SprintHive’s Chief Growth Officer
Thuso Segopolo joined SprintHive in September 2022 as a Growth Strategist and Equity Partner from Amazon Web Services, where he led the establishment and growth of enterprise business in West, East and Central Africa. Currently, Segopolo is the Chief Growth Officer and he is excited about the growth plans that SprintHive has in the banking sector, Africa and globally.
In just over a year, what have been the most valuable learnings about SprintHive?
The people. I am privileged to have joined a team of very smart people with solid work ethics who enjoy collaborating to solve customer problems. I truly believe that a company that is badly located can relocate, a company with financial challenges can leverage its assets to borrow and turn its fortunes around, while a company with bad people is doomed.
SprintHive has strong values that are lived and protected by all of us, more important to me is the value, “make yourself proud”, the decisions we make and work we do must pass this simple test: will this make me proud? This simple concept drives our behaviour and pursuit to high quality solutions, relevant outcomes and always adding value in the work we do. I am a strong believer that “every work is the self-portrait of the person who did it; autograph your work with excellence”.
What are the two decisions you have made over your first 12 months at SprintHive that you are most proud of?
Firstly, with absolute certainty, joining SprintHive, where I reconnected with old friends, former colleagues, but, importantly, making new friends. I am grateful that my path led me here at this point of my career. This is an organisation where we work, ideate, design, have fun, we believe that we are stronger together and that there is power in diversity. Every person has the right to be heard at SprintHive and every idea is explored through the mechanism called lean coffee.
Secondly, being part of a hiring process that ensures we add people to the team who at least possess one additional skill that we need; our marketing and content creator is affirmation of how we insist on the highest standards in our hiring process.
What is lean coffee and how does it work?
Lean coffee is a meeting format that minimises the wastage of time during team meetings and to use the available time in the most efficient manner. At SprintHive, we adapted this to be a mechanism that is used every second week to drive ideation, all members of the team are invited to post a topic of their choice, each member of the team gets three votes to cast on topics of their liking. The topics are unpacked and debated in order of most to least voted for five minutes each, with the option to extend the time on a topic with three additional minutes (this extension must be agreed before the first allocation of five minutes lapses).
This will end with advice being given to the topic owner or the topic owner being tasked to write a two-pager on the topic (any team member passionate about the topic is welcome to collaborate); this has resulted in service improvement, policy change and creation of new services. Topics are not limited to work, as we have debated the best options between gas and wood fireplaces (I did change my fireplace to wood), and including working structure, which saw us continue working from home with compulsory office work on Monday.
If you had to choose, what is your single most exciting service SprintHive offers?
I am excited about all of them, but in the latter months, the Fraud Prevention Service has captured me as this service is an integral part of all our other services. The service safeguards businesses from fraud-related risks during customer onboarding. Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, we check for impersonation, document temper and third-party sources to prevent you from onboarding fraudsters. Machine learning-enabled reliable real-time data detection and fraud prevention on various documents. To date we have processed over 2 million verifications.
What have you learned about growing a company?
Being inclusive in carefully crafting and executing a growth plan must be based on data points to understand the customer problems and market opportunities that should inform the quantum of your investment in scale to your business. Through partnerships, we will expand to the rest of Africa and the world from 2023 onwards. Excited to go out and find partners that will be a valuable extension of both our sales and technical teams, who share similar values as SprintHive.
In terms of customer problem-solving, what is next on the list?
Banks struggle with automation and providing seamless experience on debit order switching. This problem is not unique to Africa, it’s prevalent globally; solving this as part of customer onboarding from another bank. Watch the space, exciting times are upon us as we add another service to advance our digital onboarding solution.
What sets SprintHive apart from others in your space?
We have proven that we can service the whole addressable market; our clients range from fintechs to traditional FSPs with legacy tech and span multiple countries. In the last 12 months, we have expanded in all three of our growth dimensions, we have gained new clients, created and sold new services and increased our automation success rate. We truly walk the digital transformation journey with our clients.
What is the business development process at SprintHive?
We never get tired of demoing our services to new prospects and various divisions within our existing clients bases (cross and upward awareness). The natural progression becomes a proof of concept that we take on risk as we believe in our solutions, but importantly, we are curious to solve new problems. Our partner community is an important part of our business growth across Africa and globally.
What is next on your growth strategy at SprintHive?
Scaling up our sales and marketing efforts as we prioritise growing our business in the rest of Africa and globally. We will continue with investing and improving our verification process based on customer feedback as we demo our services to potential clients that we will work with closely to solve their digital onboarding. This will be made possible through partnership, partnership and partnership.
To partner with SprintHive, you can contact Segopolo directly via e-mail email@example.com.