07 Feb Working for Kangpe – Odunayo Adekoya, Software Engineer, Kangpe
Odunayo Adekoya is a Computer Engineering graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and currently works as a Software Engineer for Kangpe healthcare platform. This week on Insiders, Odunayo shares exclusive details about his venture into the brand, his experience so far and his aspirations for the brand. Do read and share!
Working for Kangpe: An Insider’s Story by Odunayo Adekoya
About a year ago, I had a re-connection with the co-founder and COO of Kangpe, Ope Olumekun. I had previously known him during his days as a stockbroker back in school.We met at a tech conference where he and the current CEO, Dr. Femi Kuti had come to pitch their great startup idea to the already bubbling tech community in Lagos. At the conference, we talked, and he informed me about his urgent need for some back-end modifications for the Kangpe product.
He further asked me if I was interested in giving it a shot, he hadn’t realized that I had been I greatly impressed by the pitch and was already thinking about the possibilities that the new service could open up to every African. Although I was working on a personal project, an advert aggregation platform that shows you ads based on your circle of friends, preferences or location, which was almost close to completion, I was excited about the fact that I was getting rare chance to use my technical knowledge to solve real life problems. I responded to his request with “why not, how soon do you need them?” and a few days later, I joined the brand.
At the moment, those “urgent back-end modifications” that needed immense solving are still critical and have never stopped coming.
Kangpe is a healthcare service that allows people ask questions from real practicing medical doctors via a mobile phone with or without internet, any time of the day. Answers are provided within 10 minutes and are strictly confidential, so the users’ identity is not tampered with in any way. The product is currently the number 1 health and fitness app on the Nigerian Google Play store & has its support in Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda. The brand is now expanding to more countries across Africa and leaving footprints globally. We aim at creating a healthier society where a qualified doctor’s response is just 10 minutes away.
It’s one thing to claim to provide a service, and it is another thing to deliver that service as promised. My daily activity is to make sure that the technologies required to provide the core product services are always up and running. I carry out testing and debugging functions on the product a lot especially when users make complaints. I rewrite back end code daily to fix the bugs, accommodate our ever increasing user base, build new sub-services and provide data analytics which other units use for appropriate processing among other things. The best part of my week is our “standup sessions” where, in conjunction with the management, the technical team comes up with software-based ideas & solutions to guarantee that the product experience is as hitch-free as possible and leaves customers coming back for more. Sometimes, we come up with the most “out-of-this-world” ideas like online first aid kit or mobile blood tests and some days we just go the commercial route with ideas like medical deals. You should watch out for our A.I. generated answers coming soon! (smiles)
On some days, my code works perfectly on the local machine, I push it live, and then, some faults ensue. On other days, I type in a wrong command that causes significant production server downtime. I have come to believe that everyone thinks about giving up or backing out at one point or the other. At times, I get pretty exhausted from having to sit for long hours and at the end of the day, the sub-product I just created gets yanked off because it wasn’t welcome by the users. In such cases, all I look out for is just one positive review from any user, and I’m fine for a while.
The brand upholds the startup spirit that encourages trying and failing but getting up quickly before anybody even noticed you fell, and the tech team is a great proof of that. In all of this, I always look forward to the office get-together, as it becomes an awesome way to cool off. All the sub-teams are very tightly knit and share the same office space. Thus, I always get excited when I hear some business terms that I can relate or when some of my colleagues mention some medical or technical terms they picked up at the office. Being a part of this healthcare revolution in Africa and being able to learn from every process that’s making this reformation a reality is great motivation for me.
From the technical angle, my dreams and aspirations for the brand are limitless. We are focused on delivering top-notch healthcare to every African, and our qualified doctors are our greatest allies. We have huge plans of being on every single existing electronic platform whether mobile or not, supporting as many languages and drastically reducing the delivery time of answers from 10 minutes to “instantly.” Inventions like a live video chat with any qualified doctor of your choice from the comfort of your home would boost the brand’s usage.
To all my colleagues working for tech startups, my advice is to do everything it takes to make your end users satisfied. This includes having to bypass all technical protocols, asking questions, failing, learning and then moving forward. Also, as long as you believe in the goals of the startup you’re a part of, completely immerse yourself as much as you can in the daily improvement of the company. I have had someone complain to me about the odd hours that I do official work, but it’s actually for a good cause, somebody’s medical issue would be attended to during that period! In conclusion, do not forget to eat healthy food, rest well and catch fun whenever you can.