With a history of results in the Middle East, Spantec begins on its African journey. CEO Rajeev Pemmaiah
Why are you targeting the African market at this time?
Africa has great potential for infrastructure growth which has resulted in the need for technology and hence integrators. According to the World Bank, the African continent as a whole is expanding by over 6% at a time when the rest of the world is hardly registering any growth at all. This is resulting in a lot of demand for all types of products and services in general and ICT services in particular. Governments in the continent are collectively spending hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrading their ICT infrastructure as well as increased spend in education and healthcare, two areas we are particularly strong at.
Discuss the products/solutions that you plan to put focus on in Africa
IT Infrastructure solutions and Services-These include the networking solutions we have in our portfolio. Internet is growing exponentially in the continent and with this comes the need for networking solutions including LAN, WAN, networking visibility and security. We have partnered with some of the biggest brands in this area including Cisco to deliver world class solutions to Africa. Wireless infrastructure is especially exciting. Without legacy systems holding the continent back, businesses big and small in the continent are adopting the latest in wireless technology like few other regions of the world.
Which countries in particular are you looking to target initially and how do you plan scale out in the rest of the continent?
East Africa, like the rest of the continent is growing exponentially. However, unlike other countries in the continent whose economic destiny is resource-driven, this part of the continent is counting on ICT to drive their economies forward. Countries like Kenya have made ICT central to their economic take off. The governments and the private sector there have made tremendous investments in ICT infrastructure. It is this momentum we hope to ride to grow our own market share in East Africa.
What’s your market go-to strategy in the continent?
Our strategy is to build an eco-system of partners who have the reach to source projects and we will provide the technical know-how. We understand that there are very strong distributors and system integrators already in place with the requisite resources and experience in Africa. What we can provide is superior technology and knowhow acquired through years of operating in a very competitive IT market here in the Middle East. Our clients include some of the biggest names in UAE’s market spanning a whole range of sectors including media, banking and hospitality industries.
The African market is at a different level of IT development than your home market in the Middle East. How do you plan to offer relevant solutions there?
We have the capability to identify business needs and position solutions that meets them. Our strengths have always been in the wide range of services we can provide. Our services range from networking and computing, to security and communications. Many of these we can integrate and offer our customers a customized 360o based on customer requirement. The East African market is notable for the prevalence of small and medium enterprises. These may not have millions of dollars to spend but they still require quality IT services to move their business forward. All our solutions are also highly scalable so as these firms expand their businesses, they can grow with us.
Discuss the investments that you have already put in place in terms of personnel, infrastructure, etc.
We have the requisite infrastructure to meet current demand and have the capability to scale based on demand. Our personnel include highly qualified IT technicians who can be able to handle all complex projects thrown our way. This will be our main pillar in our African market strategy: the ability to provide our partners in Africa with the technical expertise to push their projects to successful fruition.