CAPE TOWN - Irshad Kathrada, a co-founder in a local business called Slide Financial, started a business with his 2 business partners Terence Goldberg and Alon Stern.
They developed an app to change the way South Africans work with their money.
While in the United States, the trio used an app called Venmo which is owned by Paypal. Venmo provides a social way to pay your friends when you owe them money.
When they returned home, they discovered that something like this does not exist in South Africa, thus Slide was created. Going against the traditional means of sending money around, Slide works with any bank, any mobile network provider, anyone with a cell number or email address can send or receive money.
Developing an app, is not easy explained Irshad. "Creating an app is a challenge, I think because we're so used to fantastic apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp we forget what goes into creating one. We had numerous challenges and did all our development in-house as my partners are experienced developers", said Irshad.
"The challenge with with building an app or being involved with technology, is that you have to know it's going to change". "Whatever you built today will only be useful for a period of time and stay on-top of what you're trying to do", says Irshad.
As an Economist by training, with a business science degree and being able to work abroad Irshad wanted to use his experiences to give back to South Africa.
Here are tips to consider when starting a business, according to Irshad:
1. Isolate the problem
As an entrepreneur, one should think about a problem that you are trying to solve. For them, their problem was how to get money from one person to another in a easy, safe an afforable manner.
2. Understand how big the problem is
You need to know how big the problem is before you try and solve it. Find out how many people is getting affected by the problem.
3.Think of a solution
Do your research. Irshad mentions that looking at other business models around the world can be helpful. For them, they used Venmo. So taking an international solution and tailoring it to your local market can be a useful when solving your problem.
Irshad explains that putting a cost to starting an App or business is difficult and it depends on your idea. However, the human cost is what counts. This relates to how hard you are willing to work to get your idea off the ground.
When asked about the future, the partners at Slide would like the app to be a solution to all users globally. As currently, you can only send money locally.
Slide is available on Google Play and IOS.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE