Brands Technology

Techno Brain Remains the Only CMMI Level 5 Appraised Company in Africa

For the third consecutive time, using the CMMI® Institute framework, a subsidiary of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), has reappraised Techno Brain Group at the highest maturity level (CMMI Level 5) for its commitment to a proven set of global best practices that drives business performance, including product development, service excellence, and data management.

To date, Techno Brain is the only tech company in Africa to achieve CMMI Level 5 status. This distinction effectively places us on par with a very select group of 200+ peers in the world.

Manoj Shanker, CEO – Techno Brain Group, stressed that “our research and development centers being reappraised at CMMI Level 5 is a great milestone for Techno Brain and an indication of our continuing commitment to deliver high-quality solutions to our customers worldwide”. This achievement is nothing but another testament to Techno Brain’s commitment to a quality culture and the capability to deliver business value to our customers in a rapidly changing and challenging technology environment.

Techno Brain Group is a global digital organization headquartered in Africa (Nairobi), which has provided over 450 large-scale innovative technology solutions in the last 23 years to a vast array of public, private, and non-profit clients in 33 countries, spread across all continents.

 
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Brands CARS

Total Kenya Launches New Packaging as they Unveil Eliud Kipchoge as Brand Ambassador

Total Kenya plc has launched new packaging for its entire range of lubricants that comes with new colours, new labels, and a more ergonomic design with an aim to maintain a distinctive design for consumers to identify Total Lubricants easily.

In addition to these design developments, Total Lubricants contributes to the Group’s ambition to become the responsible energy major. “A reduction in the weight of packaging will prevent the emission of 9,500 tons of CO2 equivalent* each year resulting to raw materials savings.

The new Lubricants packaging will be unveiled by the Kenyan long-distance runner and marathon record-holder Eliud Kipchoge who is Total Kenya’s brand partner.

“We have always offered products that are customer centric,” said Olagoke Aluko, Managing Director, Total Kenya PLC. “But today’s consumer needs customized information about products and how to use them, this has led us to innovate and redesign our lubricants packaging by giving them a new shape, color and label. We have achieved our goal, and the results are at par with our lubricant’s performance — in other words, excellent!”

Packages at the forefront of innovation

The Total Lubricants package upgrade is a major step forward incorporating innovative features that reinforce the proven authenticity of Total products.

Consumers can now identify the product they need immediately, with the new color coding: Platinum for top-tier, Silver for mid-tier and Bronze for entry range products. Buyers can zoom in on the product they need by checking the new label, which is much clearer and easier to read.

Unique labels designed to look like a car dashboard

The essential product information curves around the brand name, similar to a car dashboard, displaying the viscosity, manufacturer approvals and a QR code that can be used to confirm the product’s authenticity in a flash. It’s a product label unlike any other and an advancement in relaying information about Total lubricants.

Better ergonomics for an enhanced customer experience

The new packs offer a new design with a more ergonomic handle that makes it easier to carry and a tamper proof cap functionally redesigned to make it easier to fill the oil sump during oil change or oil top up service.

The new packages are being rolled out gradually as from last year December in every Total service station and authorized distributor outlet across the country and beyond.

 
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Brands Technology

Safaricom’s ‘Browse Bila Waas’ Campaign to See Customers Enjoy 500 MB Daily Bonus Data

Safaricom-New-Data- Tariff

Safaricom has unveiled the second edition of the ‘Browse Bila Waas’ campaign that will see customers enjoy free 500MB daily bonus data with every purchase of a personalized no-expiry data bundle.

The campaign will see Safaricom customers enjoy more internet for less on Kenya’s best network. Both Prepay and PostPay customers can access their personalised data bundles on *544# under the option “0” – Special Data Deals. Upon purchase of the bundle, which is available every day until 23rd May 2021, customers will instantly receive a bonus of 500MB data valid until midnight of the same day.

“Safaricom exists to transform lives. By expanding our network coverage, giving our customers more data for less and availing affordable 4G devices, we seek to empower more Kenyans to tap into the opportunities that come with internet access,” said Peter Ndegwa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom.

Growing demand for data has seen Safaricom partner with Google to enable its customers to acquire quality 4G devices via flexible payment plans. Currently, the Neon Ray Pro, which is bundled with free WhatsApp for 3 months, is available at all Safaricom shops, Masoko.com and dealer outlets at a discounted price of KES 3,999/- while stocks last. Customers can also acquire the device by making a deposit of KES 500 and paying KES 20 daily for the balance.

