Inside Kofi Adjei-Kyeremeh’s Journey: From Digital Marketing to Product Management
November 27, 2023 | 6 minutes read
“I have always been fascinated by technology. I vividly recall my first encounter with a computer during junior high school. I visited my teacher once, and I was completely captivated by his desktop computer. The idea of being able to perform tasks on the computer and then print the results surprised me. I was curious about how a computer could transform digital information into tangible, physical output.” says Kofi on how he first got interested in technology. “This experience is what got me interested in the big world of technology.”
While Kofi was an undergraduate, he studied agricultural engineering, even though his dream was to major in computer science. Despite this, his interest in computer science remained, so he took it upon himself to study computers and technology independently.
Taking on new challenges
“After school, during my national service, I had the chance to work in an IT role at my school, which allowed me to apply all that I had learned. This experience gave me a practical insight into what working in the field would be like. Subsequently, for my first job, I had the opportunity to work as a web designer in a startup, which provided me with valuable insights into the tech landscape.”
The path to product management
“As someone who has always taken the initiative to learn independently, I developed a strong interest in digital marketing. Together with my friends, I created an app designed to assist businesses in promoting their products and services on social media. This project provided me with an opportunity to delve into product management, as I oversaw the app’s entire lifecycle, from development to positioning and establishing frameworks to ensure the app met its primary objectives. Surprisingly, I did not even realize that I had been fulfilling the role of a product manager until I saw the vacancy for a product manager position here at Hubtel. So, I decided to give it a try, and here I am today.”
Before his current role as a product manager, Kofi began his journey at Hubtel as a digital marketing associate. “My role was to assist the marketing team in managing our social media presence. I then transitioned into the role of a mall content manager, where my primary responsibility was to monitor and manage all items on the mall. This involved ensuring that all items were uploaded in a timely manner with correct descriptions. I worked closely with business owners and customers to ensure that orders were processed and fulfilled promptly.” says Kofi. Reflecting on his journey, he adds, “This marks my fifth year at Hubtel, and when I look back, I can see how far I’ve come.”
More players with one common goal
In his role as a product manager, Kofi described his responsibilities as primarily functional. His job entails overseeing other product managers to achieve two main objectives: increasing revenue and increasing the number of active users.
“A typical workday for me involves ensuring that everyone’s interests are aligned with the overarching objectives and implementing measures to drive growth,” Kofi explains.
Behind the scenes of growing products
“At Hubtel, we practice agile product management by dividing tasks into sprints. This approach allows us to gather rapid feedback on product features and development. It is highly advantageous because market demands evolve quickly, and what is important to users today may not be essential in five months. As part of my role, I ensure that relevant metrics are attached to every feature or product envisioned by a product manager, enabling performance measurement. I also assist in developing designs or demos for new features proposed by product managers, which we present to stakeholders for approval.
In addition to these tasks, I regularly conduct weekly catch-up meetings with all product managers. During these meetings, we brainstorm, share ideas, provide feedback, identify areas of difficulty, and determine how I can be of assistance. My primary responsibility is to ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards our shared objectives, ultimately delivering products that our users love.”
Favorite product to work on
“My favorite product to work on has got to be the food product because I was here when we started with it,” Kofi says. “I remember when we began quick commerce; we had everything available except food because we thought people wouldn’t want to order food online. But during the COVID lockdown, people started ordering a lot of food on the app, which surprised us. So, we shifted our focus to food because we saw that people like buying it online. Out of all the categories we had back then, food became the most popular. Currently, in quick commerce, it stands as the fastest-growing product, and I’m proud of that.”
Favorite thing about working at Hubtel
For Kofi, working at Hubtel is one of the best things ever. “Being part of the team behind the leading fintech in Ghana alone makes me happy,” he says. “I remember that before COVID, we used to have a get-together every Friday. It was great because after a long week of working, we got to meet everyone, chat, and bond. Even though we do not have that anymore, there is the end-of-year party that everyone looks forward to. It is great to meet everyone and celebrate our wins together.” he added.
“Hubtel is constantly growing. Every year, we embark on new and exciting products. I am excited to be a part of this journey and contribute to the next phase of Hubtel’s growth. Hopefully, we expand to other African countries and develop impactful products and innovations that benefit people across the continent.” Kofi says.
And to wrap things up, Kofi’s favorite food to order on Hubtel…
“We have this delicious hot kenkey from Kenkey Unique (Big recommendation!). Oh, and one of the best things is that they offer different sauces you can choose from, even tomato stew. They are my go-to retailer for ordering Kenkey on the app.”
