Thika Too Must Wake Up To The Benefits of Science And Adapt or Ship Out.


As money and resources become increasingly scarce, people especially businessmen nowadays are seeking tech-savvy solutions to increase capacity and advance their missions. They are effectively revolutionising by using technology to increase sales, visibility and engagement. With technology becoming cheaper and more accessible, people have discovered a new way to wade off their competitors and take advantage of new markets.

Innovation, especially the tech-savvy ideas, has become the standard practice to generate optimum results. Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any enterprise, and is the catalyst for growth and success. New innovations always lead to ‘creative destruction’. Old established industries or services are being disrupted or killed by innovations. For instance, mobile-phone champion Nokia, one of Europe’s biggest technology success stories, lost their position so quickly and brutally to Apple, Google and other smaller companies when Nokia chose Microsoft’s Windows Phone as its main smartphone platform over Android technology.

In 2007, Nokia accounted for more than 40% of mobile-phone sales worldwide. But consumers’ preferences later shifted towards touch-screen smartphones. With the introduction of Apple’s iPhone in the middle of that year, Nokia’s market share shrunk rapidly and revenue plummeted. By the end of 2013, Nokia had sold its phone business to Microsoft.

The older generation can remember what happened to the gramophone, the pager, the steam engine, the photo film, and so on. Before the cellphone came to the scene, we used to queue at Telkom booths armed with coins. The mobile phone, needless to say, drove Telkom booths out of town. Simu ya Jamii were all the business craze. Then Safaricom came along and started selling airtime in small denominations. They became the unassailable market leaders they are today.

Have you also forgotten about the revolution that was brought about the innovation of M-PESA? These days, M-PESA handles more money than most banks, giving it a huge advantage over banks in profitability. When the banks realised the futility of fighting M-PESA despite threat to their business, they quickly embraced it and today you find M-PESA in banks, a factor that guaranteed their survival.

 Who thought that one day we could surf in a cyber café for 50 cents? It needed competition with internet available on our phones for charges to fall that drastically.

The conflict ignited over the last few days against American taxi service Uber’s entrance into the Kenyan market has brought to the fore the more reasons Kenyans should embrace technology to do business. Though Uber is facing stiff opposition to its service across the globe, this is a losing fight against technology. There is no need of resisting an idea whose time has come. People are already tired of being exploited as customers.

Uber uses an innovative smartphone app to connect clients to drivers with reduced bargaining stress as a client pays according to distance covered and waiting time. What makes them so successful is their simplicity. The Uber application helps you locate the next ‘idle taxi’ which has registered with it. The new taxi, which could be your car that you park all day long, just charges for the distance covered, not two-way as taxis usually do. Their charges do not depend on the number of passengers. That brings down the charges significantly and customers like. For instance, the mainstream taxi operators charge an average of Sh. 600 to Westlands from Nairobi’s Central Business District compared to Uber fares that are as low as Sh. 300. Uber riders in Nairobi pay Sh. 60 per a kilometre covered and Sh. 4 per minute. This is music to the client who feels that they have been exploited by the traditional taxis for so long. Such new innovations are making life convenient and cheaper for the riders.
In a world where technology is moving so fast, it is only those businesses that are willing and able to take advantage of the latest technological innovations that will reap the benefits of revenue generation and productivity enhancement – dramatically improving their position in the marketplace. No business can afford the luxury to stand still. Every business must devote time and energy into researching the very latest and most innovative technology.

Fuelled by high Internet penetration and globalisation, firms are now in a race to match consumers to services and products, catching traditional capitalist models flat-footed and pushing them out of business. If you can see this clearly, embracing technology will create more jobs for more people. Look at the revolution that was brought about the introduction of the computer. It does more work that would have been done by many people yet it created lots of jobs.


University of Nairobi economics lecturer XN Iraki recently said that ubernomics represents the new bold and beautiful economics built on the intersection of law and innovation. More industries will suffer the fate of taxis in Kenya. He reminded us of Airbnb where one can list accommodation via the net a system that allows anyone to list their spare bedroom on the net for visitors to let.

The simple message here is  for us to embrace and adopt better technology, one that we can use to compete with. The marvels of science and technology have redefined us and will continue to do so. Technology rages like a prairie conflagration, and you can either innovate or perish. As they would say in the village, technology si ya mama yako.

The global village is simply a ruthless competitive jungle where only the finest will survive. Everyone must compete on world-class standards. Our traditional endogenous business community must wake up to these realities or perish. Even the village small entrepreneur knows that imports are here and he must beat them on price, quality and service. If he doesn’t, he is cooked. Entrepreneurs only need to be more creative and innovative than in the past lest they be uberised.

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