Last month, Safaricom was ranked by umlaut as having the best network for data and calls across the country for the fourth year in a row. The mobile operator has been aggressively expanding its 4G coverage with a goal of having 100% of its network on 4G. In 2020, Safaricom rolled out more than 1,600 new sites, bringing its 4G reach to more than 92 per cent of the country’s population.

 
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Brands FINANCIAL

Equity Signs Loan Deal with EU and European Investment Bank to Support Local MSMEs

Equity Group Holdings Plc has signed a Kshs 16.5 Billion loan facility with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union (EU) in its continued commitment to strategically walk with MSMEs during the three years the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to adversely affect the business operating environment as a result of the adoption of COVID-19 coping and containment measures.

Equity Group, the EIB and the EU chose to have the loan facility in Kenya Shillings to match the operating currency of SME businesses and eliminate the risk of foreign exchange while the EUR 20 million grant allows capacity building on the borrowing clients to derisk lowering the risk of default and hence allowing affordability by adoption of low-risk priced interest rates.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Equity launched an offensive and defensive approach to support customers to sustain themselves while innovating alongside MSMEs who are leveraging on the opportunities that have presented within the crisis. The Group committed to loan repayment accommodation for up to 45% of the customers whose cashflows and operation cycle were deemed likely to be negatively impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Equity made the prudent decision to ensure cashflow was not impaired and in its third quarter 2020 results, Equity reported a 30% growth in its loan book in support of its customers who saw opportunities of green shoots and diversifications in the COVID-19 environment. Most of the new opportunities funded were in manufacturing of PPE’s, logistics, online businesses, agro-processing, fast moving consumer goods and agriculture value chains.

In announcing the latest loan facility, Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc stated, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic started as a health crisis, which quickly became an economic and humanitarian crisis that has seen almost 40% of Kenyan small business owners negatively affected by the great economic mechanism of coping, managing, mitigating and containing COVID-19 during the shutdown in business. Equity’s goal is to keep the lights of the economy on by ensuring firms and businesses remain open, sustain employment and by keeping markets open for goods and services thus facilitating a quick recovery of businesses and the economy at large. This funding adds oxygen to the real economy through funding of enterprises under the `Young Africa Works’ Program where Equity, Mastercard Foundation and the Government of Kenya are working to create 5 million jobs for women and young people through entrepreneurship over the next five years.

The facility extends over the entire period of the program’s 5 years, ensuring the matching of long-term investment by SMEs to emerge stronger post the COVID-19 period.

The financing package through the EUR 20 Million grant covers amongst other initiatives, the provision of technical assistance to enhance Equity Bank’s capacity to assess, execute and monitor longer-term investment projects in the agriculture value chains and further develop its longer-term agricultural financing activities with a focus on youth and woman while enhancing their capacity to lower their credit risk and hence the interest rate at which they will obtain credit.

Speaking on behalf of the European Investment Bank, Vice President Thomas Ostros said, “New EIB and EU support for leading Kenyan partner Equity Bank will help entrepreneurs, business and agricultural small holders across Kenya to access finance and better withstand the economic challenges and business uncertainties caused by COVID-19. Today’s new agreements demonstrate Team Europe and Kenya joining forces to beat COVID-19 and help business flourish.”

The ability of Equity to attract funding from global agencies such as the European Investment Bank and the European Union speaks to Equity’s global standing, reputation and trust to support economic stability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Equity plays a central role in the global development agenda due to the interconnected nature of the economy and its ability to deliver strategic results due to its size and capacity. The facility also indicates the confidence that global lenders have in the Kenyan economy.

Equity not only wants to support export MSMEs but also those in the domestic economy and hence has borrowed in Kenya Shillings to ensure no mismatch in currency fluctuations which will further support the domestic market and protect it from exposure to the exchange rate. Both European institutions will support Equity’s lending to MSMEs, which acknowledges that the COVID-19 outbreak has been a shock to Kenya’s MSMEs. MSMEs eligible for Equity’s lending through the facility will be active in high-growth market sectors which serve to create new manufacturing or distribution activities in the economy as well as strengthen and develop eco-systems around existing industrial activities.

“As an inclusive regional financial institution these facilities strengthen Equity’s position to further enhance the strength of MSMEs who are key actors in value chains and ecosystems of the real economy in agriculture, trade, manufacturing, health and MSME sectors. By ensuring their survival and growth the MSMEs will continue to protect jobs, create more jobs and support lives and livelihoods in society, serving to create resilience as the pandemic subsides, as vaccines become available in Kenya, and as market growth returns,” said Dr. Mwangi. “We value our long-term partnership with the EIB and the European Commission who have walked with us and our customers on our path for sustained human development for many years including their investment to scale our focus in agriculture through Kilimo Biashara. We thank them for supporting our efforts to strengthen the role of MSMEs to stimulate the economy back to prosperity, and hence support lives and livelihoods through market growth.”

The guarantee complements Equity’s program with Mastercard Foundation, Young Africa Works, of creating 5 million jobs especially for youth by providing $4.2bn in funding to MSMEs coupled with capacity building in Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurship, Digital Literacy and business development services including mentorship, coaching and market linkages support. Equity is collaborating with MSME support organizations such as the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) as well as Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA).

This is the third tranche for Equity Group after having signed a USD $50 Million facility with IFC in September and a USD $100 Million facility from Proparco in October bringing the total to USD $275 Million, USD $150 Million and EUR 125 Million – an equivalent of bringing Kshs 33 Billion to fortify credit flows and liquidity to MSMEs.

 
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Brands FINANCIAL

DTB Recruits University Students for Job Shadowing Programme

Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) has launched a Job Shadowing programme aimed at providing students an opportunity to learn about the working world by exposing them to the Bank for a specified period.

The programme is open to both continuing and graduate students with intakes four times a year. The first lot of students joined the Bank on Monday morning at a brief ceremony presided over by DTB Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Nasim Devji.

Speaking at the event, Ms Devji outlined the thinking behind the Job Shadowing Programme: “We aim, with the Job Shadowing Programme, to give the students who are still in university as well as graduates to see for themselves how the world of work operates. This is to encourage the youth to engage themselves in potential career avenues, and help harness the talent of youth in this country”.

Ms Devji said the Bank aims to enable students make informed decisions about their career of choice and enable graduates who have completed their studies to get a chance to experience the real working world firsthand.

DTB Head of Human Resources, Lillian Ngala, said the Bank seeks to play a critical role in ensuring graduates have the right skills for the workplace.

“At DTB we’re committed to enriching lives and give these students a chance to experience the work place. We want to bridge the gap between the theory students are given in school and bringing in the practical experience of the world of work. This is the first cohort of this year, with three more to follow each quarter,” said Ms Ngala.

The first cohort of students has been recruited in partnership with accredited universities such as the University of Nairobi, Mount Kenya University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Strathmore Business school and Management University Africa. The students will go through a two-week program and all students will be entitled for stipend.

The students began with a comprehensive one-day orientation at DTB’s head office on Mombasa Road and were thereafter placed in various branches and departments of the Bank, where they will gain work exposure for a period of two weeks.

DTB will cascade the Job Shadowing programme to all parts of the country from the second cohort moving forward.

 
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Events Music Trending

Dj Adrian to Perform in Kisumu for the first time on Saturday

Dj-Adrian-At-Club-Da-Place

Kenya’s veteran disc jockey Dj Adrian, famed for his mastery of old school jams will this weekend be playing at Kisumu’s Club Da Place.

Adrian Washika who rose to fame in the 90’s playing alongside industry heavyweights like Dj Pinye, Dj Chopstick and Dj Space among other notable names will be in Kisumu for the first time to play a gig.

Adrian will be hosted by Dj Slim – one of Kisumu’s veteran Djs also famed for his mastery of grown folk music of different genres. The show is expected to begin from 1.00 PM to 9.00 PM. The Club’s management is promising revellers a mature party with music guarantee to take them back in time as they enjoy drinks and food at affordable prices. Covid-19 regulations on social distancing and mask policies will be strictly adhered to.

Club Da Place which has recently received a face lift is known to host some of the country’s biggest names in entertainment, putting money in artists’ pockets during these these hard economic times.

If you are looking for a place to hang out this weekend then how about you throw on some old school clad and head on to Mamboleo for Kisumu’s biggest party this weekend.

 
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