Kampala, Uganda | ISAAC KHISA | Patrick Adengo is the Managing Director at the Stalworth Consulting Group, LLC. He spoke to The Independent’s Isaac Khisa about the company operations and digital and technology sector related issues.
How would you describe Stalworth Consulting Group, LLC?
Stalworth Consulting Group (SCG) is a management and strategy consulting firm offering advisory capabilities that help organisations effect meaningful change through emerging technologies. We focus on digital strategy, technology advisory and inclusive financial services. Based in Uganda with associates located across Sub-Saharan Africa, our services provide high-level strategic, policy and investment advice to key institutions, corporations and governments that are shaping emerging and digital finance technologies. Our work includes market entry and growth strategies, business building, turnarounds and developing new products for key clients across sub-Saharan Africa. We drive and support clients in the public sector, social and private sector, among others, helping them turn digital start-ups and emerging products into impact.
What do you normally do?
Our approach combines industry experience in conducting due diligence, digital strategy, business modelling, product development and planning. We provide the local content across sectors and business functions to develop new technologies for all phases of the project’s lifecycle. We advise clients on productivity, competitiveness, and growth in emerging economies.
What were the key drivers to venture into this market segment?
Our main passion has been in technology, which is the prevailing incentive for change. Our objective is to grow emerging technologies for the upcoming generation. We believe that technology is changing fast and there’s a need to harness their potential for the country’s economic development across all sectors that is digital finance, digital currencies, digital agriculture, digital education, digital health, digital insurance and so on.
How do you promote/scale up these technologies?
We provide the local content for international partners and work at the micro-level with policy makers and regulators and the private sector to respond to the needs of the people and the industry by building capacity in form of resources to scale the technology idea from proof of concept to market phase. We also work with market entrants and provide growth strategies with industry agencies, the individual private sector players like financial institutions, banks, payment service providers (PSP) and mobile network operations (MNOs) to explore the innovations solutions that befit the local context and local market.
What is the state of emerging technologies in Uganda and sub-Saharan?
The sector is on the rise with Ugandans and regional players working very hard developing applications that actually function and the developers are open to new types of ideas. However, may be restricted financially and/or lack the resources needed to develop the new technologies across the sectors.
SCG seems to be virtually everywhere in the digital space, in digital finance, digital currencies, digital health, digital education among others. How do you handle all that?
We have a team of experts that we hire on contract basis depending on the needs and requirements of the project and client. A designated team of associate experts with specialist sector skill sets also operate across the continent.
SCG appears to be a little known company even within Uganda. What is your claim to fame?
SCG is an independent contractor for Deloitte & Touche, supporting Technology Advisory Services line of business, worked on the needs assessment, asset evaluation and strategy plan to determine the operational performance of Uganda Telecom (UTL). We also worked on the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF II) study project to identify and provide qualitative and quantitative evidence of the effects on the rural communities and the economy achieved due to implementing the Rural Communication Development Fund (RCDF II) project in five years. We provided technical advisory support to financial institutions, mobile network operators (MNOs) and payment service providers to expand digital financial services. We’ve also had the privilege to showcase the Digital Financial Services (DFS) partnership for financial inclusion to the Vodafone Ghana team to get a better sense of Vodafone Cash’s (mobile money) operations and share likely areas to collaborate with Ecobank Ghana.
It is surprising that there are so many buildings in town yet decided to take one of the virtual office spaces. What informed you of the decision?
Virtual office is proving that the workspace-as-a-service industry thrives in times of uncertainty. A lack of excessive funds and a booming entrepreneurial community has encouraged businesses like SCG to look for flexibility, and the serviced office model offers the most attractive and appropriate solution to a developing environment. The flexible co-working office space is the future of work and becoming the new norm in business due to the numerous benefits it offers to employees, employers and customers. The modern, flexible work space not only fosters creativity but it also improves productivity, reduces costs and ultimately, increases returns.
Where do we see emerging technologies in sub-Saharan Africa in five years?
We are going to experience an upsurge in the use of digital currencies, digital credit, digital savings digital loans and digital insurance in sub-Saharan Africa in the next five years. We live in exciting and interesting times.