By Brian Tirok
This start-up has digitized business cards by providing an online presence with real time contact solution for individuals and business
Looking up for clients and business contacts in a particular field can be a tedious task, Business cards usually ends up stashed at a box somewhere and one spends an ordinate amount of time searching for it.
But an audacious Mike Muriuki has a solution for you; Livecard is the first online business card directory in East Africa with reference links of Business Individuals, CEO’s/ Directors of different organization to professionals, service providers, experts, an advisor, or decision makers of companies as it displays their business profiles, products and services.
A service dubbed ‘One business card a million viewers’ is networking technology without walls. And is fast picking up throughout the region, www.livecard.co.ke helps business or corporate individuals to package themselves in a single, portable, 205 x 125 interactive web container. A Digital business card.
According to Muriuki the product tends to serve both users and clients and the goal is to ease the tussle of finding business contacts especially from big individuals and companies.
“We wanted to give a solution to the irritable statement ‘kindly hold’ from secretaries, which is annoying to a lot of people, this service gives the user a direct contact to the ‘big guy’s as it facilitate business and save time. This also creates a network where business people are aware that unlike the normal print card they are aware that their card has reached millions in seconds”
The IT specialist who has always had an interest in information technology from a tender age has encouraged him to learn anything to do with the internet, ranging from online e-books to videos and also connecting with friends who were tech gurus like him.
Muriuki says that he saw how managing and distributing business cards was a challenge especially for companies.
“Livecard makes it easy, our web-based solution helps companies keep all their business relationships organized and can be able to contact them from anywhere, at any time, from any device: PC, tablet, or smart phone. It is an online business directory for company managers where we also get a chance to advertise their products on the online billboards” he adds
With the coverage across the entire East African Region, Muriuki says that the service has the power to increase business card’s exposure. “We spearhead marketing efforts to maximize a company’s reach and visibility, it guarantees everyday exposure to millions who use the internet every day” he says
“Internet is global and the business cards are accessed everywhere in the world but we have a very strong presence in East Africa because we dealing more on local content” he says
Muriuki attest that they have registered more than a thousand business cards, and a further number on the waiting list for 2016 as the number is expected to grow steadily.
“Every business card is verified as genuine before being uploaded thus the slow aspect of the clientele base. We don’t want to have fake business cards on our directory for obvious reasons” he says
Apart from running the livecard service, he also offers an online e-shop, event organizing and management, digital advertising for local businesses using online billboards.
According to Muriuki, Companies are embracing livecard he describes it as a fresh directory that is distributing their professional identity and at the same time showcasing their profiles, products and also services at low costs.
“As we distribute professional identity from the logo, company colours and well categorized branded e-shop, this ensures that our client’s brand is well presented as it gives them value as they are able to post their profiles and also their products and services” he says.
He acknowledges that the product receives 47,000 to 60,000 hits a day as he points out how East Africa is picking fast on the use of the internet.
“I would say the public response is really good. Majority of the people are using the internet every day to get information to shop or even learn. People are busy and so they prefer our directory as it gives one stop shop for contacts, products and services” he adds
“Every business has its challenges, technology changes every day and so we have to keep up with it so that they can be in line with our product, we try to adapt, same goes for those individuals too who have not embraced technology and understanding how a business works online takes some convincing and a trial period, so before we get to sensitize them it is a dreary task” Muriuki explains.
He points out that Capital is also an issue especially in acquisition of software, hardware and for marketing and advertising the product.
He notes that the main idea is to have livecard in every country in Africa so as to improve business communication between company directors in different countries.
“This will help in empowering the youth and lead the country to economic prosperity. In the short term we want to have all the major towns in East Africa featured on livecard for the same purpose of business communication. In the near future we are planning to venture into e-commerce and take this product to the next level” He said