2006. The final year students from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, had just graduated. Most graduands from the department of Applied Geology were contemplating the next move that would get them into the Oil and Gas sector.
One of them was contemplating how she could join Channels TV station because she was sure she wanted to become a broadcaster. That was how Teni Stuffman began a journey that started from broadcasting and led to tech.
Teni began at Eko FM where she volunteered to work for free. From there, she volunteered at TVC at its inception and was employed as a part-time staff. On she went to Super Screen as a newscaster and reporter before she moved on to AIT and joined the morning show.
While she was with AIT, Teni covered the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Eventually, she was able to get into Channels and was a part of the Business Morning show.
While at TVC, she had come into contact with someone who was to deploy a mobile solution for the station. According to her, “I was really engrossed with the fact that your phone can communicate with the TV, that was a killer for me. I wanted to know how it worked and if it could be employed in other sectors such as Agriculture, medicine.”
By the time Teni Stuffman was ready to leave Channels, she was sure the next thing she wanted to do was in the healthTech sector. This was why she joined Vas2nets technologies.
The foray into mobile tech
Since 2009 when she joined Vas2Nets, Teni Stuffman has been a part of key mobile health products which include Dial A Doctor, Mobile Midwives, and Health360. All these products were health-inclined and reflect the passion she felt for maternal and child healthcare.
“I was so passionate about maternal and child healthcare because of my personal experience and what I had heard people go through. So, that drove my involvement in healthtech.”Teni Stuffman, Business Development Director of Vas2Nets Technologies
The results of her work brought on partnerships with GSMA, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton and Hillary Foundation, Hello Mama and others.
But Teni says that perhaps one of the most important highlights of her work in healthtech was when a lady called through Dial A Doctor, very scared and bleeding. The doctor was able to calm her down and walk her through the right procedures to recovery, all from the mobile health solution the team had deployed.
Besides the mobile health sector, agriculture was another field where Teni wanted to create solutions to several problems. She travelled to states in the North and West to have a closer interaction with the farmers and determine their real challenges.
A major challenge was financial inclusion. So the Vas2Nets team started looking at mobile solutions that could be developed to equip more farmers with financial services.
Teni Stuffman is not a programmer, and her work in tech has bordered a lot on business development.
“There is a lot of space to play in when it comes to technology and business model. While people often see the coding and analytical part of technology, there is also the business side of it,” she said.
While she is not into data science herself, she believes that data science and analytical fields are areas that can do with more women.
“There are still many challenges around, and it is a need-based thing. The need does not segregate gender and anyone that can meet the need can do that regardless of gender and continuous learning along the way is very important,” Teni tells me.
What drives Teni daily as an Executive Director of Vas2Nets? People. Seeing people break limits with the functionalities and services that a tech product puts at their fingertips. The drive to help people become better is the reason she volunteers with the Technical Community at Institute of Directors, and as an Associate at WIMBIZ.
What does a regular day look like for Teni Stuffman? She “prays, readies the children for school and gets into work. I work round the clock and attend to clients when needed at all hours of the day. I give myself a treat when I have worked especially hard and I just relax.”
Rest is sweet after working hard.
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