Fredrick Mbugua is a seasoned Engineer with over 8 years of experience in the Technology Industry.
He prides himself in being involved with engineering the first Augmented Reality Experience in Africa in partnership with Facebook.
Fred then transitioned to the product development department as a Product Architect. He was in charge of ideating and coming up with world-class products and solutions.
Today he is the Product Lead in charge of the Payment Links product that has been rolled out in Zambia, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda.
Here is all the insight on Fred Mbugua:
Where did you study and what did you study?
I studied Information Technology at Strathmore University. Then pursued Economics and Finance at Kenyatta University.
What drives you?
The impact that comes with the solutions I have taken to market from a Revenue perspective. I take pride in seeing transactions streaming into Cellulant Payments Gateways.
As well as seeing customer projects successfully go live after long days of hard work and making it possible.
What attracted you to Cellulant?
Developing an interest in fintech.
Slowly I started to shift focus from doing general tech support to Software Development.
I got to know about vacancies at Cellulant at about the same time and decided to give it a try.
Well, I failed my first interview (Java can do things to you if you haven’t been actively using it for a while). I had the spirit to retry. On the second attempt, I managed to sail through. Here we are today 🙂
What do you do at Cellulant?
Today I lead the Payment Links product at Cellulant and also support Digital Payments Acquisition from a Partner engagement perspective.
As a Product Lead, I am tasked with coming up with user stories that translate into product features. These features go into a roadmap that is delivered in terms of product version releases.
To make this a success, I work hand in hand with the Engineering team that bring to life great features.
The Project Management team also comes in to ensure we deliver on time.
Another big part of what I do daily is to ensure the product gets out there to the customers/end users.
I ensure the product works as expected and support merchants to ensure issues are resolved within the shortest time possible.
The last but greatest part of what I do is to collect feedback in terms of Engineering performance and feature requests to enable me to plan on how to make the product better.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career and why?
Biggest influence….hmmm, I would say I have more than one.
Geoffrey Muriithi – I call him Geoff. He believed in me.
I have worked on Engineering initiatives with him. From the time we were working hard to get Mula (now Tingg) to have as many customers as possible buying Airtime and paying bills.
The shift from Tech to Product Engineering was also largely influenced by him. He believed in me and entrusted me with initiating and taking ownership of the Payment Links product.
Kenn singled me out to work on the first Augmented Reality (AR) project in Africa through a Facebook Partnership.
He briefed me about the project. I didn’t even know what AR meant and just kept nodding during the brief.
Afterwards, I went and googled and started to question if I could do it.
But guess what, I made it thanks to the push I got from Kenn.
This Engineering project took Cellulant to many tech discussion Forums in Africa and beyond.
What is something you wish you knew earlier in your life?
Being more vocal and aggressive in terms of getting things to move.
I moved from a position where I sit back and expect people to do their job to where I ensure the job is not just done but gets done with the quality it deserves and within the acceptable time frame.
What would you say have been some of the most challenging moments for you?
At some point in my Cellulant career, I used to be a team lead, this is when I realized managing people is not just a skill but a talent.
You get to cross paths with people, others let you down when they make promises they fail to deliver, you have to be answerable for the un-accomplished expectations and so much more.
But throughout that journey, I realized that working with people creates a more favorable working environment as opposed to making people work for you.
Which have been the most rewarding moments?
I have plenty, but I would like to highlight two for now:
- The first one would be the revamp of Panama( our trademark for menu shortcuts, mostly used to power airtime purchase experience in some markets). The product transformed from one that gave people sleepless nights to one that people only think about when doing revenue analysis.
- Then came this Facebook project we did in Collaboration with Huddah Cosmetics. The project earned me my first Travel with Cellulant where I got to Engineer and network with a skilled team of engineers from Facebook and other Engineers doing amazing things from across Africa.
What do you love most about working at Cellulant?
Cellulant will always appreciate the efforts we bring to the table on our day to day work engagements and there is always progressive growth.
A dedicated employee at Cellulant will always be exposed to growth opportunities and it’s upon one to maximize their potential to reap the benefits.
Other employee Incentives like the recently launched Learning and Development initiatives ensure that one gets to grow their skill while on the job.#UnlimitedOpportunitiesUnlimitedGrowth.
Tell us a bit about your life outside Cellulant?
I enjoy hanging out with friends, and taking trips here and there – I am always on the road almost every weekend!
Additionally, I am also a great football fan so you would find me watching football almost every weekend.