mTek enables clients to compare and buy insurance policies
Please introduce yourself and your startup mTek to our readers!
My name is Bente – I am 32 years young and pride myself in being a female entrepreneur and even more important the CEO of mTek Services! I was born in Germany and moved to East Africa in 2012. I am based in Nairobi / Kenya.
We have been developing a mobile application over the last few years called mTek. The app enables clients to compare and buy insurance policies. They can also handle the whole claims process from the convenience of their smartphone. All processes are end-to-end paperless.
How did you get the idea of mTek?
The traffic in Nairobi is pretty busy and the “driving culture” very rough. In 2015 one of our co-founders was rushing to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Unfortunately on the way, he had a small accident. The claims process with his insurance partner proved to be a logistical nightmare. As we believe that all good business ideas are being born through a solution-driven approach, the aim to simplify the claims process was the starting point of mTek.
Why did you decide to start with mTek?
Based on above experience the team started to look into a solution to make insurance accessible and convenient to manage… for all Africans. Insurance is to be seen as part of the personal welfare plan, however we are facing a very low insurance penetration of roughly 3% in the East African region. A major pain point is the missing distribution channels. mTek has been established in order to address this problem and ultimately to contribute to the solution.
What is the vision behind mTek?
Ensuring every person on the African continent has access to insurance securing their family and assets – so they are free to move to opportunities – every day!
How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?
Beside the common difficulties startups are facing we feel our biggest challenge is re-educating the market and reshifting the mindset of our target group. In East Africa insurance is typically sold in a manual way so it takes while to convince clients in the sense that a digital solution is secure and ensures the same (or even better) service levels than traditional models.
Who is your target audience?
mTek is available for anybody who is striving to manage risk, as ultimately nobody can afford disaster.
What is the USP of your startup?
We are different and so is our solution. We are a team originating from various continents, culture, gender and religions. This enables us to implement best practices which are being collected from diverse backgrounds and ultimately result into a disruptive solution!
Can you describe your typical workday?
We are very agile in our working hours. We believe that it is up to the individual person to discover when they work most efficient. However the team can be found in our Nairobi office in its completion from around 10am daily. We usually have a daily stand-up which is divided into the four pillars of team, strategy and product. In the stand-up we list out the tasks that need to be accomplished in each area. This helps us to ensure we cover all major aspects and don’t let anything slide. Twice a week we are having bug-bashes and planning team sprints.
After the stand-up everybody goes back to their own rhythm. Currently our office hours are fairly long. So coffee is our constant companion.
Where do you see yourself and your startup mTek in five years?
We are definitely driving an aggressive expansion strategy. While we are already active in the East Africa region, we are looking to further spread our wings into other African markets. Also we look to further increase the policy offering, build partnerships, integrate additional IPF solutions and further enhance our comparsion tool.
What tips would you give to founders?
Never lose your passion and think out of the box!
Invest into a solid team which is supporting you by ensuring a robust execution of your vision.
Always have some cash in the bank as you need to be ready to burn some money (especially in the tech-world).
More information you will find here
Thank you Bente Krogmann for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.