Isaac’s Inspiring Journey from Teaching to Information Security
October 31, 2023 | 5 minutes read
Isaac Apenteng serves as the Information Security Manager, leading Hubtel’s information security efforts. For Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we had the opportunity to sit down with Isaac to discuss his remarkable journey, transitioning from a teacher to an Information Security Manager. He also shares some valuable insights on staying safe online.
The childhood dream…
We all dreamed of a profession growing up, and Isaac is no different. He had always dreamed of becoming a teacher because he believed he had the gift of teaching. To realize his dream, he set his sight on earning a diploma in education from the University of Education, Winneba. Afterward, he taught English for a couple of years and eventually progressed to become a head teacher at a primary school in Kumasi.
Stepping into the world of IT
While pursuing his teaching career, Isaac found his interest piqued by Information Technology. This new interest led him to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSc. IT). After completing his degree, Isaac fulfilled his mandatory national service by working at the National Information Technology Agency (NITA).
Catalyst for success
Isaac reflects on his journey, stating ” Right after my national service, I got the opportunity to work at SMSGH, now Hubtel, as a customer support officer. Soon after I joined, a new product called the point of sale service (POSS) was introduced, resulting in the creation of a new department responsible for conducting Know Your Customer (KYC) analysis for all businesses onboarded onto the platform. I was fortunate to be part of this department, which laid the foundation for my career in compliance and security, as our primary responsibility was ensuring the compliance of all businesses joining the platform.
During this period, SMSGH was in the process of transitioning into Hubtel and working towards meeting the requirements for obtaining an information security certification. To oversee this transition, a new department was created. Within this new department, there was a vacancy for an information security manager, and I was appointed to lead and oversee it—a role I have successfully held for four years now.”
What my day to day looks like
Isaac shared “My days vary and can be categorized into two: Normal and abnormal. On my normal days, most of my tasks revolve around access control, participation in risk-related meetings and conducting training for new recruits. On abnormal days, I often receive alerts on phishing emails that staff may have encountered, instances of fraudulent activities requiring investigations, or reports of unscrupulous individuals exploiting Hubtel’s brand to defraud people on social media.”
My fondest memory since joining Hubtel
“A month after I joined Hubtel, it happened to be my birthday, and I remember receiving a cake with my name written on it. I was taken aback and thought, “Eh, what kind of company is this? It left an impression on me because it was my first official experience in the corporate world, and I did not know companies take the time to celebrate their employees in such a thoughtful way. It was a plus for me and I would always remember that.”
Recounting his proudest moment, Isaac shared, “My proudest achievement would have to be coordinating the implementation and maintenance of Hubtel’s Information Security Management System (ISMS – ISO27001:2013) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification. Hubtel has successfully achieved initial certification and recently underwent a successful ISO 27001:2013 recertification audit, resulting in the issuance of another certificate. This accomplishment instills in me a profound sense of responsibility and fulfillment, as it shows our active contribution to Hubtel’s growth.”
Tips to stay safe online
Isaac is responsible for implementing and maintaining security measures to protect sensitive data, not only for our customers but also for Hubtel as a whole, and he is happy to share some tips on how to stay safe online:
- Understand the pros and cons of each online platform you are using so that your personal information is not vulnerable to cyber criminals.
- Never share your credentials with anybody to avoid being compromised.
- See security as part of life. Stay well-informed and keep up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity trends and defensive tips to avoid falling victim.
“I am almost done with my master’s in cyber security and digital forensics” Isaac revealed, “and I aspire to further my studies in the psychology of cybersecurity. My dream is to contribute to society’s cyber education and awareness, as we still see individuals falling victim to basic scams and social engineering tactics.”
Hubtel is committed to handling your data responsibly and protecting your privacy with strict protocols and industry-standard privacy policies. Learn more at: https://explore.hubtel.com/legal/privacy-policy/
How Sazian Integrative Clinic Is Making Healthcare Payment Convenient With Hubtel’s POS
October 19, 2023 | 4 minutes read
Sazian Integrative Clinic is a medical aesthetic and naturopathic clinic dedicated to helping you feel and look your best. One of the most interesting things about the clinic is its commitment to treating patients using non-surgical methods and the payment flexibility it provides.
Why I started the clinic:
Dr. Gifty Awuni-Ellis’ first job as a Physician assistant in a small town in Northern Ghana opened her eyes to the persistent health problems people faced.
“I always wondered if there were a way people could be cured and would not have to visit the hospital all the time. I wanted to help people treat medical conditions from the root cause and not just the signs and symptoms.” The experience fueled a curiosity that led her to pursue a doctorate in Naturopathic medicine, a system that uses natural remedies to help the body heal itself, and later, she had the opportunity of training in medical aesthetics under the renowned Dr. Sam Assassa at Beverly Hills Aesthetics in California, USA.
