Felix Mbugua: Meet tech enthusiast connecting Africa through web solutions
Felix Mbugua: I love empowering people and seeing that what we do has a direct impact on people's lives.
By Presshub Africa reporter
From Two Rivers Mall, law firms, medical centers, embassies, name them. One ICT firm has been behind web solutions for most remarkable organizations in Kenya, and region-Legibra Solutions Ltd founded in 2009. The ICT firm is now at an advanced stage of opening up a regional office in Rwanda to expand its services across Africa. Presshub Africa sat down with Felix Mbugua, the CEO and co-founder of Legibra, on his life, their decade long journey and the dream to top in Africa!
What gets you up in the morning?
The endeavor to touch people's lives. I'm always keen on the kind of impact I make in people's lives, both for our clients and even those who work for our brand. I love empowering people and seeing that what we do has a direct impact on people's lives. Right now, at Legibra, we have 22 employees, and it is interesting to keep track of how each member of the team is growing!
How do you feed your mind at 34?
I read a lot. I love books that expand my knowledge and enrich my soul! Books take me into a world of reflection and soul searching. You'll realize too, that I am into horse riding. I savor moments that I allow my mind to wander away!
Legibra has just turned 10, tell me how the journey has been?
After I completed my ICT studies at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, I began looking for a job. I met Kagai Macharia (my co-director), who was also sailing in the same boat. We met one evening and sat down, talking just about everything. It is during that occasion that the dream was born. We decided to combine efforts and come up with an ICT firm that would host all the websites in Africa! Big dream, right? We felt there was a gap in many enterprises on how they were conducting their business, and we had something real to offer.
It's interesting. So, here we were contemplating a huge vision yet with no capital to kick-start anything. We didn't have a place to operate from, let alone the simplest of things-a laptop. We pondered and pondered. This was not going to stop us. We decided to start small-looking for small jobs by word of mouth and working from cyber cafés. At times, when there was work that needed to be worked on overnight, we borrowed a laptop from a friend. It was tough.
What's your highlight as Legibra, ten years on?
For us, every project for us is a top highlight! Every project we have undertaken has contributed to building our brand. We do not discriminate! From start-ups, SMEs, to NGOs and corporate businesses, every journey has fed into our portfolio! I always remind my team to take every stride seriously!
Tell me. Did your childhood shape the dream?
I grew up in Kiambu in a small village called Ting' ang' a. Brought up by a loving and caring single mum who was always there for me. My mum is a gem, strict, and steadfast. Most of what I exhibit is a direct product of the values she imparted in me from an early age! Exactly what you get when your mother is a former teacher!
After primary school, you joined the prestigious Starehe Boys Centre. Tell me about your experience.
Oh yes! I had the privilege of schooling at such a reputable center between 2000 and 2003. I had a whale of a time at Starehe Boys. Here I learned about leadership and the virtues of hard work and discipline. The late Geoffrey Griffin (His soul rest well) would not spare any opportunity to speak wisdom. This firmly became part of us. I had a special interaction with him because I used to clean his office. You realize that the things you learn at a tender age have a way of molding your adult life.
What the best advice someone has ever given you?
Start and keep going. If you don't start, nothing will ever happen. Find the ignition and go!
Do you ever take work home?
Except for my phone that knows no time to stop ringing, I don't take work home. It is not healthy because it isn't all about work. You need to create time for family. I am married with two boys, and every evening they are always looking forward to playing with daddy!
What does family mean to you?
Safety! After that tiresome, energy-sapping day, you want to retreat to a haven and where else but home!
What is your biggest fear right now?
The volatility that is in the world right now! Increasingly, it is becoming difficult to tell what tomorrow holds. It is even worse for SMEs to deal with such a climate and still try to remain afloat.
Are entrepreneurs born or made?
I'd say both. Some are born while some made. You are lucky if you are both because it puts you at a point of resilience, especially when the going gets tough.
Is there something you wish you knew before you started the entrepreneurial journey?
That human resource is central to the success of a business. Capital, land, and everything a business needs are all important, but I've learned that human resources are key. At the center of every successful business, the venture is a resourceful human capital!
Do you love people?
You can't be a CEO of a company if you don't know how to deal with people. Yes, I love people and endeavor to build relations every day!
If you were to travel to a country you've never been to, which one would it be?
That has to be Indonesia and specifically Bali.
Are you a night or morning person?
I consider myself both.
What the last gift you gave to someone?
What do you want the world to remember you for?
I want to touch as many lives as possible! I want to create avenues of growth for young people to hone their skills and grow. I am fully committed to doing this!