Natan: Development of Tech Talents Is Key to Economic Growth

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Founder of Tek Experts, Yaniv Natan, spoke with Emma Okonji about the benefits of the collaboration between Tek Experts and Microsoft to train young talents in technology innovation, and how such collaboration will boost the Nigerian economy. Excerpts:

What is Tek Experts all about and what kind of service does it provide to the general public?

Tek Experts is a group of highly skilled technology experts that came together to provide technology services and training for customers. It is a technical organisation that is into technical support and integration. We provide technical services to customers such as Microsoft customers that are outsourced to us.

Tek Experts, in collaboration with Microsoft, launched its service in Nigeria recently. What could have informed the decision to launch in Nigeria?

It is all part of our business growth and our policy to extend our services to the African market. At first we looked at several countries in Africa such as Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, but when we came to Nigeria, we had opportunity to interview young engineers and we were really impressed with the level of engagement we had with them, which showed their high level of technical expertise and enthusiasm for technology development. We were so impressed that we decided instantly to set up our service centre in Nigeria, even though nobody has done that before. So Tek Experts makes its debut in Nigeria, having successfully established similar centres in other global location, and we decided to launch in Nigeria to further expand our footprint in the African market.

What value will the collaboration between Tek Experts and Microsoft bring to Nigeria?

The collaboration has led to the employment of 300 Nigerian youths, and it will also enhance the training of technology startups in the country.
Tek Experts is committed to supporting talented individuals around the world and providing them with long and rewarding careers with partners such as Microsoft Nigeria.
Tek Experts made its debut in Nigeria recently, with an office space and training centre in Lagos, where we will be offering high class technical services to all Microsoft customers in Nigeria, in the form of outsourcing
We are delighted to collaborate with Microsoft in developing talents that will improve the technology landscape of Nigeria and also leverage the skills and expertise of Nigerians to provide great levels of service to customers as we have done in other locations around the world. We are committed to investing in the region and the people, and to raising the profile of Nigeria as an exceptional location for technical talents.

What are your strategies for recruitment of young talents in Nigeria and in providing unique technical services that will be different from what others are providing?

Our strategy in any country where we set up our facilities, is to recruit not less than a thousand people, and this objective is very much dependent on the quality of resources and the quality of services that we can to provide. We have a very strong feeling that with the high calibre of talents we have in Nigeria, we will be delivering exceptional services. The strategy is not about a one off recruitment because we will be coming up with the second, third and fourth round of recruitment.

So what is the unique selling proposition for Tek Experts in Nigeria?

Our magic is in our people. What is really unique for us about the Nigerian market are the talents we found in Nigeria. So the capability, the commitment and the training are key for us.

What is your business model like. Is it a long term or short term business?

This is the first phase in what we want, and we really want to have a long and fruitful future in Nigeria. We are investing in state-of-the-art offices, in providing best-in-class training programmes and in developing the infrastructure that will provide exceptional services to our clients and exceptional careers for our employees.
So again, our long term business depends on the level of eduction and opportunities that are presented before Nigerians. The more they are educated, the more opportunity they will have to remain in the country to develop the country’s technology sector. Part of what we do is to help educate the people, especially young people to be able to take some steps forward in their chosen careers.

What is the commitment and role of Microsoft in the collaboration?

Microsoft is committed to investing in the talented workforce that Nigeria has to offer through our partnership. It is also expected that the relationship would continue to grow and provide additional career opportunities for the local market. By this collaboration, Microsoft will be expanding its global support model to Nigeria through Tek Experts, and they will be able to enhance the support that Tek Experts will be offering Microsoft’s customers across multiple time zones in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the east coast of the US.
Microsoft Nigeria, for example, is quite excited that Nigeria will be the first country in Africa to host a global operation for Microsoft through its strategic partnership with Tek Experts. This is a unique opportunity for Nigerian youths to realise their potential and pursue a world-class technical career locally. This is in line with our mission of empowering every individual and organisation on the planet to achieve more.
With the unemployment rate in double digits in Nigeria, the collaboration comes at a good time, as it will not only impact positively on technical skills development in Nigeria, but it will also prove to be the first of many opportunities to bring technical jobs, with career growth to the continent of Africa.
At Tek Experts we plan to employ hundreds of young people in our operation in Nigeria, who will become ambassadors for bespoke IT services, offering technology solutions to individual and organisational challenges.

What is your perception about technology development in Nigeria?

Our perception about technology development in Nigeria can be split into two, the first being about the availability of the resources and the other being the opportunity that abounds in Nigeria. What we found is that the breadth and depth of technology talents is quite substantial and the opportunity is there for the young engineers to take advantage of and this is where we come in as a technology organisation, to utilise the talent and help them make better use of such talents.

In what ways can Tek Experts support the federal government in advancing technology across the country, especially in the area of human capital development?

What we have been doing in other countries where we have presence, is about developing talents and we will do the same in Nigeria in such a way that it will help support the Nigerian government in developing her economy and citizenry. Our desire is to support and help the technology ecosystem in Nigeria to grow beyond people’s expectations.

What are the challenges that could slow down your plans to develop the technology ecosystem in Nigeria?

The main challenge is basically infrastructure such as basic supply of electricity, but we believe that the challenge could be mitigated through the kind of office and training centre that we have developed in Nigeria. We will be providing 24/7 services to our customers through the established office.

Most investors that come to Nigeria are portfolio investors that are interested in what they will gain rather than thinker how to impact the Nigerian economy. So what kind of investor is Tek Experts?

We are not portfolio investors and we have long term standing business to execute in Nigeria. We develop talents regardless of whether we stay or leave, but one thing that we guarantee is that the local talent that we develop, will stay for ever. Our mission is not to take undue advantage of the Nigerian vast market, but we are in Nigeria to do long lasting business that will benefit the people and the government. In any country where we have our facilities installed, we always contribute to the development of that location and county.

Why did you choose to partner Microsoft on this initiative?

Microsoft is a strong believer in enabling people globally and as such we share the same value proposition and philosophy, hence our choice to work with Microsoft. They are strongly committed to any local economy where they have presence and we are going to leverage on such commitment to deliver our services and training.