It is not every day you push the boundaries of your comfort zone, doing something totally different: so new to you that it scares the life out of you. To Jackson Saitaga, Cindy Kinya, Eric Ng’ang’a and Kellie Charlotte the Actuarial Students Society of Kenya (ASSK) Product Design Competition (PDC) was it. Together, they came up with a product design that was dubbed Jipange Msee
Kellie confesses that the time they spent in preparation for and during the presentations will forever have a huge impact in their lives. She describes it as a life changing experience. Each day was a challenge that either brought out the best or worst in each team member. But as the common saying goes, the harder the battle the sweeter the victory and so they journeyed on. It was all worth it as they emerged the overall product design winners.
Being the first time Strathmore Actuarial students were taking part in the ASSK competition, they were expecting a tough competition. The Jipange Msee team as they were known, made sure that they had done sufficient research and that their presentation was nothing less than superb. The team competed against 12 other products presented by students from JKUAT, Maseno, Kisii, Meru, Karatina and Daystar University. Eric asserts that his major take home from the competition was that the University lays the foundation but all the creativity lies in our brains.
The team presented a proposed insurance product dubbed “Jipange Msee” which basically covers a University graduate in case of unemployment after 6 months of graduation. One of the company representative from Kenya Orient was impressed by their product concept. The team’s next milestone is to make some improvements on the product’s design as they wait to present it again in the upcoming KPMG Innovation Challenge. Later in the year they will present it during TASK (The Actuarial Society of Kenya) annual convention. The team not only walked home with a trophy and some goodies but also received an invitation from the University of Dar es Salaam to make the same presentation during their Actuarial Day.
Cindy asserts that for her, the Product Design Competition was in many ways exciting, scary and eye opening. “Exciting in the sense that it was something they had never done before yet it held so much promise. Being crowned the champions of a national competition is no mean feat. Lots of hours were spent between doing complex tasks like pricing the product to something as simple as what color of PowerPoint template to use.
Saitaga, who was the team leader admits that for him it was a very nice experience, having entered the competition for the first time and emerging the best. His advice to Strathmore students is to engage as much as possible in such events, to shape their creativity and innovation skills and to also see the country’s industry from the perspective of peers and mentors who already are in the industry. He believes that teamwork is a skill that played a huge role in them emerging victorious. It is his hope that Strathmore shall continue to top in such events.
Being part of the amazing team that formed Jipange Msee has changed each one of them in different ways and it is their hope that they will once again carry the trophy home during the KPMG innovation Challenge. The Jipange Msee team firmly believes in the art of innovation and the creativity it demands. In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz,
“Every human is an artist. And this is the main art we have: the creation of our own story.”