From UX Associate to Product Owner: A Conversation with Michelle Itindi.

A Glimpse into Product Development at Kwara


In a compelling dialogue with David, Michelle Itindi, the dynamic Product Owner at Kwara, shares insights into her professional journey, the innovative spirit of Kwara, and the impactful experiences that shape her approach to product development.

David: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Michelle: Absolutely, David! I’m Michelle Itindi, the Product Owner at Kwara. I lead innovative projects like Kwara Core and Kwara Connect, and I’m thrilled about the launch of Kwara Neobank. My passion lies in creating digital solutions that simplify finance, making it accessible and empowering for everyone. Off duty, I’m a foodie at heart; I love trying out foods from around the world. It’s like traveling without leaving my kitchen!

David: Could you describe what your work in Product looks like? How do you decide what gets built and what doesn’t?

Michelle: In product development, the key is to focus on solving real problems for our users. It’s not just about creating features; it’s about deeply understanding what our users truly need and how we can improve their lives. My team and I delve into data and user feedback to guide our decisions. We constantly ask, “What will have the most significant impact?” and “How can we add real value?”

Our vision at Kwara acts as our north star. It keeps us aligned and focused on creating products that aren’t just good but are truly necessary and valuable. This means bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise within our team to ensure that we’re not just building something but building the right thing.

Our product development process involves a careful balance of data-driven insights and genuine human experiences while staying true to our mission of positively impacting our users’ lives.

Michelle sharing her input in a product growth brainstorming session

David: Why did you join Kwara?

Michelle: It was the culture and the people that drew me in. My sister previously worked here and spoke highly of Kwara. Also, Cynthia’s inspiring talk at my campus really resonated with me. Their experiences and her words convinced me that Kwara was where I wanted to be.

David: Where you started is different from where you are. Could you tell us about the journey and transformation you have experienced at Kwara?

Michelle: I started as a UX Associate, focusing on attracting younger audiences to SACCOs. Understanding their needs led to my success in this role. Then, I moved to Member Support, where I got first-hand feedback from users. This experience deepened my love for product development, guiding me to my current role as Product Owner.

From her days as a Member Support Associate, Michelle’s experiences with users inform and guide her decisions in Product.

David: What is the most exciting thing about Product Kwara?

Michelle: The most thrilling part about Kwara’s product development, David, is definitely our team. We have a diverse group of brilliant minds from various parts of the world, each bringing their own unique perspectives and ideas. This diversity is our strength, fueling our innovation and creativity.

At Kwara, we’re building products and pioneering new paths in a dynamic sector. It’s like painting on a blank canvas of possibilities. Joining Kwara has allowed me to be at the forefront of this exciting journey, constantly redefining and influencing the course of our industry.

What truly sets us apart is our commitment to innovation driven by genuine collaboration and flexibility. Conversations with colleagues are always about pushing boundaries and exploring what’s possible rather than just sticking to the conventional. We’re writing our story here, ensuring every team member has a voice and plays a part in our success.

Our Product and Engineering Team in Action at the Daily Stand-up

David: What is the hardest thing about Product in Kwara?

Michelle: The main challenge is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Kwara’s fast-paced environment is thrilling, but it’s important to rest and recharge. This helps me give my best to the team and our projects.

David: What would you say are your favorite features and why?

Michelle: That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child, David! But if I had to choose, it would be our SACCO recommendation engine. It’s groundbreaking, the first of its kind in the industry, and incredibly fresh. This special feature opens doors for more people to join and benefit from SACCOs, especially the younger generation. In my earlier roles at Kwara, I realized that many young people found SACCOs intimidating or complex. This recommendation engine simplifies that, making it easier and more approachable. It’s not just a win for our users; it’s a step forward for the entire sector. I love it because it’s user-friendly – something I would use myself. Based on the positive feedback we’ve received, it resonates with our users too. That’s what makes it my top pick.

David: What is something a SACCO member or a SACCO staff member told you about our products that you will never forget?

Michelle: David, this one story will always stay with me. Once, while working in member support, I spoke with a member of the Meru PWD SACCO, a SACCO dedicated to helping people with disabilities. Her life story was both challenging and inspiring. She faced numerous obstacles due to her disability, from struggling to find work to not being able to afford school fees for herself and her siblings. Joining Meru PWD SACCO was a turning point for her. She found a new path through services like instant loans with fair rates. What’s incredible is her journey from those struggles to now being a member of the county government in Meru County, advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. This transformation really hit home for me. It showed me the profound impact of our work and how we’re not just building products; we’re empowering lives and turning our vision into reality.

David: How do product and engineering work together at Kwara?

Michelle: We work in harmony. There’s a lot of respect and collaboration between us. We’re all about adapting, learning, and improving together. It’s a great environment where everyone’s ideas are valued.

David: What do you think is important for people to know about Kwara?

Michelle: David, the heart of Kwara lies in our community-centric approach. This sense of belonging is something we extend to everyone who joins us. Newcomers are welcomed with open arms and guided through their initial days, ensuring they feel supported and valued.

For our clients, it’s about empathy and understanding. We don’t just offer solutions; we immerse ourselves in their experiences, making their challenges our own. This deep connection allows us to tailor our services most effectively and meaningfully. 


Michelle Itindi’s journey at Kwara reflects a profound blend of innovation, empathy, and community focus. Her leadership in product development is not just about creating cutting-edge technology but also about nurturing a culture of collaboration and understanding the real needs of users. As Kwara continues to grow, Michelle’s vision and approach remain integral to its success and influence in the financial technology sector.

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