How I began:
She opened her first clinic in a modest space at Batsonaa that soon saw remarkable growth. To accommodate the increasing number of patients, she relocated the clinic first to Tema community 18 and later to its current location at East Airport which was recommended by one of her patients. Now, in 2023, the clinic has expanded its presence with branches in Accra, Tamale, and Kumasi.
Our biggest challenge:
Sazian Integrative Clinic encountered two main challenges in managing its healthcare payments.
Firstly, their patients utilized a diverse range of payment methods, including cash, cards, mobile money, and bank transfers. This diversity made it challenging to efficiently streamline the payment processing system.
Secondly, their previous payment processing system had a drawback: it imposed a 24-hour delay on settling payments. This delay affected the clinic’s financial operations because money was not readily available when needed.
Hubtel to the rescue:
With this, it became evident that it was time to find a payment solution that could serve their patients better. To address this, they turned to Hubtel’s POS, thanks to a recommendation by one of their patients.
Hubtel POS addressed the clinic’s two main challenges effectively. It allowed for the seamless processing of various payment methods, providing patients with the flexibility they needed. Whether it was card payments, bank transfers, or mobile money, Hubtel’s POS could process transactions securely. This eliminated the need for cash transactions and the associated risk of theft.
Also, with the hourly settlements, money became readily available when required, significantly enhancing the clinic’s financial operations.
“After the switch, Hubtel’s POS has been nothing short of a blessing. It gave our patients payment flexibility, and we were also able to process payments quickly. It really did make everyone happy. Not to forget the hourly payment settlement it offered us. Coming across Hubtel was like a gift from Heaven.”
What the future holds:
“On a personal level, my dedication to healthcare knows no bounds,” stated Dr. Awuni-Ellis. “We are expanding our services to include Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist care and opening other branches in Kumasi and Tamale. In Tamale, our emphasis is on detoxification and reflexology. This is because we believe in the power of detoxification to rejuvenate the body and reflexology to restore balance.” added Dr. Awuni-Ellis.
“We have exciting plans to embrace more technology and provide advanced services for the benefit of our patients.”
The legacy I want to leave:
For Dr. Awuni-Ellis, her legacy and that of the clinic are deeply personal. “We want to be remembered as healers who left a lasting impact on the lives we touched. It is not just about treating physical ailments; it is about alleviating the emotional burdens that often accompany illness,” she stated.
It is her dream for Sazian Integrative Clinic to be a trusted companion on patients’ healthcare journeys, no matter which specialty they need. That is why she is on a mission to make healthcare more humane, more compassionate, and more holistic, all while embracing the possibilities that technology and AI offer.
Hubtel offers products and innovations that connect businesses with their customers. You can easily receive money by integrating your systems with Hubtel’s APIs, create invoices to take payments via card or mobile money, send bulk SMS to your database for payments or withdrawals to mobile money or bank accounts, and conveniently receive payments online through bank cards and GHQR using web checkout.
Tania, who had lived a greater part of her life in Europe, was determined to return home and start her own business while giving her sons the opportunity to experience the rich history and diverse culture of her motherland.
After a failed hair salon in 2019, Tania got the inspiration to start a grocery business during the covid which to many people was not a smart business move. But to her, it was an opportunity to help people get access to their daily essentials and her unrelenting drive to show the naysayers it was possible to return home and make it. Inspired by her sons, Tania named her business Two Guys Supermarket to serve as a source of motivation.
What started as an impossible business to many, considering the time of its inception, Two Guys Supermarket quickly grew from a brick-and-mortar business to a hybrid business. The business offers clients three ways of shopping. Either in-person, pick up or home delivery.
Drawing lessons from her previous salon business experience, Tania had learned the importance of getting everything right from the start. Given the nature of the grocery business, she understood the necessity of implementing a system to track sold items and provide real-time updates on stock levels to prevent running out of inventory. This is when Hubtel entered the scene.
With Hubtel’s POS, Two Guys Supermarket has been able to:
- Efficiently track and manage inventory, eliminating fears of theft.
- Increased sales by introducing payment flexibility.
- Saved time that would have been spent manually tracking inventory.
- Expedited payment processing.
With a grocery business’s demanding nature and its location in East Legon, a bustling business district, business had to move fast. In grocery shopping, time is of the essence, and any hindrance to the checkout process, such as payment acceptance issues or slow checkout points, could lead to lost sales.
