Sodexo rebrands Kenyan unit to Apptivate Africa, eyes public sector

Digital lunch scheme provider is looking to sign in more companies across Africa including public institutions after a successful two-year test run in Kenya.

The firm which was previously known as Sodexo Kenya Thursday changed its name to Apptivate Africa as it rides on growing demand of the scheme by local firms seeking to improve their overall business productivity by boosting staff morale and productivity.

“We have shown that feeding workers via the mobile application that will help employers motivate their staff. We have previously focused on private firms but now we are in talks with   Kenya’s public service commission to try and tap into the potential in the public sector” said Neil Ribeiro, Apptivate Africa chief executive.

Sodexo Kenya, an offshoot of global benefits and rewards firm Sodexo based in France, has managed to sign in close to 100 companies, with over 3,000 employees now enjoying their lunches through its first product, M-Kula.

Over the period under review, Kenyan companies signed into the scheme have seen a 12 – 25 percent rise in productivity.

Speaking during the launch, Grant Thornton’s People and Culture Assistant, Miriam Maina said the App has improved logistics of shopping vouchers and increased choices for employees.

“Initially, we were issuing the normal supermarket vouchers to our best performers which did not offer much variety and the voucher could only be used in one seating. With Sodexo, there is no logistical inconvenience as the vouchers are created and distributed from a web portal from the comfort of your desk. The users can use the digital vouchers at over 200 outlets and they don’t have to use it all at once” said Maina.

Merchants have also recorded increased business activities with majority signing in new bigger customers to boost growth of small businesses.

A 2015 Sodexo Kenya survey indicated that 71 percent of employees in Nairobi based organizations dislike their jobs. This clearly shows that Kenyans are looking for more than a pay cheque to like their jobs.  Feeding them would be a good way to get them fired up.

In 2014 the Kenyan Government identified employee feeding as a way to help drive productivity and amended the Income Tax Act to allow employees to receive Sh 48,000 every year in meals, tax free.

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