Tesh Mbaabu is the Co-founder and CEO of Mesozi Inc, a software company that leverages on technology to solve business-related challenges
Company Name: Mesozi
Year Founded: 2016
Industry: Automation – Software
Website: Mesozi.com (MarketForce)
Tesh Mbaabu is the Co-founder and CEO of Mesozi Inc, a software company that leverages on technology to solve business-related challenges.
Tesh started out his career as an entrepreneur after self-teaching graphic and web design. His first venture, Tesh Technologies Limited, was a creative design and printing agency, which he started at the age of 18. This was right before he went to pursue Computer Science at the University of Nairobi.
While in the second year of campus, he met my business partner, Mesongo Sibuti. They set up their next venture, which they run to date, Mesozi Inc, a software company that leverages on technology to solve business-related challenges.
“We did a lot of consulting work helping business digitalize their workflows to become more operationally efficient units, before setting up our flagship product, MarketForce, which is an end to end sales and distribution automation system for companies operating in FMCG and Financial Services sectors.”
MarketForce connects Africa’s informal retail outlets and consumers directly to suppliers of consumer goods and services by digitizing orders, delivery, and payments with the aim of solving the last mile distribution challenge.
As an avid adventure seeker, Tesh also co-founded Cloud9xp.com, which helps travellers to easily discover and book the best leisure experiences, at the best price, across Africa through web and mobile. Cloud9xp was among 11 African startups to be selected to the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa program in 2018 and was also featured among the Top 30 Demo Africa startups in 2018. Cloud9xp also featured among the Top 100 StartUp Istanbul 2018 across Europe, Asia and Africa; and took the first place at the Connected Kenya Oracle Innovation Awards 2018 – Tourism Category.
He is a Westerwelle Young Founder 2019, an Alibaba and UN Fellow 2019; was awarded Top 25 under 25 Entrepreneurs in Kenya in 2015 and Techpreneur of the Year 2019 in the FOYA(Founder of the Year) awards.
What in particular drove you to venture into entrepreneurship /starting your own business/company?
I went into entrepreneurship because I just started noticing opportunities around me. As a creative, I developed a joint interest in technology and design, hence the first opportunity I saw was in using computers to develop beautiful work.
Open your eyes and ears wide for opportunities, do thorough research to understand the domain you are entering, and learn how to focus. – @teshmbaabu
I started with designing websites and marketing collateral for businesses. Later, I saw the opportunity to solve even bigger challenges for African business through tech.
Current impact/milestones reached for the company.
Besides serving and gaining recognition from Google, Oracle, ICT Authority, Alibaba Group, Safaricom and other reputable organizations, we have been able to build strong brands in the African market through offering revolutionary solutions to real issues.
How do you know if your tech startup idea is good or not?
Market Validation. Before going all out to build out your product, make sure you talk to your target consumer and figure out if you are solving a real pain point. Startups fail when they are not solving a large enough problem that you can universally serve with a scalable solution.
Before going all out to build out your product, make sure you talk to your target consumer and figure out if you are solving a real pain point. – @teshmbaabu
What kind of a mindset should a first-time entrepreneur have?
Persistence and Agility. There are many good ideas out there in the world, but if a founder lacks the passion for the domain then they might not live through the challenges and hurdles of running a business that they will have to overcome in order to be successful. Founders also need to be willing and able to fail fast and forward with ideas and decisions.
What sort of general advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur in Africa?
Open your eyes and ears wide for opportunities, do thorough research to understand the domain you are entering, and learn how to focus. Don’t start out by doing too much.
Be very deliberate about saying NO to distractions while building your company, mostly because you will feel like quitting when things are going south or exploring things that look more attractive from the outside. Maintain the will to make your idea succeed, and work hard for it!