Additionally, Tania’s lifestyle, which involved frequent international travel, required her to entrust her business to her employees. Thus, she needed a system to ensure the smooth operation of her business in her absence.
“I visit family in Europe during the summer vacations. So, I wanted to ensure business runs smoothly even when I am not around” Tania explained. Recognizing the importance of working smart, she took steps to implement the right systems.
Solution – Hubtel POS
The solution came through a friend who introduced her to Hubtel POS, a mobile retail software with a web management dashboard that enables your business to accept payments from mobile money wallets across all networks.
With Hubtel’s POS, the challenges of checkout and inventory management were effectively addressed, resulting in a better shop management experience. Customers could make payments quickly, whether with cash, mobile money, bank transfers, or cards.
Having access to accurate information about inventory and sales allowed Two Guys Supermarket to remain organized and maintain smooth operations. Tania says, “Hubtel’s POS saves me so much time. I do not have to take manual inventory counts and even when I am out of the country, I still receive notifications when a sale is made, keeping me informed about stock levels.”
Tania’s journey from Europe back to her homeland, driven by a desire to create opportunities for her sons and succeed as an entrepreneur, has been nothing short of inspiring.
With Hubtel’s POS, Two Guys Supermarket has efficiently managed various aspects of its operations, streamlined processes and increased customer satisfaction.
Tania’s commitment to her business and her customers’ needs propelled Two Guys Supermarket to success, proving that with the right tools and determination, every business can thrive.
If you are a frequent Hubtel user, we know convenience is your thing. We get it; that’s why our app is designed to keep things simple and hassle-free. We have some useful features up our sleeves that you may or may not have an idea about. Keep still; some may blow your mind.
We get it. Sometimes you just can’t keep calm after placing an order. You want to be sure your food is on its way. With our order tracking system, you get to know the status of your order. You’ll receive updates from the moment your order is picked up until it arrives at your doorstep.
There is nothing more frustrating than having high hopes for a meal and receiving the wrong order. Nope, not in our books. Our delivery codes feature ensures that you receive the right item from the right person. It’s simple. When the delivery rider arrives, they’ll ask you for a code which will be sent to you in app and via SMS, and you’ll be able to confirm that you’re receiving exactly what you ordered.
You perceive your day is going to be super packed? Here’s some good news for you! You can schedule your lunch in advance and get it delivered at the given time. So, you know what? Leave the trouble of getting your lunch on a busy day to us and have all the time and peace of mind to tackle what needs to be done. Sounds good? This feature is not limited to lunches alone. You can schedule your breakfast, dinner, everyday essentials and even medications to be delivered to you just at the time you want them.
It’s hard enough to memorize telephone numbers, not to mention account numbers. We promised you a convenient transaction, and that’s exactly how you will have it. With our smart favorite feature, you can save your most frequent transactions, such as airtime, data, bills, mobile money, and bank accounts. This makes all your future transactions easier and quicker.
If you already knew about the features we mentioned, congratulations! You are a Hub-star. But if you are new and have yet to experience the convenient life with Hubtel, now is the time. Let’s go!
Hubtel Pledge Supports St. Augustine’s College, in APSU ‘99 Legacy Project
August 17, 2023 | 3 minutes read
In a remarkable display of dedication to education and a commitment to giving back, Hubtel, a wholly owned Ghanaian company with deep ties to St. Augustine’s College, has pledged its support to the APSU ’99 Legacy Project.
The APSU ’99 Legacy Project holds special significance for Hubtel, as all three of the company’s co-founders—Leslie Kwabena Gyimah, Ernest Apenteng, and Alex Bram—are proud alumni of St. Augustine’s College, belonging to the ’99 year group. Their shared journey through the halls of this venerable institution has forged a strong bond between Hubtel and their alma mater.
The alumni of the 1999 year group of St. Augustine’s College on Saturday, August 12, 2023, unveiled the APSU ‘99 Legacy Project at the launch of the school’s 94th speech & prize giving at the Coconut Groove Hotel.
In a video communication to the ‘99-year group, the CEO and co-founder of Hubtel, who was a guest speaker at the launch of the project, Mr. Alex Bram expressed the significance of contributing to the APSU ’99 Legacy Project. “The road to quality education and the development of Ghana is littered with the achievements of people who attended some of the very best secondary schools in West Africa,” the CEO stated. “Secondary education is the bedrock of Ghana’s education, and it’s a very important gesture for us to continue this legacy in supporting our school and continuing what the pioneers have done.”
