CP-Africa had earlier announced Nokia’s $1 million innovation award. A Kenyan developer, John Waibochi has just won it.
By James Ratemo, Standard Media
A Kenyan company has won ($1,000,000) in the Nokia’s Growth Economy Venture Challenge.
Virtual City Ltd, a home-grown Kenyan company, won the prize for developing a solution that aims at addressing systemic issues along the Supply Chain for distributors and retailers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in emerging markets.
Nokia’s new CEO Stephen Elop presented the award to Virtual City’s John Waibochi at the ongoing Nokia World Forum in London.
Virtual City beat companies from 54 different countries to emerge the best – effectively banking the sh80 Million. Waibochi attributed the success to dedicated service borne of innovation. He successfully demonstrated to the panel how to fully utilize the potential that a mobile phone has in adding value to the user.
“We have developed an application that enables distributors and retailers to sell in the market using the Nokia mobile phones for their sales, deliveries and taking orders and we have gone further to help them be able to collect their cash,” said Mr. Waibochi.
Virtual City developed a solution dubbed Mobile Distributor – aimed at streamlining the supply chain for distributors and retailers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods in emerging markets.
Nokia called on innovators from around the world to create a mobile product or service to improve the lives of people in developing nations and compete for the chance to win venture capital investment of $1 million
Developers were required to submit the best idea for a new mobile product or solution designed to improve the lives of people in the developing world.
Mr. Waibochi said that Virtual City goal is to help companies realize the need for innovative use oftechnology that would save them money, instill efficiency in their systems, boost productivity and as a result improve their bottom-line.’’
The Mobile Distributor Solution is designed to contribute to improved efficiencies and value to all the stakeholders in the value chain and result in increased number of transactions, accurate records, improved Inventory management and reporting from the field and effective management decision making.
The solution will also bring value to a large number of beneficiaries comprising thousands of small and micro enterprises in the FMCG Market.
Speaking to The Standard recently in Nairobi, Waibochi said the company is finalizing solutions for the Tea and Dairy industries supply chain that would see farmers paid faster and accurately.
From a Nokia Challenge perspective, this provides a solution that will bring value to a large number of beneficiaries comprising thousands of small and micro enterprises in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Market through the smart application of mobile business and cashless payment technologies.
The project will generate revenue for the partners Virtual City and Nokia, while increasing the income levels of the stakeholders in the supply chain by opening up increased product sales coupled with additional benefits of mobile payment capabilities, transaction fees revenue, loyalty programs benefits, etc all facilitated by inexpensive and affordable mobile phones.
“The new found ability to transact via mobile phones and use cashless means to make payments for goods or services, has the potential of availing solutions that the over 6 million users of mobile payment solutions from the telecommunication players can access and utilize in their business dealings, the aim is to fully utilize the potential that a mobile phone has in adding value to the user.
The other 9 finalists in the Growth Economy Venture Challenge include Bionic Power – The Portable Power Solution (Canada), eVOTZ (United States), FloCash Payment Network (United Kingdom), IDIFIED (United States), m-Employment platform using SMS (Pakistan), matcher – your mobile, your marketplace (Slovenia), Mobile JobHunt (China), Remote Diagnostics Kit (India) and Transclick for Globalization of m-commerce (United States)