• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Tek Experts secures prime VI office space to take on Andela in Africa

Tek Experts-office

Tek Experts, a global provider of business IT support service with operations in seven countries, has secured the Cornerstone Towers, an IFC Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE)-certified building located at Oniru, Lagos.

Cornerstone Towers is the first commercial building to achieve the EDGE certification in Nigeria and this was merited based on the resource-efficient design of the building which will result in reductions in the use of energy (31 percent), water (53 percent) and other materials embodied (23 percent), relative to local benchmarks.

Sources close to the matter told BusinessDay that the location will be used by Tek Experts to build and train a team of world-class junior software engineers from across Africa suitable for the global market. It is also a space Africa-focused software developer’s trainer, Andela, is looking to dominate on the continent.

Tek Experts was launched in April 2018 with 200 technical engineers. The firm has since grown its operations to almost 1,000 technical support engineers in Nigeria. Currently, Tek Experts has about 5,000 people worldwide but plans to increase the number to 15,000 people by 2025.

Demand for African engineers is rising. This has led to increased investment in the space. Microsoft recently invested $100 million to open its first development centres on the continent and employ 100 full-time African developers. Investors poured almost $400 million into Fintech companies based in Nigeria over the past week, including a $200 million investment by Visa into Interswitch, Opay raising $120 million and Palmpay $40 million.

The GitHub’s latest annual State of the Octoverse report showed that software developers from Africa created 40 percent more open source repositories on the software engineering marketplace over the past year – a higher growth percentage than any other continent globally.

Ashim Egunjobi, acting country manager for Tek Experts, told BusinessDay in an interview in September that Nigeria is one of the “biggest sites” for training engineering talents.

The BusinessDay source also confirmed that as a result of the quality of engineers from Tek Experts, some investors have already paid in advance to the company.

“We have an in-house talent acquisition team both represented at the global level and in sites locally as well,” Egunjobi said. “DNA is something that is extremely important for us at Tek Experts, so across the globe we foster a certain kind of culture that we strongly believe is one of our unique selling points to the customers. We require a kind of certain performance from people but what we value even more is the right culture, mindset, discipline, hardworking spirit, honesty, integrity, and punctuality.”

Andela, one of the biggest firms training software engineers, let go of over 250 of its contracted junior developers in Lagos and Uganda as part of a major shift in its model to focus only on senior developers. In an interview with BusinessDay, Andela said demand for junior software engineers was shrinking hence the decision.

Meanwhile, Tek Experts is said to be planning on filling the gap in the supply of junior software engineers which it sees around the globe and on the continent.

“The most important aspect here is with regard to skills development, so we recognise that the clouded option generally in Africa is in its baby steps so it is just growing,” Egunjobi said.

“As a company serving a global customer, we are servicing customers who have adopted the cloud fully, who have been running on cloud for some years, who use a variety of different software or products and are on the cloud, which means that our engineers are able to interact with a very much matured customer than what you may be able to interact within the local market, and so skills development is a huge one,” he said.

 

FRANK ELEANYA