“Having a network of people who believe in us and a strong founding team has been our secret to success.” Derrick Mutuma
Let’s start by getting to know Derrick, describe yourself to us?
Derrick is someone who is very passionate about technology and appreciates what it does for the masses especially when it comes to solving problems. I am a workaholic, I also enjoy connecting with like-minded people, and listening to jazz and classical music. I grew up in Nairobi, and like most people who grew up in the city, I struggled to learn my mother tongue, and to date, I still can’t speak it fluently. I went to Makini school for my primary education and then joined Light academy for my highschool. For campus, I attended Nairobi university where I got a diploma in Philosophy and Kenya Methodist University where I got my diploma and B.A in Business Administration.
How did you come into the service of WorkPay?
I have known Paul Kimani, who is one the founders for almost two years. As he and I talked he mentioned that there was a gap with the sales team, therefore I came in to support the Chief Business Officer (CBO) to drive sales efforts.
Your official title is Account Manager, would you mind breaking it down for us?
An account manager is deeply rooted in sales and marketing. My work heavily involves working with business owners to form long lasting business relationships.
What sets you apart as WorkPay. Other than being a human resource and payroll company what makes you different as a company?
Our product is unique as it is solution-based. We solve the everyday problems that employees and employers face. We are changing the way employers manage their employees both in Kenya and Africa at large. Our product end to end from Time and Attendance to payroll management to payment of salaries-all in one platform. In addition to offering payroll services we have unique selling propositions such as, Time and Attendance, Asset Management, Document Management, Performance Management and salary disbursements to all banks in Kenya and to Mpesa. We also have a great team that has the right skills and attitude which come a long way to ensure we bring the vision of WorkPay to life.
WorkPay was started in 2017 and to date, you have 25,000 employees and 300 SMBs registered on your platform. What is the secret for achieving this growth and attracting such numbers?
In addition to having a great team, I would say the effort that our team leader, Paul Kimani has put in place has played a big role together with his co-founder Jackson Kibigo, who is always holding things down internally as Paul is out there having meetings with investors . Having a strong team and the right co-founders have played a major role in our company’s success.
WorkPay has managed to raise an investment of $ 2.1 million seed funding. What advice would you give to startup founders about funding?
When you have a business idea the first thing you need to do is to develop a prototype as proof of concept. When a business idea is just an idea, a lot of work will go into place to convince people to invest as opposed to when you have an MVP that you have tested, and you have proof that it is viable. Secondly, have your systems in place because when you are face to face with an investor, you will be required to answer questions like; What is your customer acquisition process?, What is your business model?, Breakdown of your costs?, etc. These questions are meant to determine if your company is geared for growth. Thirdly, you need to build and leverage on networks as well as people who support you and believe in your vision, fourth, focus on building a product or a service that is solving a real problem, I also believe that having a strong founding team as well as being persistent, sooner or later funds will come.
WorkPay recently raised USD 2.1 Million in seed funding, what does this mean for you as a business in the future?
We look forward to offering more solutions to enterprise in the short term and diversify towards neighbouring markets as a long term strategy. I see us deeply penetrating the African market, going into the different markets that we have seen in the past as potential areas, and becoming a force to reckon with in the employee management space.
Do you have a life outside of Work Pay, what are you doing when you are not coming up with sales strategies for Work Pay?
I mentioned earlier that I listen to music because it helps me relax and unwind, I love nature and taking walks as I enjoy the outdoors. I am constantly learning new stuff on technology to make myself better and to help grow my skills.