27 year Old Entrepreneur Catherine Kiguru develops app to bust ghost workers and manage field staff



Tired of calling to know where your field employees are? A young Kenyan techie has designed and developed a mobile application that keeps track of mobile staff and those located in remote sites. It is called Akida.

Catherine Kiguru who runs an IT start up, Ukall, says the application allows users to report on their daily activities and receive important information using a mobile phone.

The system allows users to check in using a username and password and to take a photo of themselves, which they submit.

The application picks the GPS coordinates and a date and time log for attendance and facial verification in the company’s database.

The employees then use the reporting feature throughout the day to report happenings or give feedback, allowing them to attach photos to reports. The application also enables them to receive important notifications from their employers through an alerts feature.

“The first industry we targeted was the security sector, which typically deploys large numbers of mobile employees, often in remote locations.

“We wanted to address the challenges surrounding time, attendance and authentic payroll processing to ensure ‘the right people in the right place at the right time’, eliminate costly and ineffective paperwork and supervision, streamline operations and processes and address the perennial problem of ghost workers,’’ said Ms Kiguru told the Business Daily.

The application runs on any low cost smart phone with GPS and camera features and is available on Windows and Android.

Ms Kiguru notes that the cost savings realised alone rapidly out way the initial cost of phone acquisition, data usage and Akida’s nominal operating charges.

“I started building the innovation three years ago,’’ says the 27-year-old.

“I started out within a local security firm working with their staff and was tasked with automating their operations. Akida would not have worked without the support of HR data so I kicked off by building their back end solution,’’ says the innovator who is eyeing the larger East African market.

She explains that through research she was able to establish that most large companies handle their payroll on MS Excel, necessitating the need for her team to build the supporting back end solution called Upay, an integrated management information system with human resource, business partners, issuance manager and payroll modules. It allows for integration with other technologies.

She says that most firms that have embraced Akida have also embraced its supporting back end, Upay.

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