It’s been 7 weeks since I joined Arifu and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on my experience thus far. Being a recent college graduate, I was overwhelmed with the excitement to get this opportunity to work at a cutting edge impact business. To me, Arifu offers an excellent opportunity to apply my academic knowledge and build practical professional skills. 

Why did I join Arifu you ask? Firstly, I am keen to gain some experience in the agriculture technology space as it helps me combine my keen interest in agriculture and helps me explore infinite applications of technology.  Undoubtedly,  Arifu was the perfect fit for me as it leverages the power of technology to bring relevant information to those that need it the most; vulnerable communities that are challenged by information asymmetry to achieve opportunity and earn livelihoods. As part of my BA in economics program at The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, I wrote my degree thesis on the correlation between training and productivity in the agricultural sector, specifically for smallholder farmers. The geographical focus of the study was Kiambu in central Kenya and through my research, I discovered that there is a significant information gap in rural areas compared to urban areas such as Nairobi due to smartphone penetration implying digital divide.  This insight and challenge made me more curious to dive deeper and learn further about some of the market based solutions that are potentially solving this issue. My ecosystem research led me to Arifu and I’m grateful to get the opportunity to work in the Business development unit as an associate.

Upon starting with Arifu and learning about its product and services offerings, I realised the importance of partnerships’ function at Arifu. Further understanding, these partnerships have helped us reach over 1.4 million learners/users across Sub Saharan Africa while providing a low cost and a highly scalable information dissemination solution for business partners. Arifu’s interactive capabilities enable our partners to gain insights and bridge the information gap between partners and the last mile. Furthermore, I had always hoped to work within a company that is driven by making a positive impact across the board in our society. Changing lives and helping people thrive! I wanted to be a part of that.

My first day at Arifu typically felt like one does when they try something new. I was nervous, anxious, a little scared but mostly excited and looking forward to getting started with this new journey. It was a foreign environment with all new people and systems to me. The highlight of my first day was knowing that I had someone new just like me, Andrew Thiong’o, whom I didn’t know much about but got along really well with. He was equally recently recruited into the team and the support we offered each other from orientation and the introductory tasks assigned to us aided in quicker adoption into the working environment . It was comforting knowing that I was not alone in this new journey or environment because we assisted each other in getting settled into the unfamiliar system.

As a BD associate my responsibilities involve assisting the team with  building technical and strategic partnerships. Specifically, my day to day job includes communicating with potential partners, providing information about Arifu, writing proposals and tracking work. Moreover, the position means interacting with everyone in the BD team and being of assistance wherever and whenever they need. Being assigned tasks in different aspects has personally been a great learning experience thus far. It’s taught me to be quicker on my feet, encouraged me to take more initiative when getting things done plus think outside the box. My colleagues have played a huge part in helping me learn what business development truly entails and how they manage all their responsibilities beats me!

I know that Arifu is truly going to be a wonderful experience as we go along and the learning process will be ongoing. Being with the Arifu family aligns perfectly with my goals to gain the necessary agtech experience, travel the world as well as help bring positive change to our communities at large. I’m excited for the future opportunities and I hope to make a positive difference in the world as my colleagues, as well as our partners are. A step at a time!

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