Kehinde Ogundare is the Country Head (Nigeria) at Zoho Corporation. He is experienced in Sales with a history of working in the Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) industry. Skilled in customer service, customer relationship management (CRM), business development and customer satisfaction skills, Kehinde possesses strong analytical & interpersonal skills with high level of adaptability to modern working environment.
During his recent chat with the press, Kehinde explained how Zoho is leading a charge among Small Businesses in Nigeria using its multiple platforms. He spoke on the Zoho Unified Communications platform, among other solutions. Peter Oluka reports for TechEconomy:
What are the trends affecting Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in Nigeria regarding innovation in technology?
Kehinde Ogundare: SMBs often feel compelled to use expensive, big-name technologies, leading to unnecessary costs and improper implementation. It is important for them to evaluate their technology needs, choose affordable solutions, collaborate with professionals for proper implementation, and achieve desired outcomes from technology investments.
How is Zoho’s Unified Communications platform helping these SMBs, and what has been the feedback since it was launched?
Kehinde Ogundare: We have had 106 per cent growth in our revenue from Zoho workplace in the last one year.
We have had 68 per cent user adoption, and migration from other applications has doubled in the last couple of years. I have onboarded many people and businesses to Zoho workplace because people are trying to cut cost and, at the same time, want to get value.
So, when we built this worldclass product, we didn’t compromise on the value of the things you want to get from us. The adoption has been quite impressive, and we hope for more in the next couple of months and years. This innovation will be extremely advantageous for small and medium businesses in Nigeria that plan to scale up by adopting technology.
How is the team handling customer support, and what pricing options are available, especially for your customers in Nigeria?
Kehinde Ogundare: I find this particularly interesting because, for every great product, a support team must be in place. Things cannot go smoothly without these in place.
Our customers need help from time to time. They need options and require assistance with how to navigate the system and the likes. I currently have a support team in the Nigerian office, and also, from the application itself, customers can chat with the support department regarding any complaints or make calls for support anytime they are stuck with anything on the platform.
Regarding pricing, what you see is what you pay for. We have two models of pricing, which are monthly and yearly pricing. You can choose to go for either of the two, and you are not restricted by how you want to pay for the two.
What are you doing differently from your big competitors such as Zoom and Teams?
Kehinde Ogundare: We are investing a lot of resources in research and development and our customer focus. When we are trying to create software on Zoho products, we try to see how people will adopt it and have a unified experience at the same time. We bring a lot of things that are unique to do your business all in one place. Customers can see the effort from us that we are trying to give them world-class products and not compromising on the value they are getting from us even though it is affordable.
How secured is the app?
Kehinde Ogundare: One of our core foundations in Zoho is security and privacy, which we take very seriously. We are at an age where data is like gold, and people’s businesses are at stake.
Currently, when you are using our app, third-party tracking is not allowed, as we are not trying to get money from anybody trying to track or post advertisements. You will never use the Zoho app and get any pop-ups of any ads of any sort. We have covered all the basis for a potential attack and have set up various structures to handle the security issues that likely occur.
How many participants can your platform accommodate in videoconferencing or a meeting?
Kehinde Ogundare: This is dependent on the type of editions you are subscribed to on Zoho. We have various editions, and that will give you a limit to the number of people that can join at once on Zoho meetings and webinars. Currently, it is only available on Mac OS and window devices. It is a desktop application that you can download to give you the unified experience of being able to work with it.
Can you give us an overview of the attraction of Zoho in other markets compared to the Nigerian market?
Kehinde Ogundare: I can confidently say we have global reports that show that adoption across the world is impressive. It has actually doubled. We have got about 30 per cent global revenue growth year-on-year. We have also seen migration from google and microsoft double over the years as well.
The Zoho workplace is the fastest-growing product on the platform. Beyond competitive pricing, what are the other advantages of the app for SMBs?
Kehinde Ogundare: I’ll say Zoho is an experience. When building the app we tried to understand what people and the market needed. Looking at the initiative of growing Zoho trident to being a unified platform for communication and emailing, customers tend to see the efforts of the company. I believe that when you have tried it then acceptability automatically brings about adoption as it is a very friendly app to use. There is also the need for SMBs to leverage collaborative technology in the workplace. A lot of people have told me that Zoho’s mail interface is the best as it gives the opportunity to streamline emails and automate a lot of things on there as well. There are also a lot of features we did not compromise on and gave our customers value.
What challenges have you faced in the Nigerian market?
Kehinde Ogundare: In terms of SMEs, I wouldn’t say we have had a lot of challenges because businesses have realised there is a need to digitalise the way they do their business. We have got a lot of companies trying to digitalise the way they do their business. We’ve got a lot of them trying to digitalise their financing, accounting, bookkeeping, and workspace. People are now trying to adapt to a new way of doing business.
The only challenge might be that people do not really know what type of tool to use in how to address these issues, but then, we have a local team present in Nigeria that can help people get in line in regards to what they are trying to do, their processes and what it will be like to optimise. I see them as catalysts for the adoption of new technology in the country and not a challenge.