The CEO emphasized the importance of quality education and facilities for the growth of the country. With the increased pressure on school infrastructure due to the government’s free SHS policy, St. Augustine’s College, like many other institutions, faces challenges in providing a conducive learning environment. “Quality education requires quality facilities,” Mr. Bram continued. “That is the more reason why we need to support the project of renovating some of the facilities in the school to help the school move things along and also help all the students to enjoy the facilities that we enjoyed when we were in the school.”
The APSU ’99 Legacy Project is focusing on the renovation of an 18-room classroom block, a vital hub for countless students. The CEO revealed that the executive board of the ’99 group had approached Hubtel’s founders about the state of the classroom block, highlighting the urgent need for renovation and support. “Our help will go far in helping the school maintain the status quo and help the current students enjoy this facility,” he remarked.
To kickstart the initiative, Hubtel, through its CSR wing, Hubtel Pledge, committed a generous seed fund of GHS800,000 to the project. This significant contribution will set the wheels in motion, though it’s acknowledged that additional funds are needed to fully complete the renovation project and organize the upcoming 94th speech and prize-giving day event. The CEO urged all alumni to unite and rally sponsors to contribute, ensuring the project’s success.
Mr. Bram believes that the collective efforts to support St. Augustine’s College will serve as an inspiration to current students, guiding them to chart their own paths to success. “With the support and contributions coming from all over the world, from all Apsunians and from sponsors, I am sure it will inspire the students that these are people that have walked their path before and these people are doing very well,” the CEO asserted.
As the legacy project gains momentum, it is expected to leave an indelible mark on St. Augustine’s College, Cape Coast, and contribute to the ongoing growth and development of Ghana.
We’ve refreshed how you access your activities on Hubtel, and in the process fixed a few minor concerns, as part of our commitment and focus on serving you better.
These changes highlight key services you use for your daily activities; Payment, SMS, and Customer Insights.
Here’s What’s New Under Payments!
You can now create and share invoices as links to your customers and receive payments at any time.
Track all invoices created on each branch of your business with their corresponding statuses.
Links can be generated and sent as Simple Payment Requests, Full Invoices, or Automated Debits.
You can now view a log of all recurring payments and cancel upon your customers’ requests.
Here’s What’s Changed
Details of your sales activities are now captured as Transactions.
Extra income earned from reselling programmable services is also captured as Commissions.
Both your Transactions and Commissions are under Payments. This means you will now have to tap on Payments to view your Transactions (sales) and Commissions.
The newly designed interface provides access to valuable customer information that can help you learn more about your customers.
You can now initiate and complete transfers from “Transfer from Deposits”.
“Pay Employees and Suppliers” has been updated with a new look.
You can make payments in bulk using “Send from Excel“ and approve your transactions using “Approvals”.
A Simplified and User- friendly Dashboard
Your business dashboard has been modified to provide a more intuitive, real-time overview of your business activities.
Sending, scheduling, and viewing reports in real-time has never been easier with our Direct Gateway Messaging Service.
Managing your Statements, Cash Outflows, and Deposits
Your business’s settlement accounts can now be accessed under “Deposit accounts.“
Additionally, you can view statements of your transactions under “Settlement Statements.“
“Cash out flows” allows you to view and download a list of all your payouts and outflows.
Managing Your Account
“Manage Business” is now Overview where you see all your business details.
You can now assign two super administrators to approve payments on behalf of the business account owner under Employee Permissions.
Set up your bank or mobile money account details under Transfer and Settlement.
Manage the branches of your business from the “Branches” section.
Your USSD codes can still be accessed under the USSD page.
Introducing your Account Settings
Threshold notifications are now sent to you when you reach your API SMS and Prepaid account limits.
You can also monitor your employees’ actions through the Audit Logs.
The Error Logs provide insights as your SMS messages are processed for delivery.
With Automated Reports, you can now schedule when to receive your payment and SMS reports, eliminating the need for manual downloads.
Access all downloads initiated from the portal or automatically from the Downloads page.
There is now a simpler, instant way to insure your car.
Engineers at Hubtel today announced a simple breakthrough feature to buy your next car insurance sticker. Showcasing the new feature to a small group of car owners, Patrick Asare-Frimpong, Hubtel’s Head of Products, simply entered a car number, added 3 details, and selected a policy to buy. Within seconds a valid insurance sticker was issued.
“The idea of buying car insurance online isn’t necessarily novel. What we sought to do is to make it so simple and instant that any smartphone user can do it without any form of assistance. The team’s mission was clear from the get-go. Nobody wants to go through cumbersome forms, paperwork, and long waits for something as simple as a car insurance sticker”, he remarked.
To bring this to life, the team of product managers and engineers was tasked to work with insurance innovators at Enterprise Insurance, the leading insurance company in Ghana.
