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Nothing vague about Obscure’s Africa expansion plans

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 27 Jul 2023
Yaadhna Singh Gounden, head of development for Africa, Obscure Technologies.
Yaadhna Singh Gounden, head of development for Africa, Obscure Technologies.

Cyber security specialist Obscure Technologies is looking to expand its operations into Ethiopia, Kenya, and Mauritius. 

The company is also seeking strategic channel partners to strengthen its presence in Central and Western Africa. This expansion is part of Obscure Technologies’ plan to establish a regional presence and offer support in the Indian Ocean Islands, East Africa, and West Africa.

Justin Lee, MD of Obscure Technologies, says the company views Sub-Saharan Africa as a channel-centric territory that requires a tailored approach to the various markets.

As part of its focus on the region, the company recently appointed Yaadhna Singh Gounden as head of development for Africa. She brings over fifteen years of cyber security distribution experience to the team, “having successfully developed partner programmes, executed channel strategies across META regions, managed high-performing sales teams within Africa, and supported vendor growth through channel engagement.”

She will be based between the South African office and Dubai and is tasked with the design and execution of the company’s channel strategy in new markets.

Gounden says: “We believe that our capabilities align with the specific security and compliance requirements of these new territories. This expansion will also enable us to support our vendors and their growth strategies in high-growth countries that we have identified across the continent.”

One of these high-growth countries is Kenya which, according to Gounden, has emerged stronger following the 2022 elections. She says the elections were stable and the transition of power peaceful, which instilled confidence in local and foreign investors.

Justin Lee, Managing Director, Obscure Technologies.
Justin Lee, Managing Director, Obscure Technologies.

Gouden says Kenya's new government has a clear mandate, allowing for the implementation of policies and reforms aimed at improving the business environment and attracting more investments. "The implementation of policies included compliance issues focusing on data security with the need for cyber security solutions and services. The political stability also helped to maintain a conducive atmosphere for businesses to operate, which in turn has promoted job creation and expansion of various sectors.”

Looking West, Gounden says despite economic challenges and currency fluctuations in key West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana, the company's channel-led strategy allows it to work with strategic partners who can overcome these challenges. 

Obscure Technologies sees Mauritius and the surrounding Indian Ocean Islands as a region full of opportunity, especially with the OECD’s recent decision to remove Mauritius from its grey list. The company has appointed local resources in Mauritius to support the region. 

Lee adds that Obscure has several strategic partnerships with OEMs and expects to have four more in place by October 2023. While details of these partnerships are still under negotiation, Lee says they will involve leading products relevant to current market needs and aimed at protecting customers from modern-day attacks and vulnerabilities.