After a long hiatus, Jurassic is back in East Africa with a splash. M. Hariharasankar, Group CEO
Discuss your market approach this time around
We have all the brands in Kenya that we represent including Kensington, Energizer and Iris. We have a partner in place in Kenya who takes care of our business in the country. We are also now trying to expand our market base to Uganda and Tanzania. It is for that reason we partnered with VAR-MEA for their networking events in Uganda and Tanzania (see separate VAR Conclaves East Africa story). In Tanzania we have begun operations with a reseller base already in place while Uganda is next. Early indications point to potential for a lot of business in Tanzania. In Uganda, although the number of buyers is less, we found a very enthusiastic response for our products. The people we met during the Conclaves liked and understood the utility of the product.
Will you be having a direct presence in East Africa or work through partners?
Our approach in East Africa will be having a logistics partner through whom we’ll be selling or sell directly to the resellers. We have a dedicated team within our company to handle the African market. They visit the market quite regularly to meet the retailers and understand the needs of the market and how those needs can be met.
Discuss some specific solutions that you are hoping to provide to the market
Some of our products like Energizer could do well in Africa due to the persistent power supply shortages in the continent as well as the rising number of mobile phone users. We are particularly focusing on those segments. Even those consumers with ready access to electric power, they still need portable power sources so they can charge their mobile phones on the go. We are creating a market for portable power so consumers can be able to power their smartphones or laptops anywhere. So we are looking to provide energy solutions for those categories.
A lot other vendors and distributors are also expanding into Africa right now increasing competition and tightening margins not to mention a thriving gray market. Discuss
Competition is severe due to cheaper but lower-quality products. With the support of our vendors however, we always tell customers our products are not the cheaper brand but what we provide is value for money. Consumers will simply get more benefits for the money they spend. We educate the public on the use of our products and the technology behind our products. Jurassic stands for top-quality technology and we explain to them how it can help them in their day-to-day lives. To support our partners, we provide proficient marketing support of how they can popularize the brand while providing the support they need including advertising. We also provide training on their behalf to their staff as well as those customers who may not understand the product fully. That way we are able to add value to the products we provide.
Do you offer any form of integration or are your solutions disparate components catering to different segments?
We market our products through a 360o approach. A customer coming in with a laptop will receive a complete solution for their device. From a Kensington lock to secure the laptop, a battery from Energizer to provide extra power for the same laptop and a secondary adapter if the customer needs to use their laptop at home. All the products we provide are complementary in nature when you consider our product range that includes locks, SD Cards, USBs, hard disk drives, additional batteries etc. A laptop will ordinarily need 4-5 attachments and we are able to provide all these products in one integrated solution. We can bundle two or more of these solutions as well depending on customer requirements.
Perhaps the most innovative of the segments you are in is storage with ultra-high download speeds and oversized storage capacity now standard. How is the Transcend brand that you represent keeping up with the rest of the industry
In storage, we see that the typical USB market coming down and is now converging into USB 3.0 due to the need for ever faster speeds. HDDs are also now giving way to SSDs. A lot of technological advancement is happening in storage. Our customers benefit more from all this technology. In partnership with our vendors, we always keep abreast with the latest in technology. Our products are always changing as we approach the vendors and inform them what the market requires and where demand for certain products has gone down.
Discuss Jurassic’s recent and future expansion plans
We continue with our expansion plans across the region. Last year we opened on office in Qatar with a fully-fledged set-up. Qatar is a major upcoming market with a booming population. The constructing industry in the Kingdom is booming. The country is also hosting the 2020 football World cup so there’s a huge amount of projects going on. Our products are experiencing positive demand there. We continue to provide dependable and consistent services to all our stakeholders while provide value to their investments.