Every Year since 2011, Orange Uganda has been running Community innovations Awards (CIA) , a challenge aimed at getting the best mobile developer in the fields of Agriculture, Health and Education.
I remember my first encounter in this challenge in 2012 when i featured a social networking mobile app, when i really knew it was outside their scope. I just love Social apps and the thrill of engagement. Anyway, today I am going to point out why i think Orange Uganda through their Search for the best Mobile app developer in the fields above, have positioned themselves a dominant force in Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) and how this has favored them to be the Leading Mobile Innovators of the Telecoms in Uganda.
Scope of the Challenge.
Anyone living in Uganda will agree with me that Agriculture, Health and Education are some of the cores supporting our Nation, these fields though are facing a lot of challenges. For a telecom company to come out and embrace such challenges and make them their own is an extra mile. The big picture orange is looking at here, is that farmer down in the village being able to know what pests are attacking his plant or a pregnant mother being able to know what diet she should be on or even a student trying to pick a career being able to access that information very fast on their mobile device, doing that for your customer is better the short time bills they pay to you, because then you are creating a lifetime customer.
Corporate Social Responsibility.
The one thing i loved about this challenge as a developer, is the way Orange as a company puts its experts to your disposal. When you enter this challenge you go through a vetting process, to assess your idea and its business model. This is usually done buy a couple of Judges no big deal, but when you emerge a victor in this challenge, your team gets time with the orange Lawyers to help you setup your company, then you you are always given an internship to work with orange a specific period of time. You benefit from not only trying to work on your idea, but you get to work with a couple of the Company employees on company time to learn something.
The Big Picture.
This challenge is focused on University student teams. In some way it doesn’t make sense, if these guys want apps why can’t they get their engineers to develop the apps for them or better some experienced developers out of campus. That is where the big picture comes in. Most of the innovation of the big companies has come from Universities, Facebook, Google you add to the list. Targeting University Students is no mistake at all, these guys are hungry for success than no one else. I also think the university developers are a niche that is being ignored by all the other telecoms and taking a bet on them ain’t bad at all.
Am very sure if Orange ventured in the mobile play store business, they will get more apps than any other telecoms in Uganda because they have tasted the business and they very well know how to target their target partners and customers. I work with developers everyday and i very well know there is something they bring to the table but without corporate companies coming out to support them, they will just remain a bunch of junkies behind laptops, but when these companies join hands with them, this will be a beginning to a great and fruitful partners.
I tip my hat to Orange Uganda for Leading the Mobile innovations frontier.
What do you think about Mobile Innovations in Ugandan Telecoms, are they doing enough, who do you think does it best and why? Leave a comment below.