NEC XON mobilises new regional team to tap into East Africa
African ICT solution integrator NEC XON has established a Regional Management Team (RMT) to oversee the company’s business operations in East Africa.
Gary Munro, NEC XON VP of African Operations, says, “Traditional corporate decision-making structures aren’t necessarily as aware of the regional market as local leaders are. We need business agility and to achieve that, we will empower local senior leaders who understand how to support East African customers.”
Regional Manager for NEC XON in East Africa, William Hunter, compares the dynamic to a local farmer who understands his land and the local climate. “As a farmer, you develop a connection with your land. Kenya has been the regional office since the eighties. In truth, the members of our new East Africa RMT have been farming the land for many years, with support from Japan and South Africa.”
Hunter points out that the local management knowledge is critical for navigating the East Africa market. “As the market has grown, so has our ‘farm’, and decision speed and accuracy are both vital to maintain competitiveness.”
Regional NEC XON Sales Manager, Philip Nganga says strong relationships lead to success. “We provide solutions, and good solutions require deep customer knowledge. That knowledge is a product of relationship-based familiarity.” It’s not just knowledge, either - it’s also about trust.
As Nganga points out, local RMT members have grown up and done business with all of NEC XON’s key regional clients for years. “We are one people across the EA market. Many of our regional clients speak Swahili, so it makes sense for Swahili speakers to lead efforts to develop regional clients. The region includes countries like Djibouti, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zambia."
East Africa is a very technically mature market and, as a result, highly competitive. Nganga says the responsibility given to the new team will enable previously untapped opportunities to be met.
More opportunities also mean more personal growth and development opportunities for local employees and leaders. “Apart from the established local team, we’ve also had the chance to hire some key new people who will further support improved service delivery across our business units,” says Nganga.
This year NEC XON has underlined the importance of 5G Open RAN to Africa’s capacity to leverage 5G, IOT, data science and distributed intelligence.
In July, while presenting at an NEX XON Open RAN event in Johannesburg, Brian Armstrong, Chair of Digital Business, WITS, said, “Personal computing and the Internet established the foundation of the digital revolution. Then we had 3G and apps that built on it. Now 5G, with the Internet of things (IoT), data science, and distributed intelligence, establish the next phase of innovation. 5G Open RAN creates a platform to leverage these technologies to enable innovation and the unexpected, which are the advances that we cannot predict we will derive from this 10x and even 100x enabler.”
Although the East Africa team is still relatively small, Munro expresses confidence in the quality of its people. “We have good human capital. Our skills include management, telecoms, networking, and safety and security. Their contact with local customers will be key to the strategy we implement in the next five to ten years.”