Nigerian based maker of smartphones and tablet computer Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) AFRIONE LIMITED talks about the Nigerian IT market and the need for the country to be a producer of affordable technology. In this interview, Lekan Akinjide, Director for Strategy & Government Coordination at Afrione talks about AFRIONE’s relationship with the public sectors and MDAs in Nigeria
What is Afrione Known for in the IT market in Nigeria?
We are a mass market assembler of mobile phone and tablet computers. Our company was established in mid 2016, while production started about 4 months later. Our motto is AfriOne for Everyone, and our main aim is to bring down the cost barriers to people’s ability to buy smart phones and tablet computers.There should be no reason for anyone not to have a smart phone, irrespective of your income bracket
AfriOne as an OEM in Nigeria, how has been business been?
Business has generally been ok, we’re facing the same economic and logistical challenges other businesses in Nigeria are currently facing. Though with a population in excess of 180 million we know the future is bright.
Why are you not looking at the export market?
Being a startup, it is important for us gain countrywide brand recognition and market penetration. Our own market analysis shows that smart phone penetration in Nigeria is only 21m; there’s definitely scope for growth within our own country before looking at export opportunities
Congratulations on the great facility you guys have here, you are making awesome strides in the IT space, but what is your “go to market” plan?
We’ve focused on first establishing a presence here in Lagos State, then gradually expanding throughout the South West before expanding to the East and South South of Nigeria. The North Central, North West and North East will be phases three, four and five respectively.
What is your support system and after sales solution. With a lot of devices in the market, aftersales are important?
We have a growing after sales structure, we present in almost every state and also we have multiple locations in bigger states like Lagos. We’ve also partnered up with third party after sales repair companies; this has ensured that even when we’re unable to provide after sales care directly, any repair issues can be tackled by our authorised partners.
As an OEM in Nigeria, what are the few challenges that you face in Nigeria?
Our 3 most challenging issues are the customs clearing procedure can be inefficient and convoluted, also the issue of lack of skilled labour and duplicity in the certification process.
Being a startup, it is important for us gain countrywide brand recognition and market penetration. Our own market analysis shows that smart phone penetration in Nigeria is only 21m; there’s definitely scope for growth within our own country before looking at export opportunities.