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Alassane Sakho: The Senegalese Serial Entrepreneur

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Alassane Sakho is a young and brilliant Senegalese entrepreneur, Telecommunications engineer specialized in the Technical-Commercial field, He founded KALIMO GROUP in January 2023, with the ambition to contribute to the development of Senegal. A graduate of ESMT in Dakar, Alassane is passionate about sales, ICT, Mobile Money and real estate. He began his career in 2010 with the Orange Money Senegal and Orange Business Service projects. Later, he joined large real estate companies as a commercial developer, (SIPRES SA, SENEGINDIA, TEYLIUM Group and the company Fimolux, where he held the position of General Manager of the commercial subsidiary. 

Alassane Sakho has also supported many Senegalese and international companies in their development in Senegal, including Wizall Money, ATPS, MOODS, etc. Its vision extends beyond national borders, initially targeting West Africa, with projects planned in Mali, Gambia, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire, before expanding to other parts of the continent. 

Kalimo is involved in various areas of activity, including real estate development, digital communication, sales, rental and asset management, construction, training, advice and assistance. In addition, the company plans to enter the film industry, with its subsidiary K7film, which will produce short and feature films, animated films, corporate communication, documentaries, etc.

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Apart from his professional activities, Alassane SAKHO is involved in sports, especially football. He coaches youngsters from 8 to 20 years old and has the honour of winning the “Universal Youth Cup” tournament in 2019 in Italy, against big clubs such as Inter Milan, Ajax Amsterdam, Atletico Madrid and AC Milan. Its main objective is to consolidate Kalimo’s presence in Africa and to help foreign companies wishing to set up in Senegal.

Finally, its digital team is ready to help companies or public figures increase their notoriety and visibility on social media. Other areas of activity, such as agribusiness and mass distribution, are currently being explored.

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Omar Ngom: Creating an elite group of chefs in Senegal

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Omar Ngom is a Senegalese entrepreneur, founder of Sama Chef, the first school that trains chefs in Senegal. Located in the residential district of Mermoz, Sama Chef is an institution that marks a turning point in the training of Senegalese chefs.

Head chef of the restaurant “Séku bi, Il Pappagallo Dakar”, Omar stands out for his innovative approach. He collaborates with renowned international chefs, which allows him to offer unique masterclasses, transcending culinary boundaries. This revolutionary method elevates Senegalese cuisine by fusing it with international influences.

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With several years of experience acquired in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and France, including as chef of the famous Italian restaurant “Il Pappagallo Hotel Sekubi”, Omar Ngom took the initiative to create this school of excellence in his native Senegal. His motivation stems from the observation of a growing demand for chefs in the restaurant sector in Senegal.

Sama Chef’s mission is to create an international school of professional training in the culinary and catering sector: the ultimate goal is to create an elite group of chefs, kitchen assistants, waiters, and waiters who are in turn able to pass on the know-how they have acquired. 

A shortcoming that he decided to fill by providing a solution in order to prepare Senegal to be established in the gastronomic pantheon. Omar Ngom’s prowess quickly attracted the attention of renowned media outlets such as Le Monde newspaper, Reporter Gourmet, Italian TV channel and other media outlets. By opening this school of excellence, he has not only blazed a new trail for culinary education in Senegal, but he has also erected a pillar for the influence of Senegalese cuisine on a global scale.

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Vanessa Toh: Building Payroll Management System For French Companies

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Vanessa Toh, Founder at Payeline (Image: Supplied).

PayeLine is a self-employed company created in 2023 by the entrepreneur Vanessa Toh and specialized in administrative and payroll management for French VSEs and SMEs. It is an innovative company that helps you facilitate the day-to-day management of your business.

With a professional degree in payroll and personnel administration and 13 years of experience in French and foreign payroll, Vanessa decided to put her skills at the service of companies as a freelance payroll and personnel administration consultant. Its aim is to facilitate the day-to-day management of companies so that they are free to focus on the essentials of their activities.

