Sriram, a software engineer at PayPal, was a mentor on the Mentoring Women in Business Programme from March 2019 to March 2020. He told us about the positive experience he had working with his mentee Rahmat, who runs a software start-up in Nigeria.
Sriram became a mentor as part of PayPal’s partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Women in Business Programme, which combines mentoring with technology to support women entrepreneurs in over 100 countries across the world. He started mentoring Rahmat, the co-founder of Dexterity Logics, Nigeria from March 2019 as part of Mentoring Women in Business Programme. Rahmat runs a software startup and since 2016 has also been the Chief Technical Officer.
The pair got to know each other’s backgrounds, interests, families, and work. They also met at least two hours every month over the last year. Over a period of one year, Sriram helped Rahmat to gain clarity and direction for her business in addition to ensuring that she keeps focusing on the most important things. Sriram’s highlights from their relationship are:
- We were able to develop a strategy for Rahmat’s business by employing SWOT Analysis. There were many things that Rahmat was doing at the start of the engagement: a website building business, a POS application business, a software consultancy business in addition to attending a part time MBA class. This helped Rahmat to ruthlessly prune and prioritize businesses/ideas, so that she can focus her time and money on the most significant ones.
- We worked on how to expand and develop the POS (Point of Sale) application business through partnership. Rahmat engaged professionals (accountant, lawyer, etc.) to do the paperwork and signed-up an agreement with a partner for taking forward the business.
- We worked on how to share the revenue among the partners, considering the intellectual capital, infrastructure, establishment costs, employee wages etc.
- We conducted a detailed Competitive Analysis for Rahmat’s POS application business. Competitive analysis helped the POS application business to determine potential advantages and barriers within the Nigerian market. This helped Rahmat to take informed decisions on her core business strengths, engaging marketing specialists, target market and pricing.
- We devised demo strategies and acquired several clients for Rahmat. We also came up with a business model with value added services that brings in incremental revenue stream for Rahmat.
- We reviewed the technical aspects of the software including but not limited to building security controls, session management, validations, etc.
- We created a marketing video outlining the strengths of the POS application business. This will be used for future demos and would help expand the client base.
Looking Ahead: Rahmat’s next steps will be:
- Registration of the company with all paperwork.
- Consider registering her business assets (especially POS) for copyrights/trademarks.
- Try to increase the customer base and establish herself as the top provider of POS solution in Nigerian market. Her core businesses around POS/CRM is her strength. Add core features to her POS business. She may also talk to some persons who use your competitor products and find out more.
- Consider expanding into the hardware space of POS business, provided she sees the scope and need.
“Rahmat is so talented and is a super woman! She is one of the few people I’ve met who does several things in parallel and is also largely successful in most of them. Despite running a growing business, she appeared for PMP (Project Management Professional) Exam, was attending part time MBA with Obafemi Awolowo University, and was also taking care of her family.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the Mentorship Programme. I learnt a lot from Rahmat including but not limited to progressing on multiple tracks and juggling different things at the same time, continuous learning, ruthless prioritization, key partnerships that enable win-win, and prioritising quality family time. I also got a chance to experience entrepreneurship through the eyes of Rahmat (which I had never done before).”
“Being mentored by Sriram has been the best thing that has happened to me. After our mentoring relationship, I set out with higher energy ready to execute more sales strategies and utilise all the recommended advise from my mentor. Even with COVID-19, [after] run[ning] a scheduled offer and lifetime access offer and I was able to get new clients who opted for our services. I have now incorporated my POS app as a registered company with Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria.”
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