November 13, 2009 – Computer giant Microsoft has appointed Impact Distributors as one of its agents in East Africa. This follows the successful merger of Microsoft East and Southern Africa with Microsoft East Africa.
Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, Microsoft East Africa Public Relations Manager Laura Chite said the partnership sits well with Microsoft as it seeks to increase its presence in the region.
Ms Chite noted that with the onset of fibre optic connectivity, the demand for Microsoft products had soared.
“Impact is going to invest a lot of money in this region. Our business is growing day by day and we need reliable partners to help us meet growing demand,” she said.
Before setting base in Kenya, Impact mainly served the Southern African region from its headquarters in Namibia.
Impact Chief Executive Officer Glen Matswetu however noted that the market in that region was relatively small given the low population density.
“The region in itself is big but you find a country like Namibia with a population of under three million, which really does not translate to much in terms of revenue,” Mr Matswetu noted.
Impact is the leading distributor in southern Africa boasting a 70 percent market share, which Mr Matswetu hopes to replicate.
With the relocation of Microsoft offices in Nairobi, Impact plans to use Kenya as a launching pad as it ventures into the region. East Africa provides an ideal investment opportunity for both Microsoft and Impact with a market potential of close to $20 million annually.
“We see endless opportunities here as we plan to go into Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Tanzania,” he said.
The entry of Impact Distributors makes it the second licensed distributor for Microsoft with the other being Comstech.
He however said their entrance into the market was not meant to create competition with the existing channel comprising of associate distributors and resellers.
He said they plan to speed up the process of product delivery, technical advice on licensing and increasing local capacity.
The company has invested an initial Sh280 million, which will be used to build their operational capacity, accounting and logistics systems, capacity building initiatives and human resource development in the East African operations.
Impact plans to increase investment as the business grows.