Zoho Corporation, a global software development company, has announced a strategic partnership with the Institute for Small Business Initiatives (ISBI).
The partnership, announced on Tuesday, May 23, is aimed at digitalizing the operations of local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by empowering them with the latest enterprise technology.
ISBI, which is part of Strathmore Business School (ISBS), largely works with SMEs in Kenya, helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses, streamline operations, and build a competitive edge.
“Staying true to our roots, we have also partnered with ISBI in order to help SMEs and startups in Kenya gain access to enterprise technology and gain a competitive edge and quickly adapt to the changing market landscape,’’ said Veerakumar Natarajan, Zoho Kenya country head.
As part of the partnership, all the SMEs that are or have ever been associated with ISBI will be granted access to Zoho One, a unified platform of over 50 business applications.
The platform seamlessly connects diverse business functions, including customer relationship management, finance, human resources, project management, collaboration, marketing, and sales, among others.
Zoho believes that this will enable SMEs to take their business operations online quickly, automate their processes and manage their entire operations from a single unified console.
Businesses in Nairobi that avail access to Zoho One will additionally receive tech support and product training.
“ISBI has been training over 1000 SMEs in Kenya for the past 8 years. Our research-driven approach ensures successful outcomes in capacity building as we advocate for enterprise formalization and provide effective management tools,’’
“Our results demonstrate significant improvements, including increased revenue, company value growth, and job creation. While manual data recording poses a challenge, we recognize digitization as the solution,” said Maryanne Akoth, Director for Programs ISBI.
The latest announcement coincided with the official opening of Zoho’s new office in Westlands Nairobi and the firm’s seventh office in the Middle East and Africa region.
The new office seeks to cater for the company’s growing customer base in Kenya. Zoho noted that Kenya is its fastest-growing market in Africa.
In 2022, Zoho’s Middle East and Africa market grew by 43 percent as compared to 51 percent in 2021 and 29 percent in 2020.
In three years, the company has witnessed a 65 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the mid-market and enterprise segment.