Tell us a bit about you
I am an engineer by training with over 10 years of experience in telecom, banking and entrepreneurship. I am a group manager with TD capital market risk management and I also run KASI Insight, a research and advisory company focusing on providing reliable data and actionable insights from Africa.
Tell us a bit about Kasi Insights?
KASI Insight is a research and advisory firm focusing on the fast growing African market. We offer consumer surveys, market insights and data driven advice to companies, entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses in Africa. We solve problems that present challenges for most firms or diaspora entrepreneurs doing business in Africa – lack of fresh local data, slow and expensive market research. We have coverage in Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa with the goal to cover the 20 biggest countries in Africa by 2018.
Do you perceive your diverse background as an asset? If so, tell you about your perceived strengths?
Absolutely, it is an asset. I was born in France, grew up in two countries in Africa, went to university and started my career in Canada. Because of this rich background and experience, I am highly adaptable which is critical in the world we live in today. In addition, I can analyze and conceptualize complex problems because of my ability to see things from various angles. Last but not least, I have developed good interpersonal and relationship management skills which are important in business and in life.
You are currently balancing a full-time career and entrepreneurship? How are you achieving this?
Yes I am and I think I am part of a growing trend. First, technology is probably the main reason, I am able to achieve this. At KASI, we have a global office on Whatsapp where I can be in touch with our team in Africa real time. It’s amazing what you can achieve with the right technology tools and a little bit of creativity. Second, time management - I don’t watch TV, use every bit of capacity I have (subway, bus, etc.) and I have a very rigorous schedule. My day usually starts at 4.30am in the morning and I am in bed not later than 10pm. My weekends are precious and as organized as my week day. It’s not easy but it not impossible.
What is the best professional advice you have ever received?
Just do it! This advice resonates with me because I used to be big on planning and thinking. I’ve realized with experience that actions are your best teachers. There is no blue print, just do it, revaluate, adapt and re-do.
What is KASI Omnibus and what is the value-added of this service?
KASI Omnibus Survey Service was developed and built for Africa. Ideal for start-ups, diaspora entrepreneurs or businesses who are looking for reliable, fast tools to get answers and insights at an affordable cost.
Starting at $199 you can ask 3 questions (or more) to a sample of 1000 respondents in 6 countries. This service allows diaspora entrepreneurs to test business ideas, estimate market share, track usage of brands and services in your target market across Africa.
This service is meant for diaspora members who have business ideas but can’t really do much because they lack data/information or they can’t afford to purchase expensive market research report that don’t answer specific questions they have.
How did you hear about Manyatta?
A friend of mine recommended that I attend Manyatta and I did. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the crowd.
What does Manyatta mean to you?
Manyatta is a powerful tool for Africa’s future. First, Manyatta is a great way to connect but also to contribute within the community here in Canada. I love the community giving aspect of the network local and global. I believe the more we give, the more we get. Second, the diaspora contribution to Africa prosperity is significant and will grow in the future. Unfortunately, diaspora investment or initiatives tend to personal, small at the family level in the case of remittance for example. Manyatta is providing a platform for linked-minded and professional Africans to meet and share ideas. I think it can also become a powerful channel for bigger and more structured investments in Africa where several members will pool resources to invest in Africa.