Davis describes himself as a strong, determined, and resilient problem solver with a strong software engineering background and reinvents himself whenever he needs to in his field as a product manager.
At Cellulant, Davis manages payment methods across Africa. These are the underlying rails that enable us power payments. With this rails, a customer is able to pay for merchant services from their bank account, mobile money wallet or card (debit, credit or prepaid card)
Where did you study and what did you study?
I studied BSc Mathematics and Computer Science at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology popularly referred to as (JKUAT).
How long have you been at Cellulant?
Since January 2011…It’s been 10 interesting years, just 2 months shy of 11 years.
What drives you?
The impact we create on people’s lives. I have always been driven by seeing how my work impacts positively on others, customers and internal staff.
What drove you towards engineering?
I loved fiddling with small electrical devices like radios and amplifiers when I was young. I therefore wanted to become an electrical engineer. The 1st time I used a computer, my instinct was to open it up and fiddle with the hardware and get to understand how it works. I quickly realized that there is another world of computers I had no idea existed. The software aspect of computers. My love for software engineering started there.
Why did you shift from engineering to product management?
Engineering is great, but I want to create a positive impact. I want to see the reaction of customers when we solve their problems. This moved me to thinking more of solutions than coding. As I created technical solutions while in the engineering team, I gravitated to product management
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What would you say have been some of the most challenging moments for you on the job given the job shift?
A product manager is essentially the “CEO” of the product. This essentially means that one becomes a “Jack of all trades” especially at the inception of a product. This can be especially challenging when the product is young and the team is thin. That is the situation I found myself in when we started payment methods as a product.
Payment methods have been at the heart of the business since the inception of Cellulant. Over the years, management of the different payment methods was not centralized and had been the responsibility of different product teams. Centralizing payment methods provided a great opportunity to optimize our payment methods and provide better acceptance rates. As you can imagine, it also included solving the outstanding issues that were inherited in the process, with a thin team. This provided me with an opportunity to not only grow, but also to exercise the skills I have learned over the years.
What’s the one problem you are best at solving for your clients/customers/market?
I love creating solutions: that’s my strength.
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Which have been the most rewarding moments?
The three most notable moments are;
1. When some customers who bank with some of our partners who we have been providing mobile banking services to happily commented on how mobile banking is assisting them in their day to day activities
2. When we released a new version of Mula (Now Tingg) there was a very positive article that was released by Biko Zulu and Caroline Mutoko highlighting what Mula is and how it will be of benefit to users.
3. More recently, seeing conversion rates growing.
What do you love most about working at Cellulant?
Cellulant provides both the opportunity and the environment to grow. As the saying in Cellulant goes, you will always be given bigger shoes to fill.
The leadership team is very supportive and willing to guide and mentor anyone to enable them succeed and fill the “big shoes”.