Indeed, the growth of a company can be profoundly disrupted by the constant changes around legal obligations and the complexity of payroll management. With Payeline, the founder offers these VSEs and SMEs customizable solutions that can be adapted to the specific needs of their company.

Opting for Payeline means choosing to alleviate the pressure related to compliance and legality with regulations. You benefit from efficient management in the calculation of payroll and a significant time saving to focus on the most important thing: your growth.

Payeline offers, among other things, Payroll & Declarations, Administrative Management, Payroll Auditing and intervenes within companies for missions to replace payroll managers who are absent or in the process of being recruited, as well as for interim management. Many large companies have already placed their trust in him, including Groupe Bertrand, Aviv groupe, Doctolib, Back market.

Passionate about innovation and an entrepreneur at heart, Vanessa attaches great importance to the well-being of each customer and makes it a point of honor to offer offers adapted to each need for optimal comfort.

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Exclusive with Techbeaver CEO, Shina Arogundade

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Shina Arogundade is the CEO and Co-founder of Techbeaver, a dynamic development shop with a venture studio. With the primary focus to assist businesses in the development of their products, which include websites and mobile apps for both Android and iOS platforms. In this Interview with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online (BAO), Shina shares how Techbeaver is providing comprehensive support in product strategy and design, offering end-to-end solutions for companies that require efficient and rapid product development, especially non-technical companies and more. Excerpt.

 

Techbeaver and Its Solutions:

We craft seamless, responsive, and customer-centric products, and we consider this careful planning and mapping process to be the foundation of our building phase. As part of our venture studio, we have a talented pool of developers. In utilizing our depth of talent and engaging with the day-to-day challenges we observe, we have also embarked on creating internal products and appointing operators to oversee their management. 

Currently, we have two internal products, with our most prominent one being MyItura, a revolutionary health tech app that caters to a wide range of healthcare needs. Think of it as Shopify for healthcare providers. Our second internal product is still in stealth mode and is one we are confident will have a major impact once we go to market. 

Inspiration Behind Techbeaver:

Techbeaver was born out of a personal experience that I encountered. In my previous venture, we faced significant challenges in the development of our products. Customers and investors expressed dissatisfaction, prompting me to seek assistance from my lifelong friends and former roommates, Michael and Deolu, who both possess exceptional development skills.

However, it quickly became clear that their expertise came at a significant cost, especially considering their geographical locations (Deolu in the UK and Michael in the Netherlands). We collectively decided to explore alternative solutions, which ultimately led us to establish Techbeaver. 

Our vision was to establish a company where Deolu and Michael, as senior developers, could mentor and guide junior and mid-level developers. This not only allowed us to deliver high-quality products to our clients but also presented an invaluable opportunity for our junior developers to learn and grow by adhering to global standards. In 2022, Techbeaver officially came into existence.

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Thoughts on Digital Transformation:

Innovation has been a constant driving force for humanity. We continuously strive to discover new ways of doing things, seeking improvement, simplicity, and recognition for our achievements. This desire for progress has led us through various ages, from the stone age to the modern age, and now into the technology age, where concepts like blockchain and AI are becoming increasingly relevant. 

Back then we talked about inventions; now inventions are over and we’re talking about innovations in areas such as machine learning, AI, ChatGPT, generative AI, and many others. However, it is important to acknowledge that technology adoption remains very low, especially within Nigeria. Before speaking into the impact of AI and related technologies on other parts of the world, it is important for us as Nigerians to recognize and address our own low adoption rates. There is much work to be done in terms of driving technology adoption within our society. 

It is often discussed how AI may lead to job losses and reshape industries, but just as humans have proven their ability to adapt and survive, I am confident that we will adapt to these changes as well. Our greatest asset as individuals lies within our minds and our capacity to think critically, learn new skills, and embrace new trends. We are witnessing people of all ages, even the elderly, engaging with technologies like ChatGPT and actively pursuing knowledge in these areas. 

People will learn, companies will adapt, and organizations will utilize the latest technologies to build what suits them best. However, we need to focus on driving technology adoption and providing access to the internet and computer literacy for all, including children who currently lack these resources. It is only by actively pursuing adoption that we can fully explore how technology can positively impact our society.

