[Interview] Stephen Maina Ndungu, CEO, Competa Millman, Kenya
Stephen Maina Ndungu is the Co-founder and CEO of the Dutch-Kenyan software development company Competa Millman.
Could you introduce your company to us?
Competa Millman creates software solutions to help organisations in East Africa achieve goals and overcome challenges using technology. We have a track record in delivering complex software development projects using modern techniques such as Agile project management and the latest technologies such as Blockchain. We also provide staff on-demand to organisations that are powered by technology but do not have dedicated human resources to manage their own IT systems.
Our customers are NGOs, Government and Financial institutions who need software development services in the East Africa region delivered to international quality standards at local prices. Our development office is in Nairobi, Kenya and we are supported with design and business management services from a head office in The Hague, Netherlands.
We love sharing our knowledge, and run a vocational training program called CodePamoja that partners IT graduates in Kenya and the Netherlands.
How is Competa Millman funded?
The directors of Competa Millman are Dunstan Machoka, Fred Onyango, Andy Haxby from the Netherlands and myself. We are also the co-founders and shareholders of the company. Competa Milllman is self-funded from commercial business operations in Europe and Africa.
What are Competa Millman’s Unique Selling Points?
Competa Millman is a Kenyan company working to international standards. Our staff have been collaborating internationally on ICT projects since 2011, and we are paired with a partner company in the Netherlands who deliver services to some of the worlds largest corporations. This has enabled us to learn international best practice, not only in ICT and software development, but also across the whole of our company including our internal HR and financial processes. This enables us to deliver complex projects run to international standards, but using our own knowledge that is specific to our area, such as knowledge of local phone networks and ICT infrastructure, languages and cultural issues.
We feel that our local knowledge combined with international quality is unique in the region.
Who are your clients?
Our clients are national and multinational organisations that require ICT services in the East Africa region, such as NGOs, Government and Financial institutions.
Has Competa Millman formed any strategic partnerships with other companies or organizations?
It is our opinion that collaboration is essential for growth, stability and success. Competa Millman is part of the Competa Group of companies headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands. We are also founder members of Fair Trade Software Foundation (ftsf.eu) which aims to develop capacity in the African ICT market through strategic partnerships between established ICT companies and counterparts in sub-Saharan Africa. We are partnered with a number of university and academic organisations including Manchester, Salford and Utrecht universities in Europe and the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Computer Science graduates from Kenyan universities are able to join our vocational training program, CodePamoja.
What are the ambitions of the company?
We believe in making a positive impact on society using technology. We recognise that ICT solutions play a crucial role in enabling other sectors of the African economy, and so are looking forward to building and maintaining custom software solutions for an increasing number of enterprise clients across East Africa. Locally we aim to substantially grow the Competa Millman Nairobi office from the current 15 staff up to around 50 over the next three years. Competa currently employs 70 people in the Netherlands has ambitions to grow to over 100 people and open offices in other Sub-Saharan African regions over a similar time frame. Competa Group aims to become a EurAfrican organisation.
In what direction is your company going this year?
This year we are focusing on delivery of three major projects: continuing the development and maintenance of a financial management system for a major Kenyan bank; kick-starting our staff-on-demand services in the Nairobi region; and starting work on the development of a partnership-building portal for German government development organisation GIZ. Alongside this we looking for one or two other large projects to begin before the year end.
Who should contact Competa Millman, and why?
We welcome contact from any enterprise looking for ICT solutions. Our Agile approach to software development and system implementation means we are able to handle a wide range of projects such as the development of complex websites, digitising and automating business processes, or finding innovative solutions to business problems.