Technology company, Zoho today holds its Zoholics Nigeria 2023 event, the company’s annual user conference in Lagos, where it announced a 50 percent growth in its Nigerian operations in 2022.
Apart from the 50 percent growth, it also announced a strategic partnership with #StartupSouth, an organisation that works towards the development of startups from South and South-East Nigeria and the Zoho contract management solution, Zoho Contracts, free for three months to help businesses improve compliance to the Nigeria Data Protection Law.
Speaking to Journalists on the sideline of the conference, Ali Shabdar, Regional Director, MEA, Zoho, noted that Zoho’s growth in Nigeria is primarily driven by the adoption of Zoho One, the operating system for business, and Zoho Workplace, a unified enterprise collaboration platform.
He added that Zoho CRM Plus (unified customer experience platform), Zoho Books (accounting software), and Zoho Desk (helpdesk software) are the other top-selling products in the country and are also responsible for the growth.
Zoho also grew its partner network by 22% and more than doubled its employee count in 2022 in Nigeria to reinforce its local presence and better serve its customers.
“Our growth is a direct result of Nigerian businesses embracing cloud technology, especially unified platforms, to digitally transform and build resilience to adapt to challenging market conditions. Zoho’s unified technology stack, built from the ground up, allows us to meet such transformation needs of businesses with robust solutions that deliver consistently seamless user experiences at unbeatable value,” he said.
Ali believes that Zoho’s transnational localism strategy of being locally rooted while staying globally connected is also key to the growth in Nigeria as the company can serve its customers directly with its locally hired teams in Lagos.
“Zoho is also one of the few vendors in Nigeria today that continues to provide their offerings in Naira, thereby protecting businesses from the fluctuating dollar rates, and ensuring that enterprise technology remains accessible to businesses of all sizes. Our partnership with #StartupSouth, and the special offer on Zoho Contracts, are further steps that underscore our commitment to serve the business community in the region,” Kehinde Ogundare, Country Head, Zoho Nigeria supports Ali’s position.
Details of the partnership with Startup South
As part of this partnership, startups associated with #StartupSouth, which are new customers for Zoho, can avail Zoho Wallet credits worth ₦ 470,000. This credit can be used to purchase or upgrade any of Zoho’s 55+ products, including Zoho One, the operating system for business, over 360 days. Zoho One offers a unified platform that brings together over 50 Zoho products from CRM to HR management. The startups will also receive training to help them leverage Zoho’s products for their growth and in a way that they can easily scale.
“One of #StartupSouth’s goals is to provide startups associated with us easy access to comprehensive tech solutions that offer great value, are easy to use, and have the capability to grow with the businesses as they scale. We are happy to partner with Zoho, as they offer a wide range of business apps that can empower startups to quickly digitalise most of their business areas in one go, and streamline and unify their operations for better management and holistic visibility. With this partnership with Zoho, we are looking forward to helping budding businesses by removing access barriers to enterprise technology,” said Uche Aniche, Convener, #StartupSouth.
“Through the Zoho for Startups programme, we intend to onboard as many startups as we can, and be a part of their entrepreneurial journey right from the start. Keeping in mind Zoho’s vision and mission on ‘serving the underserved’, we carefully choose whom we collaborate with. I am glad to be partnering with #StartupSouth whose passion and focus on supporting the startups is very much in sync with the ethos of our programme. Nigeria is one of the hotbeds in Africa for entrepreneurs to thrive and innovate,” said Kuppulakshmi Krishnamoorthy, Global Head, Zoho for Startups.
Zoho Contracts to help businesses improve compliance with NDPL
The Nigerian Data Protection Law came into force earlier this year. NDPL mandates all businesses to ensure that their contracts include provisions for data security and breach notifications, third-party vendors adhere to NDPA standards, and international contracts fulfill the criteria for cross-border transfer of personal data. In case of non-compliance, businesses risk the loss of consumer trust and potential legal action, apart from a potential fine of up to ₦10 million or 2% of annual gross revenue.
With Zoho Contracts, businesses can create contract templates with new/revised clauses for NDPA compliance, use analytics to quickly identify existing contracts with a specific clause, anonymise counterparty data on request, and track and monitor their contractual obligations with reminder alerts.