It’s just been a few months since iHub was looking for a CEO to transform the hub to what is iHub 2.0, a less community focused project to a revenue focused space. Kamal Bhattacharya, formerly Vice President IBM Research Africa was appointed to run as interim CEO for a while as they remodel and design what iHub will look like going into the future. Kamal went on to take the helm of the company as iHub announced the move from Bishop Magua Building on Ngong road to Senteu Plaza on the junction of Lenana and Galana road.
All the iHub subsidiaries would be merged into one company, iHub and thus the recent move to Senteu Plaza a few days ago signaled the end of iHub Research, m:lab, iHub Consulting and iHub UX Lab. This has had it’s own fair share of orphans coming out of it.
iHub held a lunch party on the roof-top of Senteu Plaza, the space right above iHub which presently takes 5th and 6th floor of the building. The business model, at lease what comes out from the explanations I’ve heard include iHub as a co-working space with various packages and other project based items that as of now aren’t quite clear.
iHub is currently owned by Invested Development represented by Miguel Granier, also associated with the infamous Angani and other board members who include Bitange Ndemo, Rebecca Wanjiku and Ken Mwenda.
Now as the launch on Friday signals a new phase of iHub, a new development has arisen. The transformation CEO won’t be staying long. We have word that he is currently on his way out and headed somewhere in Waiyaki way in a green homestead. Yes, Safaricom.
Safaricom is starting the Safaricom Innovation Hub, something that’s yet to be launched, but was announced sometime late last year as coming soon. Kamal will be the new CEO. The innovation hub is meant to be the leverage Safaricom needs to develop locally instead of outsourcing research and development of products for it’s Kenya market.
With the exit of iHub and very little else in the incubation space, it will be interesting to watch what Safaricom has up it’s sleeve. But it can be largely expected that it will be the nursery of the future products that Safaricom rolls out to their consumers, whether related to their main product, voice and data, or totally unrelated. Let’s wait and see.