IT Edge News. Com MARTIN EKPEKE spoke with Eitan Mesika, Regional Sales Director, West Africa of Skyvision, on how the company has been able to level on its competitive advantage to rev up the burgeoning Internet and data market in Nigeria
May I meet you?
My name is Eitan Mesika, Regional Sales Director, West Africa of Skyvision.
How will you rate Skyvision in the last few year, will you say Nigeria market has been good to you?
I can really say it has been very good to us, Skyvision enjoy doing business in this market. We are operating in this market for several years now, and have very good business partner, a lot of customer. One of our goals is to bring the ICT to all corner of Nigeria.
From what you have said, the market has been good. What will you say has been responsible for this? Is it good product, services or you have a relatively good partner that are helping you to drive the market?
I will say it is a combination of both, the market in Nigeria is enormous and it has the half of telecom market in West Africa therefore any business organization that would want to grow must invest in becoming present in Nigeria, and this is what we have done during the years. We have many local business partners which really enhance our penetration into the market by having many customers. We have a large customer base here starting with the GSM operators, mobile, CDMA and many ISPs; we have many government institutional projects like the state house, the national assembly and even the governmental ISP that is Galaxy Backbone. We are also proud to service the corporate environment, a few banks with us, the airlines and the oil and gas company; it has been good and it is going to be even better.
We have submarine cables now in Nigeria, Glo1, MainOne. Do you envisage any strong competition from them, or do you think SkyVision will be moving from satellite to fiber connectivity in the nearest future?
I think there is room for both. The market is changing and we try to cope with the trend. What we have seen is that there is still much room for VSAT especially in the remote and rural places. But in the major cities, fiber became a reality; this is why we have contracted business with the major players in the fiber arena. I do believe that we have a unique solution of becoming a total solution provider based on our services not only on satellite anymore but also on terrestrial connectivity.
There has been so much increase in demand for bandwidth, what is SkyVision next big plan for the market this year?
We want to keep rolling in this market by maintaining and leveraging on the position we have gain in hard work and sweat, this is why we have enter into the fiber arena, this is why we decided to implement and put in place a local hub. This will enhance our portfolio of services and this is why I do believe SkyVision position in the market will be maintain and even be the first to become more important and significant in this part of the world.
Bandwidth is still expensive in this part of the world, as an expert, what do think SkyVision can do to reduce the price of bandwidth?
We need to follow the trend. Ever since Nigeria got three fiber operators, the prices dropped dramatically. We do remember prices that were more than ten times what we see in the market today, so what SkyVision is trying to do is to enable the SMEs, small corporate organizations to enjoy good prices of bandwidth and the way to do that is to get commitment from the fiber operators but also with local intercity operator in order to make sure we buy in high volume for the customers to enjoy the price that we get for being one of the most significant player in the market.
One of your products SkyDirect has really done well to expand connectivity and bring down the prices, how will rate the acceptance especially in the oil and gas and financial industry?
The Skydirect or the Sky advantages is a kind of solution meant for those kind of market because they don’t like to have initial cost for hardware, so what we have done is to plan the hardware as part of the solution and we are the one owing the hardware, the only thing the bank or the oil and gas has to pay for is the service itself.
How will you rate Skyvision globally among other top players, and what are your challenges operating in Nigeria bearing in mind that power still remains a major problem?
I can humbly say the name SkyVision is very well known in Africa and other places we operate. The name of SkyVision is there and the reputation is also there, this is why the growth is really enormous. There are always challenges in doing business especially Africa, I do believe that the most important thing is to understand what the challenges are and to identify what the customer need and then come with a solution that will go with both.