Techie who founded start-up with Sh3,000


Eight years ago, Abubakar Yusuf (pictured) decided to pursue his entrepreneurial talent armed with just Sh3,000 and founded a tech firm called Crystal Tech Limited.

This was after completing his degree course in computer science. A start-up provides solutions. Through his firm, Yusuf supports Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with technology solutions.

“I noticed that most SMEs got their products and services right, but there was a struggle in automation. Since then my team and I have provided solutions in human resource management systems, accounting systems, stock and inventory taking systems, supply and management systems and security systems,” he told The Innovator.

He said that one of his favourite innovations is the school management systems, which automates most of the services in learning institutions.

“The product registers who is attending classes and who isn’t, both teachers and students. It also gives the accounting officers the opportunity to manage school expenditure and gives minimal room for mismanagement. It also has a payroll for all the suppliers bringing supplies to schools,” said Yusuf.

Running a tech business is not as easy as it may sound. His biggest struggle sometimes is explaining to the potential client the value of what they are paying for, whenever they are in the process of transacting business.

“A client will approach you to give his business a solution then ask for the quotation. Once you provide it they, immediately begin complaining of the cost, without looking at what they are getting.”

“For example, I would send a prospect a quotation of Sh100,000. They would go and compare with competition across the street who will perhaps quote Sh70,000. They end up working with them, only to find inefficiencies later on in their system.”

One such instance is a hospital that ended up with serious technology malfunctions because of purchasing services and products like fake cables from another technology company after bolting out of a deal with Yusuf’s firm.

Such firms in the long run spend more money in doing repairs, maintenance and consultations, he observed.

"There needs to be a paradigm shift on expenditure for paramount things like administration and management systems, just to make business operations swift and automated,” he said.

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