By Mark Kawalya
Kintrack, an indigenous Democratic Republic of Congo firm, has developed an application-based system that can be used in fleet management, tracking vehicles and monitoring children. Founded in 2019 by Cedric Singa, the company offers tracking and remote child surveillance, with the service being used by households and companies in Kinshasa. All this information is accessible through a mobile application and is real-time based.
“We have specific tracker devices that we install on vehicles. To monitor children, we have a GPS-enabled watch as well as a small device that children can put in their pockets. These devices work everywhere, even in areas with no internet connection.” Cedric said.
The startup uses an application that runs on Android infrastructure to track vehicles, which enables logistics firms to dispatch and monitor drivers on assigned journeys. This system is also beneficial to fleet management companies because it triggers notifications when vehicles being tracked are over speeding, encounter accidents, or make detours. Aside from the child surveillance service, the application also has a phone tracking feature, which is useful if one loses your phone.
“The kidnapping of people in our cities, especially the abduction of minors, is getting worse every year, as are the vehicle thefts, which are many in the city of Kinshasa. In some garages, many stolen vehicles are stripped or given new identities and resold. The same is true of a few used car dealerships, where one or two vehicles are of questionable origin,”Singa said in an interview.
Due to limited resources, the firm’s services are currently only limited to Kinshasa, but the firm has hopes of expanding its footprint into other major cities in the DRC such as Kisangani, Lubumbashi, and Goma.
According to Singa, who bootstrapped the business using his savings, the major issue businesses like his face are the sky-high taxes the government charges, which impede growth. Secondly, unreliable internet has posed a real challenge to Kintrack forcing the company to move the server that hosts its platform to another country.
Kintrack uses a marketing strategy that involves directly meeting potential clients, such as cargo companies. This has proved successful due to the general lack of awareness about technology in the country, which makes signing up new clients difficult as in-depth discussions are often necessary.
According to Cedric, one of the biggest mistakes he made early on was spending too much time on social media looking for ‘magical’ hacks that would boost his firm’s sales. He believes this time would have benefited the company more if he had spent it concentrating on streamlining processes that would boost revenues.