Micro City is in a position to benefit from E.A.’s growing networking market as MD Firoz Rajabali explains
Discuss Micro City’s operations in East Africa
Micro City is a proudly African company with operations in Africa and the UAE. We have our main base of operations in the Ugandan capital Kampala where we maintain a warehouse as well as three showrooms. We also operate in Mozambique in Southern Africa as well as Rwanda. In the UAE, we have a showroom as well as a warehouse through which we distribute our products. We are looking to venture into Zambia soon. The move to Southern Africa is because we are already strong in East Africa while the South Africa region is also showing good growth patterns at the moment.
Discuss trends making waves in the networking industry at the moment
Wireless routers are getting all the traction at the moment. We are selling a lot of wireless products right now. In addition, customers want higher speeds and we have the 1Gigabit router in transit as we speak. But the Gigabit router is expensive at the moment but we expect prices to go down eventually. Some of the brands we represent include leading networking vendors like TP-Link, Linksys by Cisco, and D-Link among others.
The East African market is getting increasingly competitive as more and more resellers pitch tent in the region. How do you intend to stay ahead of the competition?
We have launched an online shop where our customers can order directly from the web. We have seen trends in Africa pointing towards rising popularity for online shopping. The internet is growing more and more with recent studies pointing to around 20% internet connections in Africa. On one hand, it shows that the e-commerce can be a viable option but also points to great room for growth in the continent.
What are some of the challenges that you are facing in East Africa
There’s a thriving counterfeit market in East Africa which negatively affects business for genuine traders. We are working, together with the rest of the IT industry, to create public awareness in Africa on the dangers of using counterfeit products. This includes potential damage to expensive equipment as well as voided warranties.
Discuss the outlook for the East African IT market moving forward
The African market has matured and now we do simultaneous launches of products in all the markets we operate in. Customers in Africa are on top of the latest trends in IT and demand the latest products as they appear in the rest of the world. Now we are about to launch the faster 802.11AC routers to our African markets.