“Essentially, the success of this project is mainly because of the chemistry that existed between the team and our friends at Enterprise Insurance. The engineers were not just available to write code, they were passionate about seeing the idea come to life in the best way possible”, said Abigail Awuni, the Product Manager for the Car Insurance feature.
By carefully incorporating a blend of useful external data sources and a new form-builder framework, the team crafted a backend system that aggregates all the information required to buy a car insurance policy in the background so that users only provide very little information on the frontend interface.
In his remarks, the Engineering Manager for the team, Maxwell Cofie, said, “The introduction of a car insurance feature to the Hubtel app is quite a remarkable feat. Given that the users of the app are used to a certain level of speed and ease, the team had to ensure that we achieved an experience as familiar as sending money or buying airtime.”
“Over the years, the narrative within the wider insurance industry itself has been evolving, and we have been closely observing these developments in the market. When we made the decision to embark on this endeavor about 2 years ago, our goal was clear: to align with our company’s mission of moving Africa forward by helping everyone find and pay for everyday essentials. I’m happy that we have successfully brought our mission to fruition within the car insurance market,” Patrick Asare-Frimpong said in his closing remarks.
The Car Insurance feature will be available in the next update of the Hubtel app coming on the 31st of July 2023. To install the app go to hubtel.com/app.
Hubtel, Ghana’s first full-feature quick commerce platform, is celebrating its 18th anniversary as a trailblazing, wholly-managed Ghanaian tech company. From its inception in 2005 as SMSGH, the company has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from being the primary SMS solution-based messaging business to a fully licensed payment and digital transformation services provider. Upon reflection, a lot has been achieved over the past 18 years, however, it is the company’s ability to embrace and overcome failure that has been crucial to its growth and success.
The Hubtel Story
In 2005, two bright and ambitious undergraduates from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Alex Bram and Ernest Apenteng, set out to revolutionize how businesses connect with their customers through SMS messaging. Thus, SMSGH was born. Armed with an entrepreneurial inquisitiveness that was strange for Chemistry and Biological Sciences majors at the time, Bram and Apenteng faced challenge after challenge along the way to achieving success. As secondary school students, the duo ventured into various business endeavours such as magazine production, facility management, and event management. While some of these initiatives saw a modest level of success, most were unable to withstand the test of time. Nevertheless, these experiences served as a wellspring of knowledge for the young entrepreneurs.
Driven by their vision to establish a successful company, that not only provides employment opportunities but also delivers innovation, value, and impact to society, Bram and Apenteng poured their hearts into SMSGH. Five months after launching, the company recorded its first sale, and within three months, it had secured contracts with leading firms in Ghana worth approximately USD 6,000.
By 2007, SMSGH had already launched one of Africa’s first online SMS messaging portals and transactional alert systems for banks in Ghana. The company’s revenue grew to an impressive USD 1 million by the end of the 2007 financial year. In 2011, SMSGH solidified its position as Ghana’s largest messaging services provider after introducing a micro-billing platform that processed payments via subscriber airtime balances. In recognition of their ground-breaking achievements, Forbes Africa Magazine named SMSGH one of the Top 20 Technology Start-Ups in 2012.
SMSGH to Hubtel
By 2013, SMSGH had already established itself as a thriving company. The following year, investor interest in the business soared, resulting in numerous offers of investment. However, the team made a bold decision to turn down these offers, committed to maintaining the company’s Ghanaian roots.
SMSGH’s first financial year, 2007, was a remarkable success, all things considered. Good times continued to roll and between 2010 and 2011, the company saw a staggering 230% increase in revenue, with annual growth rates of over 100%. However, in 2013 and 2014, the growth rate slowed to about 30%, and by 2014-2015, it had further declined to 20%. This served as a signal that it was time to pivot the company in a new direction.
In search of the new direction, the visionary leaders joined The Stanford Seed Business Transformation program in 2016. The program’s goal was to transition the company from a primarily ‘messaging-focused’ business to one that prioritized payment and customer services. The result was the launch of the Hubtel brand and its flagship product, the Hubtel mobile application on May 12, 2017. On the back of the launch of the Hubtel app, what would become Ghana’s first super-app, the company began operations as a Payment Services Provider (Enhanced) following the receipt of approval from the Bank of Ghana in 2019.
The willingness to change and adapt, resulting in the transformation of Hubtel from a messaging-focused business to a digital transformation services provider is a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to growth, innovation, and excellence.
