This week we are looking at one of the accounting software solutions in Tanzania called Joeh Solutions Limited Company. The Company deals with developing customized accounting software solutions to (SME’S) small medium enterprises. By providing these services they are solving a problem that most company in the country face which is lack of proper accounting software solutions. Joeh Solutions was founded by two people Mr. Elisha Mushaija and Oprah Kiondo, their tagline is ‘Forget your accounting software challenges, you have us.’ They are located at Kijitonyama, Dar es Salaam.
In an interview Mr. Elisha Mushaija sat down with Tech & Media Convergency (TMC) and shared their journey, the setbacks faced and how they are helping different small business with their services through the application of digital solutions.
The Attended Challenges
Joeh Solutions realized most of the accounting software solutions are from western countries, they do not really solve the challenges of the locals and therefore they wanted to have one that would carter for the needs of the locals because they understand their problems better.
Another problem they are trying to solve is the existence of one type of accounting software that caters for all businesses be it retail, microfinance or banks, for Joeh Solutions they are aim at studying your problem based on the type of business one owns then develop the type of accounting software that would fit one’s business category.
The Inspiration Behind
“What inspired me, was the experience one of my relative got who was running a catering business with a group of other people, the business thrived at the beginning with over 30 employees and it reached a point where it became hard to manage take into account the fact that they lacked a proper way of keeping their accounting records in no time the business went bankrupt, I came in too late to help and so I thought how many more people face similar challenges?”
“So I invested my time in studying about software programming, I remember there was a friend who owned a clothing store and wanted to have a system that would help manage her expenses , when she approached and asked help in developing an excel, I agreed but later on I decided that developing accounting software for her would be better, I did so and what I can say is, it was the best decision I made from their own the idea of having an accounting software company emerged and I worked on it.” He adds
Investing on Developing Software
Mr. Elisha Mushaija had the skills in developing soft wares and Ms. Oprah Kiondo was skilled in Marketing so they used their skills to invest in Joeh Solutions. Both being employed at that time was a bonus point for they used their personal savings to raise their capital. Having started with one employee and now five while also making sure they have enough savings to sustain them for future needs is quite an accomplishment.
Value of Accounting Software Services
Mr. Elisha says “When we are providing our services, we make sure to understand the customers’ requirement, the challenges and afterwards develop a type of software that would carter specifically for one’s business.”
“It’s difficult when it comes to payments for most customers want to pay once and for all when the service is done forgetting the fact that software changes according to the needs of one’s business so it is an ongoing payment it may last for one to two years but once one’s business thrives then the software needs to be adjusted or developed again to fit the current state of a person’s business.” He adds
Having proper accounting records acts as us a backup for all income and expenses incurred during the time of audit, this helps even the tax auditors to judge according to the data provided rather than their own judgment. It also helps Small Medium Enterprises to be informed about their businesses financial position, with the right financial records it is easier for one to know where they slacked off, where to improve and make strategic decisions when they want to shift the focus of the business.
Target Customers and Approach used
When they started the focus was only to small retail shops because that was where they saw the problem existed but after understanding the market thoroughly they found the problem to be bigger than they anticipated, they found companies that seem to thrive having no accounting software at all so businesses became their second targeted customers. Other target customers are hospitals, microfinances, Saccos and vikoba
“The development of our product called Smart Biashara (ERP) Enterprises Resource Planning, covers not only for medium but also large cooperation, the accounting solution product is very cost effective for the Tanzanian market compared to the one’s imported from western countries, the product covers all end to end business processes and through social media platforms and referrals we are able to reach our targeted customers.”
It’s Eco-System Positioning and Accomplishment
Mr. Elisha does acknowledge other similar initiatives as theirs in Tanzania but how they differentiate themselves, he says, “We invest our time in understanding thoroughly our customer’s business and make sure our services are cost-effective medium enterprises to large ones.”
Joeh Solutions being able to earn trust from big and reputable companies and Non-Government Organizations is a milestone reached. Another achievement is the growth of the company in terms of the employees; they started with one now they are five with different skills that help in running Joeh Solutions. Mr. Elisha’s only regret is wishing they could have started earlier.
The Covid-19 Impact
“I can say it was a 50/50 results, the software that we develop are usually cloud based making it possible for a person to work at any place not just the office, so this benefited our customers and they saw the added value of our solutions during the Covid-19 outbreak but on the other side we lost potential customers that we had from hotels and schools because they had to close down.”
What to Improve
“If we were to get more exposure from different traditional media be it radio, television, newspaper that would help market ourselves and increase our customers for not all people are users or active users of the internet.”
Lastly, Mr. Elisha tells us the future is promising and he sees the efforts the government is making in automation of systems in different sectors. The future is exciting for the future is technology and they look forward to take over the tech-market when it comes to software programming not only in Tanzania and East Africa but also Africa.
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