Dmitry Deniskin is the Director of Emerging Markets at HUB8, global web hosting brand. In this interaction with ITPulse, he speaks on the company’s plan to partner Nigerian companies, especially the Small & Medium Enterprises to drive the growth of their businesses online.
Can you briefly tell us about HUB8 and what interests you about the Nigerian Internet market?
HUB8 is a global web hosting brand. We’re focused on emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We have four main products at HUB8 – web hosting, domain registration, visual website builder, and powerful WordPress themes. Almost all of these come with a FREE PLAN except for domain registration. And these are the web goodies we are offering Nigerians among other internet beauties. For us at HUB8, we believe now is the best time to invest in Africa’s largest economy. We are inspired to launch in Nigeria because of the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians and their daily emergence in the internet webspace. With nearly 190 million people, Nigeria has great potentials can be better monetized via the internet; and that is why we are here today. Once the entrepreneurial and technological fire ignites in Nigeria, it will spread to other African countries and that is our ultimate target as a foremost web hosting company.
It does not matter if you’re a barber, event organizer, private school proprietor, restaurant manager, or a trade union – we have every web hosting package and appropriate website model that suits your business needs
Of what benefit is your service to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which constitutes the majority of businesses in Nigeria?
If you own a business in today’s world without a website, then you’re not ready for the 21st-century business model. Running a business in this age without an active website comes with many disadvantages for your business, since most consumers rely on the internet for virtually every product and service they need. We provide a set of tools to easily set up a website – from visual website builder to classic website hosting, we have it all to set you up and running in no time. It does not matter if you’re a barber, event organizer, private school proprietor, restaurant manager, or a trade union – we have every web hosting package and appropriate website model that suits your business needs. You only need to get in touch with us to get started at little to no costs.
What competitive advantages is HUB8 bringing to Nigeria? Surely you are aware several companies are offering the same services as yours.
Space will not permit me to delve into the technical details required to fully answer your question. But suffice to state that HUB8 is a fully-fledged web hosting company, and we promise our Nigerian customers ultra-fast SSD-drives – even for free hosting plans, optimized Nginx versions, MySQL & PHP, dual anti-viruses and so on. Let me however emphasize that our ultimate objective is to become a Growth Partner for all small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs)in Nigeria. This main goal is highlighted on our index page. We are providing FREE PLANS for most of our products (visual website builder, WordPress themes, and cPanel web hosting) because we are aware that small business owners postpone launching a business website due to the investments involved. We want to make it possible for all Nigerians to have a personal or business website without worrying about the costs involved; so with a token payment for domain registration, anyone can access our other products for FREE until they are set to switch to paid plans. Yes, we reserve the right to change this offer but once you got it – you get to keep it with the same parameters for as long as you desire.And this is what we are doing differently from the existing web hosting companies in Nigeria.
Of course, we’re not a charity organization but we’re financially strong enough to offer our customers FREE services of these kind. We are working in emerging markets (Africa, Asia and Latin America) to educate our clients to begin a business that will be visible online
How FREE is the service when you say you are offering FREE web hosting for Nigerians?
There is no catch here; and our business model is based on FREE. Of course, we’re not a charity organization but we’re financially strong enough to offer our customers FREE services of these kind. We are working in emerging markets (Africa, Asia and Latin America) to educate our clients to begin a business that will be visible online. We are dedicated to converting people from blog writers and web content readers to entrepreneurs who would launch an online business that will be accessible to customers from anywhere in the world. Beyond selling domains and web hosting to our customers, we are seeking for more ways to enable them make more money with their online business models – so that we can jointly grow together.
What is your relationship with NIRA, Nigeria’s code Top Level Domain(ccTLD) managers?
We are not accredited as a registrar yet but I highly appreciate NiRA’s efforts to promote national domains; and we will also begin to offer .ng domain registrations soon. In fact, we have registered hub8.ng. I’m always telling our customers: if your serve local customers, use your national domain (.ng and .com.ng for Nigeria) to show that you’re a local business. It is also one of the main factors that search engines use to understand that you operate from a particular country such as Nigeria and target customers in that country.