industry, actively creating viable solutions that the modern-day Kenyan cannot do without. His influence spreads beyond the borders as he has also inspired techies from all over Africa of the limitless possibilities just within grasp.
His story, like many others who have gone on to do great things, started without much fanfare in a small family in Kenya. His affinity was greatly tilted towards a noble profession, medicine. Chris filled in medicine in his final exams, but he was a mark shy of his preferred course when the results got out. Chris was distraught and he went to the school of medicine to put down his name, instructing them to call him if anyone chose to drop out, but unfortunately, no one called.
Luckily, a mark shy in medicine was more than enough for most courses, so he ended up settling for Computer Science in the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Sooner than later, he discovered that he bore an affinity for Computer Science and everything after all would work out for good.
Chris’ first break as a Techie came when was in 300 level. He was with a relative whose water bill had expired and had been disconnected. They had sent him a notice by the post but he had not checked it. This relative’s mishap was an eureka moment for Chris, which birthed a bright idea to build a system that would send SMS alerts to individuals with overdue water bills – an initiative which he later sold for Sh50,000 to a company.
The seed had already been planted, and after his internship period, Chris had developed the mindset of an entrepreneur.
He eventually graduated with First Class Honours and then became a free agent in the labour market. He received some job offers but decided to stick to his guts.
While exploring the world of Tech, Chris invented “SpotCash”, a financial sms alert system, which he pitched to a bank. He got turned him down on the spot, but was told that he would receive a mail that night. When night fell, Chris Gathingu was offered the position of a project manager to execute the idea which he had earlier tried to sell them. He politely refused.
He eventually made his big break in 2009 partnering with Sacco on SpotCash, an initiative that has seeped through the numerous arms of the Sacco branches like the Nation Sacco, Imarika Sacco, Qwetu Sacco, Nawiri Sacco, Ng’arisha Sacco amongst many others. But this was only the beginning for Chris, after a little debacle at a restaurant, he was inspired to start Lipa na M-PESA, an idea that would forever change how the Kenyan community looked and related with money.
He later went on to develop Surepay, an app that ensured money sent to refugees for a particular purpose is used for that purpose, mandating honesty and integrity all the way and has shown no sign of slowing down. He is only in his early thirties.
Many would expect Chris to be a billionaire with all the success that he has experienced, but rather than chase lists, he has set a precedence of excellence. Not only making a better life for himself, but also offering practical solutions that the nation can benefit from.
“I don’t chase the numbers too much. I try to do well and the numbers follow us,” he said.
Chris Gathingu’s personality speaks volumes and his works only speak louder and that is exactly why He is Tech Gist Africa’s Techpreneur of the week.
Hi… Check Out More African Techpreneurs On Tech Gist Africa:
- TechPreneur Of The Week: Meet Africa’s Peng Lei, Catherine Mahugu Who Is Changing The Face Of E-Commerce In Kenya
- TechPreneur Of The Week: Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, From EduTech To FinTech; A True African TechStar
- TechPreneur Of The Week: Cedric Atangana, CEO WeCashUp And Infinity Space
- TechPreneur Of The Week: The Inspiring Journey Of Paga Founder, Tayo Oviosu
- TechPreneur Of the Week: Meet Jamila Abass, the African Queen of Agrotech
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.