The Hubtel App
In the fast-paced world of technology, success is often accompanied or preceded by failure. This was certainly the case for Bram, Apenteng and Hubtel. Before the launch of the Hubtel app, in 2012, the company launched MPower Payments, a complete end-to-end online and mobile payment transactions solution that will enable consumers and merchants send, spend, and receive payments. MPower introduced the MPower Mobile Point of Sale application which allowed businesses to accept various forms of cashless payments. However, it did not achieve the desired level of success.
Hubtel faced similar challenges when it first launched the Hubtel app in 2017. The goal was to connect customers and businesses through the app and enhance and make the commercial experience more convenient and simpler. This goal was not achieved during its initial launch. Post launch, the Hubtel app faced numerous hiccups, system failures, and product defects. These issues ultimately led to a less than lukewarm response from the general public. Convinced they were on the cusp of something special, the Hubtel team persevered and launched a new drive to rebuild the Hubtel app and its accompanying platform. Within five months, the company relaunched a fully functional and refreshed product.
Backed by innovatively discerning leaders, a focused management team and a young and tireless workforce, things began, once again, to look up for Hubtel and in 2019, Hubtel received approval from the Bank of Ghana to operate as a Payment Services Provider (Enhanced). By 2021, Hubtel was processing nearly 8.3% of all successful mobile money payments in Ghana, according to data from the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Interbank Payment & Settlement Systems.
At the beginning of 2023, the company celebrated a significant milestone of over 500,000 app downloads on the Google Playstore alone.
Growth and Achievement
Hubtel has achieved remarkable success since its rebranding in 2017. The company received a full license to operate as an Enhanced Payment Services Provider in 2022, and by the end of that year, it had become Ghana’s largest fintech company in terms of transaction turnover and revenue.
Hubtel has, like its reputation, experienced a significant increase in staff numbers, growing from 60+ employees at the time of the rebrand in 2017 to a robust team of over 270 employees across eight cities in Ghana. Every department has grown by more than 100% in the past six years.
This extraordinary growth is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the team at Hubtel. They have been the backbone of the company, driving its success and ensuring that goals and objectives are met. The company values and recognizes each employee’s unique contributions to its collective effort. As the company continues to blaze new trails in the technology and financial industries, it remains a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work, dedication, and a willingness to pivot in the face of changing market dynamics. The creation, and wide use of the innovative Hubtel ‘super-app’ and platform that connects users to everyday services and local retailers is a manifestation of this.
The Next 18
Hubtel’s 18th anniversary is not just a milestone for the company but also a testament to the power of embracing failure.
“As a company, we have always maintained a startup mentality, constantly learning, trying new things, and embracing failure as a means of driving innovation. We are dedicated to leading the way in Africa’s digital future, with a clear vision to become the most useful company on the continent by providing a platform that enables easy access and participation in the digital economy for everyone”, Alex Bram said.
“Never be afraid to jump at the sun, you will never reach it, but your feet will leave the ground”, this African Proverb was quoted by Alex Bram in his speech during the launch of Hubtel in 2017. Hubtel’s journey, or jump if you will, is a story of passion, resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from setbacks. As Hubtel continues to expand and innovate, it remains committed to its mission of driving Africa forward by enabling everyone to find and pay for everyday essentials and keeping its feet firmly off the ground.
Congratulations to Hubtel, the staff and management and its founders, Alex Bram and Ernest Apenteng, on this remarkable milestone. Here’s to another 18 years of embracing failure and utilizing lessons learnt to spur on innovation and growth.
In today’s rapidly changing work environment, the traditional office setup is becoming less common. Employees today are seeking workspaces that are dynamic, personalized, and cater to their unique needs and preferences.
At Hubtel, we recognize the importance of a well–designed and functional office experience that meets the demands of this new era. To that end, we have opened three new satellite offices located in A&C Mall, Tema TDC Mall, and West Hills Mall to offer a cutting-edge in-office experience that challenges the conventional thinking about what a workspace should be.
“Running a tech company in Accra presents many challenges,” said Alex Bram CEO of Hubtel. “The daily commute through traffic, deciding what to wear, and making countless decisions before even arriving at work. To address this, we decided to create these satellite offices closer to our team members, leveraging modern technology and good internet connectivity to stay connected and collaboratively productive. Our aim is to remain attuned to our team’s needs and make significant yet small changes as we pivot along the way”.
The satellite offices are designed to provide an office environment that is tailored to the modern employee, with keen focus on hyperconnectivity, and stunning aesthetics. With hyperconnectivity, the satellite offices provide seamless access to high-speed internet and other communication technologies like video conferencing tools. This ensures that Hubtel employees are productive and stay connected with their colleagues, whether working from home or in the office. In addition to hyperconnectivity, the aesthetics of our satellite offices are designed to inspire creativity and productivity.
