India tech firm Zoho target SMEs with software packages


Zoho Corporation Middle East and Africa regional director Ali Shabdar with Zoho Corportion President, Middle East and Africa Hyther Nizam during a press conference at the Trademark Hotel on June 30, 2022. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Indian-based tech giant Zoho has introduced a package comprising 10 software applications for small and medium enterprises, seeking to grow its market share where its rivals include Microsoft and Google.

The package dubbed Zoho Africa Digital Enabler (ZADE) will be available in Kenya starting Friday at a discounted rate of Sh585 per user monthly for the SMEs.

It is expected that its offerings will break the technology adoption barrier of pricing that the enterprises currently face.

“The plan is to remove the technology adopting barrier and help SMEs kick start their digital transformation journey, that will, in turn, help them stay nimble and quickly adapt to changing market conditions,” said Hyther Nizam, Zoho Middle East and Africa president.

The ten applications within the package comprise spreadsheets, safe email hosting, web conferencing, digital invoicing, word processor, file management, presentations, and team communication and team collaboration.

In Kenya, most SMEs fall under the informal sector, creating 80 percent of employment, establishing a new middle class and stimulating the demand for new goods and services. The informal sector is estimated to constitute 98 percent of business in Kenya, contributing 30 percent of jobs and 3 percent of Kenya’s GDP.

The tech firm founded by Indian billionaire Sridhar Vembu entered the Kenyan market in January 2021 to rival what the likes of Google and Microsoft were already offering.

It has more than 51 applications –all cloud-based- including email, finance, human resource, customer relations and marketing packages/bundles that businesses require to run their day-to-day operations.

Mr Nizam noted Kenya is the fastest growing among Zoho’s top three African markets thanks to the country’s superior infrastructure and internet penetration.

“Zoho grew by 47 percent this year in Kenya and unveiling ZADE highlights our continued commitment to this market,” he said.

Some of its customers in Kenya include electronics maker Hotpoint, renewable energy firm Solargen, HotelOnline, Maridady Motors, and the Kenya Bankers Association.

The company owns 10 data centres across the globe. They are in the USA, Europe, Asia -India, China, Japan, and Singapore- and Australia –Sydney, and Melbourne.

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