23-year-old Didier Serge Dushime is the mastermind of MEGABIT, a Kigali-based tech company that specializes in cloud computing, web hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting in Rwanda, Backup and disaster recovery services from East Africa. He started as a freelance software developer towards completing secondary school in 2016. With some computer science skills at secondary level, he equipped himself with more skills online that he wasn’t taught in school.
In 2016, he registered his first company and started blogging, from there he got his first gig as a web developer. When the national exam results were released, the web developer enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering at the University of Tourism, Technology, and Business Studies (UTB), juggling school and work.
While at the university, Dushime says that he developed various software products but unfortunately, they weren’t released to the public.
“I met other developers and we started an online media which didn’t succeed. This was known as the CV Builder. The app aimed to assist job seekers to build CVs, they would sign up and select from the available templates to fill in the details in the available fields, then publish the CV in a word or PDF format,” he says.
Dushime says that the app wasn’t successful because they lacked teamwork and dedicated personnel to sell the solution, as they were occupied with multiple businesses which is one of the reasons most start-ups fail even before they launch.
He says business owners always want to build the solutions even before validating the market and testing the solutions with the market. “For instance, we launched this app before testing it to see if it answered all the questions that the users had.”
With the lessons picked in two years of business, Dushime decided to start MEGABIT to help Rwandans who want to be more digitally involved at an affordable rate in a short time, just like it is in Europe and America.
“The company was registered in September, 2018 and started operating at Kimironko. I started alone with a few clients and as the business grew, I moved to the city centre. There, the main goal was to automate all our services so that we could serve people 24/7 and it was done within a few months.”
This, he says, enabled his company to grow faster and serve corporates with automation services, and even won two awards as the Best ICT Company in Made-in-Rwanda Expo, and Registrar of the Year by RICTA, a not-for-profit organization representing the interests of the Rwandan internet community, in 2019.
He says that the company provides managed Cloud-based IT services, and services are delivered as a package and are paid either monthly, quarterly, or annually. He starts by providing an online address (domain name), storage (hosting), backup, data security, and disaster recovery.
“As you know, in today’s business world, data is the single most valuable asset, and imagine if there is data loss, how stressful a customer can be, that’s why we are here to focus on our customers’ IT so that they can focus on what they need for their businesses,” he says.
He adds that all his customers are no longer in need of large IT infrastructures, rather, require a telephone or laptop with internet access, as all their applications and collaboration tools are with him, therefore, his focus is to serve the customers to meet their business needs.
Dushime explains that his company aims at digitalising businesses and helping them to save money and time, but also protecting the environment using cloud resources.
According to him, before the pandemic, people didn’t believe that it was possible but the Covid-19 outbreak pushed many businesses to go digital and run their businesses anywhere, anytime in their comfort.
So far, he notes that his company has 400 active customers who are serving over 10,000 people per day.
Some of the challenges he is facing are that most Rwandans are not skilled in ICT, a thing that costs time to convince them to use his services. Another problem is the lack of enough capital to grow the business to where he envisions it.
Before starting the business, Dushime carried out research and attained different certifications from Microsoft, Google, Oracle, VMware, Alibaba Business School, and Amazon, to understand the tech ecosystem and how Cloud technology can be used to solve the problems that local businesses are encountering .
He has so far employed 10 workers. His dream is to build the next African AWS (Amazon Web Services) and ensure that people can run their businesses in their comfort.
Dushime says that what fills his heart with joy is receiving positive feedback from his customers, after solving their complex problems, and ensuring that they’re satisfied with his services.