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Zoho to open new SA office in Q1 2023

Ali Shabdar, regional director for MEA at Zoho.
Ali Shabdar, regional director for MEA at Zoho.

India-headquartered private technology firm Zoho Corporation is looking to expand its operation in Africa, and announced it will open a second office in South Africa in Q1 2023. It currently has an office in Cape Town.

Detailing the development in Johannesburg yesterday, the company said Middle East and Africa (MEA) is its second highest growing region and in 2021 experienced 52% growth - up from 29% in 2020. In South Africa, the company experienced net new customer growth of 75% in 2021.

It has also set up offices in Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria.

Zoho has identified partnerships and market presence as central to its strategy. A significant portion of its revenue is driven through the Channel and having recently crossed the US$1-billion mark in annual revenue, with an 80%+ growth in African customers in the past year, the company is ready to increase its investment.

This investment is based on an approach the company calls ‘transnational localism’.

Ali Shabdar, Regional Director, Zoho Middle East and Africa, said, “We have followed this approach with our growth and expansion in South Africa. We have increased our employee strength, introduced local pricing, grown our partner network, invested in upskilling initiatives and partnered with local business communities. In continuation of our commitment to the country, we have partnered with IAR (Institute of African Royalty) to help local businesses access enterprise technology, introduced AES in Zoho Sign to help businesses leverage the power and ease of digital signatures, and integrated local payment gateways that will make it easier for our customers to receive payments online.”

Andrew Bourne, Regional Manager, Zoho Africa, added: “Zoho has built its entire technology stack – from apps and platform down to network and datacentres covering every major as well as minor business need. This allows us to offer a unified platform for various operations like customer experience, employee experience, enterprise collaboration and more. Increasingly, we are seeing businesses of all sizes choose unified offerings over single vendor products to avoid information silos that form and in turn reduce efficiency, especially in a hybrid work environment.”

The company will play close attention to growth margins and rate of adoption by customers as benchmarks by which it will evaluate the success of its strategy.

Shabdar says if one considers its current footprint, it has North, South, East and West Africa covered and while it cannot say which regions it has in mind for a new office, there are plans to establish additional presence “with one or two offices” in the foreseeable future.

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