US trip that inspired budding artificial intelligence firm

Inua AI Solutions founder and Executive Director, Humphrey Muchuma at work at USIU hub. [George Orido, Standard]

Through a labyrinth of imposing buildings housing faculties and libraries at the United State International Univer,sity (USIU), one ends up at a facility on the edge of the compound, hardly labeled.

Here there are young tech-savvy Kenyans busy doing what they know best.

Each of the over 120 workers is on their computer using AI interactive platforms to produce solutions to the ever-growing demand for digital products.

The facility, which houses Inua AI, has IT hubs as well as a resource center to meet global demand for well-designed and produced communication products.

“I had worked with a digital company in a senior management position before and I was out of work for quite some time,” says Inua AI Solutions founder and Managing Director Humphrey Muchuma.

During the time in 2018, he landed an opportunity to attend a conference on ‘Business As Mission’ in the US.

It is during this time in New Jersey that he met David Millary, an American businessman working in the IT space and the founder and President of EDU-Plus International with whom he shared his ideas on what the two could do together.

When he came back to Kenya, he was linked up with the Dimension Data chief executive Richard Hechle who offered a space at the USIU student center.

“He told me the space was there for my use and that I could start some ICT company if I so wished,” said Muchuma.

He says the idea of setting up an ICT start-up in the precincts of an institution of higher learning was a blessing because working with students ready to learn and apply knowledge at the same time is the best ingredient one would wish for.

So, the three agreed to synergize with David offering the capital and Dimension Data to support the technological needs of a startup.

“Our program begins with our US-based partner, EDU Plus International LLC where the business development and projects teams source digital projects from corporate clients. We’ve partnered with enterprises that have large, ongoing projects that require a human touch,” he says.

The mission is to empower individuals with technology-driven skills and knowledge that align with the dynamic needs of the job market and to connect them with employment opportunities in the era of AI.

Inua AI does this by offering a new form of business process outsourcing (BPO) services that combines high-quality, reliable service with social impact.

It wasn’t a walk in the park for Humphrey and his team, for it took nine months to train the young people to be at the level they are today offering professional services in real estate to overseas clients.

“There’s a lot of demand for ICT solutions out there and the most important of all is to meet international standards,” he explains, disclosing that the US forms their biggest market serving their booming property market.

He reflects that the path to success has been leveraged delivery through partnerships, experience, robust infrastructure, innovation and as well as scalable solutions.

Humphrey prides itself on creating gainful employment for over 100 youth and hopes the number will surge to over 500 when a new hub being constructed will be done by the end of next year.

Recently, the firm has also spread its market share in Canada.

He reckons that the market is ready, but companies must be ready to deliver in a timely fashion within tight timelines.

“We have benefited from consistent high-quality results with our robust agile teams and dedicated quality assurance best practices,” he says.

The company has partnered with US-based firm Next Door Photos to produce and enhance still and video pictures for maximum impact in the real estate markets of the US and Canada.

Inua AI Solutions has also started a new department that creates and offers cyber security solutions. This caters to financial institutions and firms. 

Humphrey is also proud that most of his workers are drawn from Nairobi’s poor urban neighborhoods. 

“We intend to create about 5,000 plus full-time digital jobs by 2030. In the next phase, with a target market in cyber security and software engineering, Inua AI Solutions will be recruiting, training, and giving work to hundreds of youth across our branch networks,” says a confident Muchuma.