Across the globe, paper production is a significant industry that contributes up to 3 percent of the combined gross national income of all the countries in the world.
The paper cycle is a wide range of natural resources with significant environmental impacts as it supplies depends on trees and so also the manufacturing of papers demands fuel inputs.
Asides from that, paper waste disposal contributes to the emission of potent greenhouse gas (GHG) which include carbon(iv)oxide and methane gas.
The emission of these gases of course is not eco-friendly, thus making them dangerous to the green environment and humans.
Paper products make up to 1% or less of the world’s carbon footprint, and while going paperless may not reduce drastically the overall global carbon footprint, it will ensure that that the 1% it contributes gets reduced to its barest minimum.
In reducing the level of carbon footprint on the African continent, Taaply a Cameroonian startup is digitizing paper business cards to reduce the rate of carbon emissions.
In a chat with Lekel Asonganyi, Founder and CEO of Taaply, he discussed how the startup is changing the narrative of carbon emission around the African continent.
Given that paper products make up about 1% or less of our carbon footprint, going “paperless” will not achieve significant reductions of a person’s or household’s carbon footprint.
A background on Taaply
Lekel recalled how it all started with his love for computers, spending much time in trying to understand how the computer works.
Lekel explained how this passion turned him into a “specialist” in solving any computer-related issues right from his childhood.
He literally became the go-to person to solve computer challenges for his families and friends.
Moving on from this to an entrepreneurial journey, the founder recounted the businesses he has created and lost, however stating that since 2008, he has always been consistent with owning his own business.
Discussing further on how Taaply came to be, the founder explained how he missed connecting with a lady because he couldn’t get to exchange contact easily.
“I was on my way to work one day and stopped at a traffic light. I saw this girl in a white vehicle and she looked at me back.
I could tell there was an immediate attraction from both sides because we smiled at each other almost instantly and waved.
I was running late for work so when the lights turned green we all drove off.”
Following this seemingly unfortunate event, Lekel delved into some line of thought, “What if there was a way I could get her phone number without leaving the car?”, “What if we could both shake our phones and instantly connect?”
Lekel thus started working on an app to easily exchange information.
The project started changing a little when Lekel noticed at his work how business cards are often printed.
According to the founder, he started thinking about what if everyone just has 1 business card that can get updated with information at any time.
“No more paper cards. Nowadays everyone has access to a smartphone and the internet. So this is the perfect time to bring the tech to the market.”
Following this development, the startup got incorporated the United States, in November 2019.
“I started updating my status with what I am doing and people kept on asking me what it is all about.
So I posted a video on Facebook about how it works and it had over 1000 views. My first ever video to have that many views. That was the birth of Taaply, Inc.”
Taaply achieving its mission and vision
Taaply’s mission is to facilitate and ease the exchange of information.
“Our mission is to facilitate and ease the exchange of information. How we are going to achieve that is by getting corporations to sign up with our Taaply Corporate cards which allows them to get lifetime access to our platform such that each employee only needs one business card for the rest of their career.”
According to the founder, the way their information can easily get accessed and changed via Taaply without printing new cards every time there is an update such as job title, address, and phone number change etc.
“We also want small businesses and individuals to use our Taaply professional and social cards for easy exchange of information.”
On achieving its vision, Lekel said that the startup is implementing AI into its technology to even further facilitate the process for its clients.
“We want to automate the process making it safe and secure simultaneously. Our vision for 2021 is to penetrate the African market because this is the perfect solution to go green and at the same time cut down on expenses.”
How Taaply works?
The founder explained that the digital solution works in 3 simple steps:
- First, you download the application on the App or Google Play Store. Create your account and fill in your business or personal information depending on the card you wish to use.
- Secondly, you can purchase your card from your local retailer or distributor available from our website or online.
- Lastly, once you have your card and you have downloaded the app, all you need to do is activate the card with the app and you are ready to start tapping and sharing your information.
The app is required only if you own a Taaply card so that you can update your information anytime.
If you meet someone you wish to share your information with, that person only needs a smartphone and internet. They do not need to download the app.
Taaply’s success rate since inception
According to the founder, Taaply has recorded over 1000+ with over 600+ active users since September 2020.
We have had a lot of requests from people wanting to be distributors and franchise.
We are currently working with distributors in Belgium, France, Ivory Coast, Chad, Gabon, Germany, Togo, Canada, Nigeria, Haiti and more.
“The traction has been beyond what we expected. We just signed up with Telcar Cocoa to provide them with our Taaply Corporate Digital Cards.”, Lekel added
Lekel admitted that Taaply’s journey hasn’t been an all-around success has there have been challenges along the way.
“It hasn’t all been success, there has been trials too such as having to convince businesses that Taaply is a better solution and because the technology is not used in Africa, it is even a bigger challenge.
We found more success in entrepreneurs with a tech passion and willingness to save money in printing business cards every month or 2.”
How COVID-19 has affected the paperless transformation
“I believe it has facilitated the process because right now with covid19 being easily transmissible via anything including money (paper), digitizing paper cards is the perfect remedy to passing paper to individuals. This makes our solution covid19 friendly.”
Any other thing about Taaply that is worth sharing?
We are very grateful for all the traction it is getting. We are excited and passionate about what we do and we aim at becoming Africa’s number one tech company taking other companies paperless and helping the environment.
Africa is a beautiful continent and we want to make Africa Great Again!
“We care about the environment and want to build a better and simplistic future when it comes to exchanging business or personal information. Paper business cards is a thing of the past.”, Lekel concludes
Featured Image: Lekel Asonganyi, Founder and CEO of Taaply
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