Outpacing National Growth
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Donovan Smith
Established in 1994 with the remit of providing brand named IT equipment to Ethiopia, the ALTA Computec success story is epitomised by the financial rise from US$15,000 upon inception to the US25.5 million in capital it enjoys to this day, but this is only the first chapter depicting a multifaceted rise to prominence.
At the time, ALTA was the first Company to move into the space in the country, receiving a helping hand in becoming one of the few resellers for Dell on the continent at the time.
Now, the turnkey IT solutions provider has the technical and financial capacity to work on large infrastructure projects ranging from project conception, to sourcing, implementation and after sales services.
“From banking to education, Government to global companies, our experience spans across diverse industries,” adds the Company’s General Manager, Cherinet Giorgis. “Our Company has successfully deployed different types of IT infrastructure building and systems integration for almost every sector in the country.
“We have worked with the Government, financial institutions, educational institutions, oil companies, manufacturing and global organisations – we have actually worked with every single diplomatic mission in the country – to name just a few.”
The privately-owned group of shareholders comprises expertise in IT infrastructure, branch automation for banks, office automation, software licensing and corporate communication; enabling the business to retain a flexibility and bespoke offering largely unmatched by industry competitors.
“When scouting new projects, we usually look at the client’s current infrastructure and we work with them to identify where they want to be in the future,” Giorgis explains. “Most of the time clients might be too focused on their most pressing issues to see what their future needs, but this is where our input comes in. We work with clients in not only solving their immediate needs, but also setting them up for their future growth.”
ALTA Computec has formed a reputation from the outset for going the extra distance for its customers, beginning two decades ago by giving free computer training to get people acclimatised with their new purchases.
“Now we have one of the best warranty service centres with the highest level of customer satisfaction,” continues Giorgis. “We work with the best brands in the world, we never stop improving our technical standing with every single brand, and are the most trusted Company in the country when it comes to reliable support and in fulfilling what we promise to do.”
Long-term value proposition
Growing in line with – and often ahead of – similarly rapid growth in the wider market in Ethiopia over the past 22 years, ALTA has evolved from a two-person operation working out of a small office to an organisation now consisting of more than 120 employees spread across three locations and the Company’s headquarters.
To achieve such progression, a strong sense of entrepreneurship has transcended into ongoing diversification of products, services and the overall approach to market development.
“The key trends really have been greater awareness of leveraging IT by organisations, coupled with the focus given to IT by the Government’s policies. This awareness is frequently reflected by organisations when we see them requesting the latest in technology during their RFP process,” Giorgis notes. “Our Company has always managed to stay ahead of the competition by investing in and anticipating the next wave of technological changes. The diversification of our portfolio is reflective of that evolution.”
Subsequently formulating and retaining a status as one of the best IT solutions providers, nationwide, a customer-centric focus has been the key reason for its rise to prominence, but ALTA’s work is far from done with even more concerted improvements earmarked for the coming years.
“From a technology standpoint, we are planning to outpace the growth and appetite of the country in general. Competition is growing at an exponential rate so our competitive advantage is now shifting to having better expertise,” Giorgis continues. “This means to continue the investment in our staff to upgrade our skills as well as invest in the technology that we ourselves use.”
Compounding this confidence is a comprehensive supply chain incorporating some of the biggest brands in their respective fields, that ALTA is proud to state as OEMs.
“Our OEM partners are premium brands and we chose them because we believe in working with the best in the industry,” Giorgis says. “We believe that the OEMs that we partner with are a reflection of where we see ourselves in the market.
“Even in a price sensitive market, we have been able to successfully deploy these high end brands because we make a long-term value proposition based on getting the best ROI.”
Demand for information technology solutions
On an even more internal note, the Company’s employment strategy across areas of hiring, training and retention has benefitted from more than 20 years of refinement to affirm the business’s status as an employer of choice and a reliable entity for individual progression.
With the majority of employees hired straight from university before being earmarked for internal promotion up the ranks, ALTA is able to leverage its own expertise as a learning organisation on the cusp of industry development to retain a balance of insular sustainability and external awareness of what the market requires.
“Our Company has managed to achieve one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry, because employees in the tech sector are increasingly looking to work with companies that invest in their future,” Giorgis states. “It’s important because, in a growing market, the only thing guaranteed is that there will always be a flux in what the clients demand.
“From an economic standpoint, Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, and along with the growth, the demand for information technology solutions is also growing drastically.”
Most of this demand appears in the form of turnkey requirements playing right to ALTA’s strengths where it is perfectly equipped to meet expectations emanating from the Government sector and from global companies; even in spite of recent challenges.
“ALTA covers major costs involved in the process of preparation and participation on cancelled bids – which is a major challenge in numerous instances – in order to share the bigger part of the burden,” Giorgis picks up. “Also, as Africa is now a focused market, many global companies worldwide are turning their faces towards Africa which is making the competition stiffer.”
Despite this, as Giorgis concludes, ALTA Computec expects its reputation and cemented partner relationships to culminate in at least 10 percent market share growth, 15 percent revenue growth and 10 percent profit growth over the coming years.
He says: “ALTA is determined to provide a considerable level of new and updated technology to the financial industry that will greatly contribute to their efficiency and customer satisfaction in order to enable them to be more competitive and profitable.
“Furthermore we believe all our customers will highly benefit from our solutions in terms of enhancing their efficiency and achieving their organisational goals.”