🎙️ In this month’s podcast, the final one for the year 2023, we talk about how iteration leads to success and also touch on the Zambian tech ecosystem.
Gilbert Lungu, the Country Manager for Cellulant, one of Africa’s “OG” fintech startups that has raised $55 million to date. Lungu has the chops to help us understand the Zambian tech ecosystem, having served as Head of Enterprise Sales for Airtel Zambia and Acting Network Enterprise Manager at MTN Zambia. He has led Cellulant Zambia since 2018.
💡 With a population of 19 million people, Zambia’s mobile cellular subscriptions have grown rapidly since 2010. Today, there are 99.1 mobile subscribers per 100 people. This growth has ensured that the appetite for mobile-related products and services has skyrocketed, as highlighted by Lungu.
It explains why fintech startups are popular in Zambia, with one report highlighting 57 fintech startups, most of which enable payments.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the uptake of fintech startups by customers even more, and there’s a generation of young people for whom smartphone apps are the primary way to get anything done. It suggests that there is a huge room for growth in Zambia’s fintech space.
📚 What lessons can founders take from this conversation?
First, every successful business is driven by a vision and a need to “sort out a problem in a particular way.” For Cellulant, that problem was first value-added services– ringtones and such- and initially, the myth was that the company’s founders scribbled their ideas on a napkin!
In the early stages of this vision, it’s common for the startup to be unstructured and for structure to only come as more people join the team. You won’t find much luck trying to fundraise without certain things–governance, risk management, etc.- in place. - Olumuyiwa (Contributor and Writer, African Preseed Podcast)
What to look forward to in this episode:
- Cellulant's origin story [07:46]
- Iterating for future success [12:24]
- Getting things done through teamwork [16:03]
- Cellulant's experimentation philosophy [18:44]
- Deep dive into the Zambian tech ecosystem [22:49]
- What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode?
- What topic would you like for us to feature on a future podcast?
Let us know via the hashtag #AfricanPreseedPodcast