At Hubtel, we believe that a well-designed office space can have a significant impact on employee satisfaction and efficiency. That’s why we have invested in stunning design elements that create a vibrant and inspiring work environment.
“We are excited to announce the opening of our new satellite offices”, said Cornelis Rouloph Otoo, Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Hubtel. “These offices are to provide a conducive environment where our team members can work collaboratively towards achieving our collective goals. Our customers, he noted, may continue to reach us through our dedicated and responsive User Care team which is always available to provide support and respond to queries”.
Our satellite offices in major cities like Accra and Tema are revolutionizing the in-office/hybrid experience by providing a dynamic and personalized workspace that challenges conventional thinking about what a workspace should be.
Central Bank of Eswantini Visits Hubtel for Peer-to-Peer Learning
April 26, 2023 | 3 minutes read
On Thursday, February 23, 2023, Hubtel had the honor of hosting a delegation from the Central Bank of Eswatini. The visit aimed to explore the fintech ecosystem in Ghana and how Hubtel, a leading fintech company, has supported financial inclusion in the country.
From February 21 to 23, 2023, the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) visited the Bank of Ghana and other key players in the fintech landscape for peer-to-peer learning. Hubtel, one of the key enablers in the fintech space, was handpicked for a visit.
The delegation from the Central Bank of Eswatini and the Bank of Ghana were received by Hubtel’s General Manager, Mr. Ernest Apenteng, and other members of the management team.
The visit began with a brief introduction, followed by a series of presentations on the background and history of Hubtel, including an overview of the company’s mission, vision, and values, as well as its growth and achievements.
The main session focused on Hubtel’s operations and products, with presentations on different aspects of the company’s operations and products, including key products, services, and innovations. The Hubtel team also explained how their products and services are delivered to customers.
The CBE team received presentations on an overview of the regulatory framework for the fintech sector in Ghana and an insight into Hubtel’s relationship with its regulators. In addition to the informative sessions, the CBE team also took a quick tour of Hubtel’s offices, which showcased the company’s work environment, culture, and technology.
In addition to the visit from the Central Bank of Eswatini, Hubtel has also recently hosted a delegation from Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Post Office (ARCEP), Benin led by Lawuratu Musah-Saaka, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission, Ghana to engage them on the company’s product and quick commerce operations, specifically courier services. The visit aimed to share knowledge and experiences on how Hubtel has provided innovative and efficient courier services to its customers in Ghana.
The ARCEP delegation was particularly interested in understanding how Hubtel has been able to overcome challenges in the courier industry in Ghana and how the company has been able to deliver efficient and reliable services to its customers. The team from Hubtel provided valuable insights and shared best practices that have helped the company to overcome challenges and improve its services over time.
It is worth noting that Hubtel hosting visits from regulatory officials of the Central Bank of Eswatini and officials from ARCEP, Benin within a month, lends to the testament of the company’s impact in Ghana’s fintech industry. Additionally, this emphasizes the importance of collaboration between fintech companies and regulators in promoting innovation and financial inclusion.
Hubtel remains committed to working with regulators and other stakeholders to create a more inclusive and sustainable digital financial ecosystem in Ghana and beyond. As the fintech industry continues to evolve, it is important for companies and regulators to work together to create an environment that fosters innovation and growth.
Find and Pay for Your Favorite Events with ‘Event Tickets’ on Hubtel
April 6, 2023 | 2 minutes read
At Hubtel, we strive to make life easier for our customers. That’s why we’re excited to introduce, Event Tickets.
With Event Tickets, customers can now purchase tickets for a wide range of paid events listed by our partner EgoTickets, right from their mobile phones. The process is simple and convenient, allowing you to browse through a wide range of events, purchase tickets, and receive an e-ticket, which can be used to access events.
We believe that Event Tickets will further our mission to make it easy for everyone to partake in the digital economy. With this feature, we’re providing a user-friendly and convenient platform, where attendees can easily browse through a wide range of events, book and pay with their preferred payment method, and receive their e-tickets immediately.
For event organizers, Event Tickets offers a unique opportunity to reach a broader range of potential attendees.
We believe that ‘Event Tickets’ will change the way Ghanaians book for events and we’re committed to making the experience better for our customers as such, we are excited to announce that in the coming months, we’ll be expanding the Event Tickets feature by partnering with other event ticket vendors, to offer a more extensive selection of events. We’ll also be adding new features, such as the ability to filter events by location, date, and time, and the option to share events with friends and family.
Download the Hubtel app here hubtel.com/app