Nairobi-based software solutions firm, Compulynx, has embarked on an ambitious plan to expand its services beyond East Africa as part of the quest to grow its annual turnover beyond the current Sh800 million to Sh5 billion in five years.
Compulynx, which already has significant foothold in Tanzania and Uganda, and now aims to infiltrate the larger African market, offers end-to-end technology solutions in retail technology products, digital identity management, fraud and loss prevention.
The company’s Digital Identity unit, which mainly uses biometric technology to service its clients, boasts a rich list of customers such as the World Food Programme (WFP), The Border Consortium (Thailand), University of Dar es Salaam, Kenya’s Equity, Family and StanChart banks, Orient Bank Uganda, and CRDB Bank Tanzania.
Compulynx has, over the years, used its world class products and services to continue to get patronage of these clients despite intense competition from global technology firms such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP.
“Our Kenya (and East African) customers have shaped us a lot over the years by continually challenging us and demanding quality software solutions. Now, many companies have helped us make our level of services the industry standard,” said Sailesh Savani, the Compulynx CEO who co-founded with Mehul Savani.
“Our products and services are now globally acceptable giving us the confidence to venture into other African markets. Africa is our focus because this is a market we know well and whose challenges we are well equipped to resolve.”
Top on the list of challenges that Compulynx uses its software technology to help business resolve is cybercrime and identity theft. A Brookings Institute report of 2017 says banks have become key targets of cybercrime, especially as more people adopt financial technology.
Africa, the report says, lost at least Sh200 billion ($2 billion) in cyberattacks in 2016 alone.
In East Africa, Kenya accounted for the highest fraction (Sh17 billion) of the total loss to cyber criminals.
Tanzania lost Sh8.5 billion ($85 million) while Ugandan companies lost Sh3.5 billion ($35 million).
Over one-third of organisations that experienced a breach in 2016 reported substantial customer, opportunity and revenue loss of more than 20 percent, the report says.
Mr Sailesh, a software engineer and management graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Business School in Boston USA, says political instability remains a big challenge to business on the continent, scaring investors, limiting growth and hindering financial access.
In Kenya, for instance, elections have continued to upset the economy with many weeks of litigation and street protests that are particularly bad for business.
“There has been transitions in Kenya and across Africa, which have hit the market very hard. Investors have been holding back investments, and access to limited financial resources is a big impediment to growth,” said Mr Sailesh, even as he expressed optimism that the situation is stabilising.
Founded in 1994, Compulynx entered the market at a time when there was a big technology gap and very few locally available software solutions companies, forcing businesses to source such services from outside the country.
But for more than 24 years now, Compulynx has entrenched itself in the East African market to achieve big accolades such as Kenya Vision 2030 Innovation Award, ISO-Certification, won recognition three times as a Top 100 Medium-Sized company, while delivering technology solutions to clients spread across East Africa in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and servicing more than 400 businesses in over 30 countries around the world.
The company also takes pride in having transformed over 3 million lives through deployment of its technology solution in humanitarian aid and relief disbursement across the globe.
Compulynx has 160 employees across East Africa, a group turnover of about Sh800 million ($8 million).
“Compulynx inner fabric of achievements feels gratifying and fulfilling and makes us aim to continue being relevant and more rigorous in reinventing to achieve more fulfillment besides the P&L and balance sheet,” he said.