Africa|Business|Manufacturing|Service|Services|Solar|Technology|Manufacturing |Operations
Africa|Business|Manufacturing|Service|Services|Solar|Technology|Manufacturing |Operations

Zoho opening new offices in Africa following good growth

28th November 2022

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


Font size: - +

Cloud and software as a service multinational Zoho will open new offices in Johannesburg and in Nairobi, Kenya, in the first quarter of next year.

The company also has a team working out of Lagos, Nigeria, and will open new offices in two further African countries during the coming year, said Zoho Middle East and Africa (MEA) regional director Ali Shabdar during a media briefing on November 28.

Addressing attendees at its Zoholics Johannesburg conference, he said Zoho had experienced good growth in MEA over the past four years, first opening its offices and regional headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2018 and then in Cape Town. It achieved 29% growth in revenue in the region during 2020 and 52% in 2021. Its 2022 numbers have not yet been released.

"The verticals we serve are mostly in the services, manufacturing and banking industries. Our typical clients are enterprises with 50 to 200 employees, but we also serve microenterprises and large enterprises," he noted.

During the Covid-19-impacted period, it made certain of its applications (apps) on its platform available free of charge to ensure small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) would not have another invoice to worry about. Zoho offset some of the costs to customers to ensure they could survive and that they and Zoho could thrive together, he said.

Further, in South Africa, the company grew new user adoption by more than 75% during 2020 and 2021, while its cross-selling (providing more services to existing customers) grew by 336% in 2021, he highlighted.

Zoho Africa regional manager Andrew Bourne added that the company was offering its services in South African rand (and local currencies in other countries), and had fixed the local costs at a rate of R15 to $1. It was offsetting this cost by the significant growth in new users and revenue.

The company was providing its services from its US-based data centres, and user experience remains good, but it would open data centres in Africa in due course, he added.

"This is part of our strategy of being local, embedded in the community and relevant. Globally, we have consistently grown 30% year-on-year between 2013 and 2021 and have grown revenue by 34% during the same period. Our total revenue has now exceeded $1-billion a year," Shabdar said.

Additionally, Zoho has partnered with startup and SMME incubator Institute of African Royalty (IAR) through which it will provide IAR SMMEs with a R27 000 Zoho Wallet credit that the SMMEs can use to buy any of the 55 Zoho business apps, including integrated business platform Zoho One.

Zoho users can also use the Zoho Creator app to make their own apps for their businesses. Solar technology startup Yellow Africa created its own customised enterprise resource planning solution for its services in Malawi and Uganda, Shabdar pointed out.

Meanwhile, the company has launched an Advanced Electronic Signature (AES) solution in its signature app Zoho Sign by integrating with South African identity verification provider TrustFactory.

"Zoho users can now complete the face-to-face identity verification process and get their digital signature certificate from TrustFactory to sign documents with an AES from Zoho Sign's interface.

"South African businesses can also use Zoho Sign for international operations, as the company also offers Qualified Electronic Signature in the European Union, Aadhaar-based eSign in India, Sign with Singpass in Singapore and Seiko time-stamping in Japan," he added.

Zoho has built its entire technology stack, from apps to data centres, and has maintained its research and development efforts over its 26-year history.

"We invest in future technology as one of the core pillars of the business and focus not only on improving and adding to our product mix, but also on near-future and far-future technologies that businesses will use," said Shabdar.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



Booyco Electronics
Booyco Electronics

Booyco Electronics, South African pioneer of Proximity Detection Systems, offers safety solutions for underground and surface mining, quarrying,...

Booyco Electronics
Booyco Electronics

Booyco Electronics, South African pioneer of Proximity Detection Systems, offers safety solutions for underground and surface mining, quarrying,...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine round up | 24 May 2024
Magazine round up | 24 May 2024
24th May 2024

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.546 0.613s - 170pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now