Neil Ribeiro, CEO, Sodexo Kenya with the award

A Kenyan app that pioneered a digital meal voucher has won an continental award.

M-Kula, an innovative solution for feeding employees has scooped one of the seven Hub African awards. This indicates how Kenyan companies are embracing technology.

The company won the 2018 Hub Africa Innovative Company of the year award for making digital meal vouchers – dubbed M-Kula – a very simple solution to solve major corporate and social challenges for employers..

“We settled on digital lunch vouchers because food is a very important component in the labour market yet it is often ignored. Food helps drive productivity and motivation and ultimately a company’s bottom line. Numerous studies have shown that there is a world of difference between companies that offer their staff lunch and those that don’t. We have also proven it in Kenya,” said Neil Ribeiro, the CEO of Sodexo Kenya.

During the awarding ceremony which took place in Casablanca, Morocco, Ribeiro said that it was truly an honour  to win the award. He said the service has impacted employees in a positive way and improved companies productivity. .

The development of Sodexo Kenya’s M-Kula app was motivated by the Kenya Finance Act 2014 that exempts from taxation food offered to employees for up to Sh48,000 every year, the equivalent of Sh4,000 a month.

The service which is available on IOS and Android platforms is accepted in over 230 restaurant and vibandas, where one can order and pay in the same way customers purchase goods and services through M-pesa and also allows customers to pay for meals delivered to the office

“Upon introduction of M-Kula to other organizations, in a span of 1-3 months the companies have experienced improvement in Employee productivity of 12- 24 percent as well as reduction in employee absenteeism,” added Ribeiro.

The award had over 1000 entries of across Africa out of which only seven won awards. These included, woman entrepreneur of the year award, Grand price Hub Africa, South-South Corporation of the year award, Social impact of the year award, Favourite Hub Africa prize of the jury and the Government entrepreneur of the year award.

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