#TechChat: Grasping Team Dynamics with Kelvin Nyame, CEO of meQasa
As you might have already have read in my bio here on Mfidie.com, I am currently an EIT at MEST Africa.
Some EITs here at MEST had the opportunity to have a sort of QnA session with Kelvin Nyame, the CEO of meQasa.
meQasa was started by 3 co-founders while they were at MEST and the company currently has 18 employees.
So yeah, here are the questions and answers. Note that they have not been “perfectly” transcribed (word for word).
How did you choose between competing products for meQasa?
It shouldn’t be difficult when you and your investor are on the same page. In the case of meQasa, the investors know the online classifieds scene and the Ghanaian team knows the local market. So it’s a perfect blend.
How did you and your co-founders choose yourself?
When I first came to MEST, we were about 22.
In entrepreneurship, it takes a long time to figure out your business model. While at MEST, I worked with different people and by my values, I asked myself: “Which people I would like to work with?”
You look at the results other EITs present and you can know the kind of people they are.
I wanted a 3 member team because it was easier to manage and helps in the whole equity sharing ratio so everyone is happier.
The most important thing was the idea we came about.
We came up with an initial idea which was suited for the fashion industry. We, however, realised that we didn’t have the expertise to continue with the idea.
We [team members] had like one month and we came up with meQasa, and here we are.
How has team dynamics changed over the years?
We looked at our strengths and weaknesses in the beginning stages of our project. One main question we asked each other was: “What can you do?”.
Once that was answered, we moved on to what else we could do. So we moved from core strength and started to list the additional things we could do.
Always remember that Culture and Values are important.
I became a real estate agent, taking pictures of properties, speaking to agents and prospective clients about why they should choose meQasa.
As a team, we tried to build value that competitors could not buy with money and that is what has gotten us far.
As CEO, trust is important and I trusted my co-founders as they also trusted me. We continually all met to measure progress and discuss the way forward and try to think about what we could do better.
Do you have a mission statement that you decided on as co-founders, and was it something that you transfer to all employees?
It was more about Values and transferring those values to new people that you hire. I tried to be available at almost every hire.
What was the value that helped your company stay above competitors?
I am a hustler. I started with an Internet Cafe somewhere at Labadi. Then I moved to start a remedial school to price it lower than what the competition offered.
As an Entrepreneur. you need to understand what kind of problem you want to solve.
For us, some people were doing what we do already, but we decided to get closer to clients find out what they really wanted and solve it for them.
How did your team decide to focus on meQasa when you guys already had other ideas?
We had a very open conversation. At lunch somewhere, we critically examined the idea of meQasa, and gave ourselves very realistic targets.
We agreed collectively to do meQasa, while remaining very realistic to the idea.
Do Archetypes play a good role in building a team and when hiring?
Yes and No.
There was a little type of archetype focus and also following guts.
You need to be emotionally intelligent to read people. You want to know what they want to do in 5 years and in working with you, do you think it’s going to work?
What has been your biggest mistake at meQasa?
A lot of mistakes but the biggest one was our business model. We focused on the US market to develop our business model and realised later on that it was not working so well.
We had to go around and change our model all over again.
Talking about the problems of the founding team, we always had to focus on the bigger picture and the vision and how to make it work. We agreed that if there were two founders, major decisions could be reached and that would be fine.
How do you measure commitment as a team based on your different skill sets?
There are different ways. One way is Values. Another important one is the deliverables. Every task has a target and we measure it.
meQasa helps you find residential and commercial properties to rent or buy in Ghana. The website features thousands of options in the capital of Accra, Tema, and the other regions, whether you are looking to buy or rent a new home or office space.
meQasa is your total solutions partner as you go through your property search, offering countless housing alternatives as well as offline support and expert advice on the real estate industry in Ghana.