Secure Group is excited to announce it is expanding its presence in Africa. We are partnering with South Africa-based Secure Com World as a distributor of our products and services in most of the continent.
With a population of almost 1 billion people, Sub-Saharan Africa is an enormous market which has the potential to be of strategic significance for Secure Group. Many of the key industries in the region (energy, mining, financials) are marked by international and cross-border operations. Meanwhile, several international entities such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also have a presence on the continent. Add the usual information security needs of government and law-enforcement agencies, and you have a market that is ripe with demand for products such as Secure Group’s.
Tapping into such a diverse market requires a complete solution that can cover the different needs of all potential clients. According to Secure Com World’s Jaresh Maharaj and Nkululeko Moyo, the products and services provided by Secure Group are just that solution. Read on to what else they were kind enough to share while visiting Secure Group’s R&D hub.
It is exciting for us to expand to a new continent, and Africa is a huge market. Your company is based in South Africa, but you have bigger plans – is that right?
Jaresh Maharaj: Yes, we are based in South Africa. The key area in which we will focus initially is southern Africa, as well as the east and west of the continent. Those are three trading blocs: the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The only countries where we don’t plan any operations yet are the ones in northern Africa, which is culturally different from the rest of the continent.
What drives the demand for Secure Group’s products in the regions where you plan to focus? Who do you see as your clients?
JM: Let’s break it down in terms of target market. First, we have government agencies, which could be security services, the police, or foreign affairs – a country’s embassies abroad. Then, you have private enterprises, multinationals, and large corporations. The third target group is international agencies – entities like the World Bank, the IMF and such that have a presence in Africa. There are also state-owned enterprises such as the African Bank. And then there are political parties, which I deliberately separate from government agencies. All of those groups have privacy and information security concerns.
What features of Secure Group’s products are most important for such clients?
Nkululeko Moyo: They all need the security and the privacy. But for enterprises, in particular, the big thing is that you offer a plan that has no roaming fees. Business in Africa involves a lot of traveling. The complete solution that you, and now we, offer will save them money.
JM: The emphasis will be on security. The main thing is that there are no backdoors in the products. For government agencies and embassies, it is very important to be able to operate securely. Security agencies also want to guarantee that the communication between them is secure. There should be no interception from another party. Another key thing is spreading awareness. Enterprises have information that they want to keep away from outside parties. They have to know that the moment that they start using normal devices, security goes out the door. Corporate issues, corporate secrets if you will – they can be intercepted by a rival. This is where we step in with a solution – a platform for truly secure mobile communications.
There are other companies that develop solutions for that problem as well. What made you choose Secure Group as a partner over them?
NM: The main thing is the completeness of the solution. In the Secure Phone, you have a unique product that comes on top when compared to other offerings in the field. There is also the fact that we know it works. We used your services ourselves before, so we have proof that they do the job. You also are a company that is easy to approach. Looking at you, we know you are people we can work with.
JM: The way the Secure Group infrastructure is set up is also key for us. For the clients that we want to pursue, the notion that there might be a server somewhere with stored copies of their messages is worrying. Your system doesn’t do that. It puts the burden on the user to make backups of their data. This is very important. The other thing is that everything is internal – every service you provide is handled by you. There is no third service provider interfering. Those are the differentiators for us.
NM: We realized the challenge that is being faced on the continent. Your product is a solution. And this is an opportunity for us.