In recent times, the Information Communications Technology (ICT) revolution has continued to sweep through Nigeria at a fast clip, revolutionising the process of accessing information which was once extremely cumbersome.
The SME sector has been a direct beneficiary of these positive spin-offs, especially with the efforts of the renowned ICT company, VConnect, to put them on the map so those interested in their products and services can easily reach them.
Despite its rather humble beginnings in 2011, the online business directory VConnect.com is now a force to reckon with in local search engine circles. Today, the company’s website is the 7th most visited in the country with 950, 000 business listings after just 3 years of operations.
The reason is not farfetched. VConnect.com transforms businesses with its new digital marketing tools which have over time taken SME’s to new highs, equipping them with vibrant customer engagement platforms. “VConnect takes pride in being ranked 28th on the Alexa list. It is also worthy of mention that we are among the top 10 most visited Nigerian Sites, sitting at number one in our sector.
Our ultimate ambition is to index businesses in every city in West Africa,” said co-founder and General Manager of VConnect, Deepanker Rustagi, in a recent chat with newsmen.
The company’s entry into the market has no doubt left positive footprints, following its strong level of acceptance which has seen it surpassing its target by a sharp 160 per cent growth in all parameters last year, including revenue, traffic, topline, etc.
According to Deepanker, the lack of a formal system of street numbering and unavailability of a working postal system are some of the setbacks the company experiences. He however stated that VConnect would not rest on its oars until all SMEs in Nigeria are empowered and taken to the peak. Meanwhile, VConnect is already making plans towards extending its reach beyond the shores of Nigeria. By May, 2014 the company would pitch its tent in Ghana, where a similar shortfall of business information has been noticed.
“Africa is set to witness another new media powerhouse in a few years’ time, as VConnect will not only attend to all business information needs in Nigeria, but will become a Pan African solution provider,” said Deepanker.
He further disclosed that VConnect developed a user-friendly mobile WAP site because statistics have shown that a huge percentage of website visits are done via the mobile phone.
The company also recently launched her Android and Blackberry Applications. On the company’s achievements so far, Deepanker recently said “due to the galloping development of ICT worldwide, SMEs in West Africa face the formidable task of surviving and competing in a global market, thus the presence of a local search engine like VConnect.com which has a wider reach, would help deliver unprecedented opportunities to the businesses.”
It would be interesting to see how this startup would expand geographically in other parts of Africa.
By: BEN UZOR JR