Business Outcomes Startups can Expect by Leveraging Techbeaver’s Solutions.

In terms of business outcomes for companies that work with us, there are two key aspects to consider: the technology side and the non-technology side.

On the technology side, our team of developers works on multiple projects across various sectors, such as finance, healthcare, advertising, food, and ride-hailing. This diverse experience allows us to bring valuable ideas and expertise to our clients. We have the ability to build faster and more reliable systems by leveraging new technologies and creating state-of-the-art solutions. 

Additionally, our experience working with companies both within and outside Nigeria, including the US and Kenya, gives us valuable knowledge of different demographics, local laws, and market dynamics. This knowledge enables us to tailor our products to specific regions and advise companies on the best strategies for technology adoption and scaling.

On the non-technology side, our experience allows us to assist companies in the most cost-effective ways to build reliable systems. We also provide guidance on financing, product strategy, and product marketing.

One of the notable advantages of working with Techbeaver is our speed of delivery. We pride ourselves in our ability to meet deadlines and complete projects efficiently. Whether we commit to a three-month or six-month timeline, we consistently deliver high-quality solutions within the agreed-upon timeframe. We have successfully completed web apps in as little as 3-6 months, depending on the complexity of the project. Our clients can rely on us to be a fast and reliable team.

Biggest Challenges with Startups in Nigeria:

Startups in Nigeria face several significant challenges, including finance, market dynamics, and talent acquisition.

Finance is a common issue for startups in Nigeria. It can be difficult to secure the right funding and navigate equity arrangements. Understanding how to structure equity and debt arrangements and finding investors who are genuinely interested in supporting startups can be a complex and time-consuming process.

The market presents another major challenge. Many businesses struggle to enter the market successfully, and their initial expectations may not align with the reality of customer demand. Product strategy plays an important role in addressing market challenges, as startups need to build products that meet the specific needs of their target audience. Additionally, what works in one part of Nigeria may not work in another, and expanding to other countries may require unique approaches.

Talent acquisition is another challenge. Startups need to find the right individuals who possess the necessary skills, take initiative, aren’t just about their salaries but are driven to contribute to the company’s growth. It can be challenging to find talent that aligns with the startup’s goals, values, and company culture.

The reason I have been able to navigate through these challenges is as a result of the amazing communities I belong to – who are constantly rooting for me. It is important for startups to tap into supportive communities. Building strong networks and seeking guidance from experienced individuals who genuinely want to see you succeed can be invaluable. 

Why it is Critical for Businesses to Think like a Startup?

The question on the difference between a startup and an SME has been thrown at me a couple of times. The distinction between these two lies in their growth aspirations. Startups are built for rapid scale and aim to achieve in a few years what might take an SME several decades. Startups seek to quickly grow their customer base, attract investments, and expand their reach. By thinking like a startup, businesses can set themselves on the path of rapid growth and impact.

In Nigeria, we need more companies that think like startups. Scaling businesses at a faster pace allows for greater economic impact. Just as the music, entertainment, and creative industries have contributed significantly to the economy, the technology sector also has immense potential for growth and impact. By building startups that operate globally, earning revenue from outside Nigeria, and bringing those funds back to the country, we can add substantial value to our economy.

Thinking like a startup involves building products and services that cater to a global market, adapting to different regions’ needs, and creating solutions that improve the lives of millions. It requires a mindset focused on scale and continuous innovation. If businesses embrace this mindset, they can position themselves for sustainable growth and become key players in their respective industries.

Techbeaver in the Next 5 Years.

When we started Techbeaver, our goal was to build a Nigerian company with global relevance. We aspired to create products that would be used globally and have a positive impact on people’s lives. Over the next five years, we will continue to support businesses in building relevant and seamless products that make their operations easier and more efficient.

In addition to our client-focused work, we are passionate about our internal products. These products align with our values and have a positive influence on our immediate environment. Our aim is to build products that will remain relevant for years to come, regardless of the sector they operate in or the specific challenges they address.

This is where I see Techbeaver in the next 5 years.

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