Musty Mustapha, Co-founder and CTO of Kuda • Techpoint Africa

Musty Mustapha easily comes to mind when you think of the high tech founders in Africa. The Kuda co-founder stands out in an industry that has glorified the college dropout stories of founders like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, seemingly as a benchmark for success. He graduated from the university with a first class degree and a distinction in his undergraduate and postgraduate studies, respectively.

On this week How i workMusty talks about his experiences and accomplishments over the years, what being a CTO of a bank involves and how he finds balance and remains productive.

  • Current role: Chief Technology Officer
  • Site: Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Current computer: Macbook Pro
  • Current mobile device: iPhone XS Max
  • Describe how you work in a nutshell: Productively

Briefly tell us how you started and how you got to where you are today

I studied computer science at the University of Ilorin, where I did a first course before obtaining a distinction at the University of Lagos during my postgraduate studies. At UNILAG, I worked with a software company called CBC emea, creating internal tools for the business and supporting business applications for its clients. I spent a few weeks at Keystone Bank before moving to First Bank, where I had the chance to build a lot of banking apps. I wrote the first version of the First Bank interbank transfer services and kept it until I left the bank. When I left First Bank, I joined Stanbic IBTC, where I was for four years. This is where I met my co-founder and started Kuda, then I had to quit to face Kuda squarely. I have assumed responsibilities at Stanbic and supervised teams of software developers, cross-functional software developers and teams in general.

What is your job exactly ?

I am both technical director and co-founder. As CTO, I am responsible for formulating the company’s technology strategy. As the chief architect of the company, I design our solutions and software, assign responsibilities to members of our team, sometimes I do code reviews. I continue to support some apps and give guidance as I have been involved in their development from the start. In addition, I take meetings, liaise with external service providers and make decisions about the technologies and people involved.

As a co-founder, the company also falls under my competence, so I am involved in activities beyond technology: operations, finance, HR and any strategic decisions the company needs to make.

Tell us about a typical working day.

To be honest, since we started the journey there hasn’t been a typical working day because every day is unique. But usually I say my morning prayer after waking up, after which I do some light exercise. I check our dashboard, which monitors the services, to make sure everything is working fine. Then I check my emails and calendar to confirm the meetings I’m taking. I take meetings with engineers, support and customer service to plan the day. Then for the rest of the day, even if I don’t like them, I attend more meetings, answer emails, or design new systems if they are needed for the day.

What apps, gadgets or tools can’t you live without?

On my phone, it will be Slack and iMessage. On my computer, Outlook and Google Workspace.

What’s your favorite shortcut or hack?

I don’t like repetitive work, so I delegate any routine task that cannot be automated.

What task (s) do you dislike but still do?

Meetings. Unfortunately, I must continue to have them. Sometimes if you are not careful you can have a meeting to schedule a meeting. Usually what I do is have someone represent me, when possible, and then I make a decision based on the feedback I receive. When this is not an option, I attend the meeting.

How do you keep track of what you have to do?

Most of the time, I keep mental notes, but if something needs to be done and isn’t on my calendar, I put it on the iPhone note or Reminders app.

How to recharge or take a break?

I sleep. This is the main thing. Then I play with my kids and play PlayStation games.

Other than work, what do you spend your time on? What do you like?

I am fortunate enough to do what I love, so I broke the line between work and play. Even though I don’t work, I surf the Internet or do research. I am also an academic and have research papers that I am constantly working on, although I have applied the brakes in this area due to my heavy workload at Kuda. However, I could go back to academics after Kuda.

What are you reading, watching or listening to now? What do you recommend?

I’m reading Origin Story: A Big History of Everything by David Christian. This is a book that I will highly recommend to people who want to understand how things have evolved, how things are and how they will be.

I subscribe to a lot of podcasts. I listen to BANK 2.0 by Brett King, who has been credited with pioneering digital banking; he is one of the people who documented their journey in the field of digital banking.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I was admitted to two universities, so I had to choose between studying chemical engineering and computer science. I was fortunate to have been exposed to computers and the Internet early on, and was interested in how they worked. But deep down, I wanted to study chemical engineering because my favorite subjects in high school were chemistry and math. But taking my uncle’s advice to study computer science had the most significant impact on my life.

With what you now know, what advice would you give your young self?

I would tell my young self to believe and listen to his instincts more often, rather than going the obvious and more comfortable route. I could have started a business at the University of Ilorin after creating a computerized testing system. I contacted the rector, who invited us for a presentation, and everything went well, but I couldn’t continue as I was juggling academics and the project. I was already about to graduate with a first class and had to be careful not to engage in activities that would affect my studies; the first class was important to me at the time.

What problem are you still trying to solve?

We recently upgraded our core in-house banking application; there is no bank in the country that has done this. The app has helped us immensely in terms of providing services to our customers. However, we are trying to significantly evolve our customer service and also automate many of our internal processes to ensure that we can fully serve our customers.

Who would you like to see answered to these questions?

Ade Bajomo, executive director of information technology and operations at Access Bank; and Babs Ogundeyi, CEO of Kuda. айм онлайн с 18 лет на кивить займ без омиссииеньги будут займ на карту

I write about media, technology and Internet culture.

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