Sunday, October 21, 2012

Inhabiting Planet Zoona

An organization is a collection of people working together towards a shared goal.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But building an effective organization with capable, motivated people working together in unison is incredibly hard.

This has been our biggest challenge at Zoona since closing our Series A investment in February this year. Since then, we have grown from 28 to 49 people across our Lusaka and Cape Town offices. This has come with its growing pains, as the new mix with the old and everyone is forced to adapt to a rapid pace of change.

But it has also come with a tremendous input of energy. To name but a few of our newest inhabitants of Planet Zoona:

  • Lelemba is our very own Financial DIVA. A Zambian now living in Cape Town, Lelemba has jumped into the Financial Controller role feet first. She is always on the lookout for opportunities to leverage her background in financial education to empower our Zambian staff and maximize employee experience for everyone.
  • John is our new System Architect. He practices mixed martial arts in between work and family time, and isn’t afraid to hand out push-ups if any of our IT developers go over their 30 second allocation in their daily stand-up meeting! We’re still waiting to see what he’ll do if someone doesn’t document their code properly.
  • Marian is our Consumer Payments Manager. Having moved to Zambia from Cape Town, she is applying her extensive mobile media and consumer experience to drive transaction growth through our agent channel. She also lives on a game farm outside of Lusaka with wild animals.
  • Randall is a Jamaican living in Zambia who has made it his personal mission to vault our Enterprise Payments product line to the top of our revenue mix. He’s so focused on this goal that it’s not uncommon to receive work emails at 3am from him while he’s on leave (shh just don’t tell his wife!).
  • Oliver is our new Zambia Operations Manager. He After his first day of work I asked how he was doing and he simply said: “I have to be here.” Since then, he’s “been here” 110% and has now added Customer Care to his list of management responsibilities.

I could go on and on about what I believe is a truly special team we are assembling at Zoona. What has inspired me about this group is how motivated everyone is to play a leading role in Africa’s economic rise. Everyone is genuinely bought in to our vision of a Cashless Africa, and we aren’t going to quit until we get there.

This post was written by Mike Quinn, CEO at Zoona