Building A.I powered applications, South African entrepreneur Harmony Mothibe aims at developing chatbots, machine learning and automation to solve real-life problems and improve the quality of life in Africa.
Business Elites Africa sat with Mothibe on a series of crucial issues in Africa’s A.I tech industry. You can read the full interview HERE.
BEA: What inspired you to get into the tech space?
Harmony Mothibe: The challenges and problems that we face in Africa inspired me. I have always believed that African issues will always require African solutions. No matter how much we bring solutions from the rest of the world into Africa, they can never be 100% accurate because none of these people actually experienced the problems the way we do. Besides that, while growing up, I’ve always been interested in gadgets, specifically anything digital. I’ve always wanted to be part of the people who would work on the solutions or bring about innovation. So, I would say curiosity has always been fundamental to my interest in tech.
BEA: What have been your challenges in doing business in Africa?
Harmony Mothibe: The first challenge is finance. If the startups like ours would get the same support as the startups in other countries, for instance, in the UK or the US, I think it would scale fast. In the first two to three years, we need a serious cash injection to scale for most businesses like ours. And then use the cash to reach a bigger market in and outside Africa. Number two, I would say resources.
This is not based on having limited resources in Africa. We have resources. But the same resources that we the startups have, the big corporates also have. So, as a startup, we always risk losing skilled employees because there’s a firm that will double their salaries. The other challenge for us as a business is scalability. We need to spend a lot of cash injection into research and development, especially in different market spaces. I believe that every country has unique challenges, even though sometimes they might seem identical. They still need to put a lot of resources down to gather that information and make well-informed decisions before scaling.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH HARMONY MOTHIBE BY CLICKING OR TAPPING HERE!