Adams Tuva talks of a well-structured system at the university that catapulted his entrepreneurial dreams to reality.
Some years ago, the higher education in Kenya was a morbid sector. As such, many people seeking to pursue quality education were forced to enroll in foreign universities, and often at exorbitant costs. Times have now changed. A good number of public and private universities have been established to boost the quality of education locally. Nonetheless, getting the right institution that will provide appropriate skills set for knowledge, growth, work experience as well as cultivate entrepreneurial abilities has proved to be a herculean task. Fortunately, USIU-Africa has changed this narrative in a major way. Edge magazine caught up with Adams Tuva, the chief executive and founder of Africa Blue Webs as well as an alumnus of USIU-Africa to unravel what accounts for his success as an entrepreneur.
“I have never regretted my choice of college,” he opens up gleefully.
At a young age, Tuva knew what he wanted in life−owning a successful business. Armed with this imminent energy to succeed, he knew a robust educational scheme would catapult his dreams to reality.After completing high school education, he settled for USIU-Africa amongst other competing choices. A decision that would later shape his life in a foremost way.
The information systems technology graduate hails from coastal Kenya. He comments that upon his enrollment to the institution, he was amazed at the cultural orientation. “English did not come out to me naturallyasSwahili was my first language.This was challenging owing to the fact that the University has many international studentsfrom multicultural backgrounds. Students spoke international languages and interacted seamlessly.”
However, with time he adapted and fit in.
His leadership journey also started right there at the institution.“Things happened fast, luckily I was ready to take up any challenge. I was electedas a student leader by the Affairs Council (student body at the University) for the school of business at my second year of study,” he recalls.To him, the experience was defining. He met and networked with industry leaders.
Tuva ventured into business immediately after graduating in 2009. He had secured a job while still a second year student which he kept until his graduation. Surprisingly, he resigned from the job the same day he graduated.
“I have always had an undying passion for entrepreneurship since I was a toddler. Coincidentally, it became a reality when at my first year of studies the then vice chancellor at the institution, Prof. Freidah Brown emphasized on the university’s objectives on all round student development.” Her sentiments−USIU-Africa trains people to become business and industry leaders besides realizing their academic aspirations.
For him, to succeed as an entrepreneur, he somehow had to employ unorthodox means. First, he learned from other people and from the surrounding supportive environment. Also, the drive for success was intrinsic.
Tuva says he always valued industrial training which gave him an early start. He gained firsthand experience of the corporate world, learning as much as he could while still a student. He built networks, interpersonal and communications skills which he believes are as crucial as technical ones.
Tuva passionately recalls his interests in information technology while still in high school. “I got a full scholarship to IAT immediately after O-levels before enrolling at USIU-Africa.”
It influenced his choice of business.
Setting up Arica Blue Webs
He set up Africa Blue Webs in 2008, an ICT and digital solution company. Starting as a small venture, it has grown in leaps and bounds to be the leader in the region.It now services over 300 businesses, mostly government parastatals and non-governmental organisations. “We bring a unique blend of services and opportunities to the market. Whether you need to define your digital strategy, an interactive online presence or efficient management systems, we promise a better experience. We study current trends in the market and channel customer-centric solutions,” he affirms.
“We value our clients and channel personalized services to achieve breakthrough results,” he adds. The firm’score business includes websites and software development, branding, 3D animation and domain registration.
To get a glimpse of what the firm does to ensure quality and exceptional service delivery, is its spirited ability to develop and nurture strategic partnerships. For instance, it’s in partnership with Kiambu County government and ministry of ICT. The firm has also partnered with Kenic to promote dot.ke domain. This is spearheaded through Buy DomainKenya (www.buydomainkenya.co.ke).
Adams was selected as a brand ambassador for dot.ke domain 2016 here in Kenya for his business acumen and programming ability. His responsibilities include promoting the brand and encouraging businesses to buy local domains.
Currently, the firmhas five developers and about twelvestaff in the sales department.As the current CEO and business development director, Adams oversees the day to day operations of the business. He trains, inspires and leads his team.
Asked what his success mantra as a business leader is, he alludes to well-defined structures within the firm. “At Blue Webs, you are either a programmer or a sales person which underlines professionalism.”
“There is nothing as tough as starting a new business,” he reveals. Fortunately, for him, it has been an exciting journey. He overcame various odds to build one of Kenya’s leading digital solution providers.
Africa Blue Webs also scores highly in corporate social responsibility. Through its initiative-Tech Give Back(www.techgiveback.or.ke) and other formidable partnerships, it trains and mentors young people on IT and how to start and sustain businesses.
USIU-Africa alumni association
Tuva is a member of the USIU-Africa alumni association. He donated a fund raising management systems for the school, used by the alumni.
Besides, he is in partnership with the university and alumni leaders to develop a system called Alumni Konnect, a first of its kind in the market. It aims to automate the whole interaction process for the alumni, help them get specialized services from members as well as connecting socially. He says, it is a milestone that will disrupt the interaction process among colleges and their alumni.
Through the association, he is in touch more often with former colleagues as well as the university. Recently, for instance, he spoke as a guest during the university’s career fair.
To this end, with ambitions to conquer Kenya’s digital world, he is forever grateful to the supportive environment at the university that nurtured his dreams to reality.