Find out how Micrive, a startup in Kenya, is enabling medical experts to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Chris Muraguri, the CEO and founder of Micrive Infinite. I graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in Pharmacy, I have a background in professional marketing and I’m currently studying human anatomy. I came across 3D printing technology in 2013 when I made a skeletal prototype of my injured foot that I shared with my doctor, Prof Symon Guthua, who was a surgery consultant at the University of Nairobi at the time. The prototype I created helped him see the extent of my injury before surgery was done. I went through surgery and it was successful. That is how the idea of Micrive was born.
What does entrepreneurship mean for you?
Entrepreneurship for me means agility, building trust, delivering solutions quickly and efficiently, it also means cleverness and by this, I mean constantly being innovative as a business to enhance your services and service delivery.
Describe your business to us?
Our work primarily focuses on printing patient-specific models prior to surgery to look at a patient’s specific anatomy. By incorporating 3D printing in the treatment-planning phase, they help to improve success rates, reduce complications and pursue cost effectiveness.
What is your role at Micrive?
I have various roles at Micrive, for the longest time I was the guy responsible for designing the 3D models. I recently hired a design engineer to do that. These days my primary focus is to anticipate changes and come up with the right approach to these market changes. The health industry as you know it is a bit static but at the same time dynamic. For instance, clinics were always open 24/7 until recently when a national curfew was declared beginning 27th March 2020. My job is to study the market and provide solutions depending on the markets’ needs.
Why 3D printing and not any other type of business?
3D printing is interesting as it provides real and practical solutions that help aid surgeons during surgery. For me, 3D printing holds the promise to a flexible future and certainty.
What is Micrive doing to enable medical experts to be able to fight the pandemic better?
That’s a great question. We recently started producing and supplying personal protective equipment. For instance, we started producing different designs of Face shields for doctors, nurses and health workers, Nasopharyngeal swabs used to collect samples from the back of your throat. We are also thinking of producing 3D printed ventilation valves similar to what was done in Italy to save lives. We fear that as a country we might experience challenges from diagnosis, sample taking to ICU. That is why Micrive is committed to producing the necessary medical equipment needed.
How has COVI-19 affected your work dynamic as a business?
Well, it has improved our business. Over the years the primary focus of the business was building trust among doctors. As a result of that trust, doctors have been requesting us to supply them with items that they currently do not have. Right now we are receiving requests for items that are not related to 3D printing and we have been able to deliver. Our sources of revenue have increased tremendously.
What are some of the measures that you have taken to ensure the safety of employees as Micrive?
Everybody is working from home, I am the only one who is working from the field. I am taking extra precautions like social distancing, regularly washing my hands with soap and complying with the government directive.
What are the technical tools that you are currently using as an organization to ensure things run seamlessly?
We are using WhatsApp a lot for communication and WhatsApp business.
What are the measures that you would advise other entrepreneurs in Africa to take during this pandemic to ensure business continuity?
My advice to fellow entrepreneurs is to review the fundamentals of their businesses. If one of the things that they were capitalizing on is efficient delivery they need to know that people still need these services and instead of shutting down completely, they need to find creative ways of addressing people’s needs.
How would you describe Chris and what are your favorite hobbies?
Well, other than being a cool guy, I like to think of myself as someone who loves the pressure. I deliver the best results under pressure. I also enjoy playing rugby, banter, I love poetry, and listening to music.
Get in touch with us: Phone: +254 733 372387 Website: https://vc4a.com/ventures/micrive-infinite-limited/