‘I hope that in about five years, we will be listed on the floor of the stock exchange.’
Tell us a bit about your company and what business it is into for those that are not too familiar with Right Click?
Thank you very much; right click is an e-business solutions provider. We have been in the market for about eleven years now, and basically we serve mostly in the financial sector, we are into mobile applications development, web development, business intelligence and other business information type systems.
We basically try to help our clients have easier processes using information technology, as a yardstick for meeting their objectives.
You are not the only player of this kind in the country, so what separates you from your competition, what is the right click edge?
Basically we leverage on the people we have to be as professional as we possibly can be, serving our clients whole heartedly, also cutting edge innovations, things that haven’t been done before and making sure that we speak the same language with our customers so that we can move their businesses forward.
You say your solutions greatly enhance the effectiveness of a business owner to make informed decisions in real time. Can you give us an example of what that means in concrete terms to a potential client?
One of the solutions we proffer is business intelligence, and what that means basically is we deploy solutions that help you make informed decisions on business growth. We do market analysis, data analysis and you look at all that and then you can make informed decisions. So bringing that home, we help you look at what you are doing, what your competitors are doing, what data you have and then we can process and forecast and then on the go, you can make informed decisions which in itself should enhance the positive development of your business.
Is that tied to a website, or does that go over the cloud to the customer through his website of mobile device?
Business intelligence comes in different forms, it is not only about building a website, but it is also about a solution that ties into your core processes, it looks at all you do, it is a service that you can say is hosted in the cloud, but it goes into your entire processes in your system, and it shows you a picture of what you had and what you are likely to have so you can make informed decisions.
Can you give us an insight into right clicks growth trajectory over the past years, since it was founded in 2002, and your most recent revenue numbers?
We have been around for a while but we majorly broke out big in 2008, where we started serving major financial institutions in Nigeria. Since then, I think we have only gone from strength to strength, by having more financial type institutions among our clientele.
Right click, has grown and right now I can say we didn’t do badly in 2013, we had a turnover of about N100 million and we are looking at doing a lot better this year.
How has that growth process been funded since Nigerian start-ups usually have a hard time getting funding
The good thing about right click is that it has been an organic company where people in here are 100 percent responsible for the growth and we retained some of our earnings and re-invested in the business.
Your clients seem limited to financial services, is it that the e-commerce is taken up by small Nigerian businesses or you are pricing your services out of the reach of Nigerian startups and smaller businesses?
No, our prices are very competitive, but it is safe to say that financial type institutions take Information Technology seriously, however that is not the only market we serve, we are in oil and gas, Government, retail and confectionary, but it is safe to say that financial services predominate, because of the security hazards and the kind of businesses they do, they take IT more seriously.
Perhaps the Nigerian environment probably needs to wake-up to the fact that IT has come to stay and there is a lot that we can leverage on it to make things a lot better.
Tell us about your mobile strategy and mobile web based applications, because mobile internet is the fastest growing part of telecoms right now because everyone has a smart-phone or aspires to own one and needs data services.
Recent statistics show that Nigeria has become one of the fastest growing countries in terms of internet usage, and most people have a smart-phone now, and it is just safe to say that the next platform to exploit is the mobile platform, where we have things like mobile applications, and websites tailored to the mobile experience and other solutions, tailored to serve the mobile market, so it is the next big thing, everybody is going towards having smaller screens, note books and so on.
Most of our solutions in right click, in terms of web development are all mobile friendly, where you have a web version and a mobile solution, because as it were, it is not about us alone, but about what the market is ready for and wants.
What role if any does cloud computing play in either disrupting or enhancing your business?
Cloud computing is a solution that has been well embraced for certain reasons one of them being that it reduces your overhead cost, you can just push many thing you could have done in your environment to the cloud, and makes business faster. However a limitation might be the bandwidth that we don’t totally enjoy in this part of the world, but it is a system that we have embraced that is an enhancer to our business and I think it has come to stay.
Nigeria’s IT infrastructure has grown tremendously since 2003, however gaps still remain. How do you see the new broadband initiative of the FG, and what would you say are your biggest challenges in running your business in this environment?
The new broadband policy is a welcome development, like I said we can only grow from strength to strength. The new broadband initiative when it does fully kick off, and spreads to every corner of the country, I think it is something that would help even small and medium sized organisations, grow faster and they can leverage off information from the internet, and also it is an opportunity for everybody out there to have instant and very cheap internet access.
This means information becomes easily accessible and then we can reach them easily and they can also reach us. So I think it is something that is very laudable, and we can only hope that it gets to spring up as fast as possible.
On your question about our challenges, just like every developing country we can only believe and hope that things would move forward as fast as possible, however with what is being done right now, it looks like there is a bright future ahead, considering where we are coming from.
You have an insight into the industry, and you can tell what trends are affecting the Nigerian IT industry. Looking at the IT sector, it seems like we have not been able to grow our IT firms into big companies, such as Infosys of India, or to have a big outsourcing industry like they do. What do you think are the limitations to growing our IT industry, beyond telecoms and into software, apps development and so on?
It is a factor that comprise of many things, one of the challenges that I have seen in this industry is that the very good hands like in almost all other industries do want to go abroad and look for greener pastures, and are not taking the pains to sit at home and build whatever it is that we can.
Also being up to date or being at par with our competitors abroad, like we have done in India, but I also believe that things are beginning to happen here, we have in Nigeria a couple of freelance hubs where outsourcing is actually being done as we speak, so I think things are gradually picking up, it is a lot better than what it used to be and I am sure by the time things begin to really play out, people who have gone abroad will probably come back and the younger ones coming after them will be encouraged to stay.
Do you have any African expansion plans beyond Nigeria?
That is in the works, as I currently speak right click serves in a couple of West African countries, we have deployed solutions to Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and to Sierra Leone, and we can only hope to even grow bigger in the coming years.
What was your reaction when you were appointed in your new role as CEO of right click and what do you intend to bring to the table?
Because of the delicacy of the position, it was not a shock. The appointment came with a lot of responsibility to take the organisation to the next level.
From where I came from, I had served in the web development department, and had grown to be the head of the department, and some of the challenges I faced as a developer were some of the things I thought that right click can do a lot better in, being in the core application team and then now from a holistic point of view being able to proffer solutions, and we felt it would help move the organisation forward.
I hope to build an organisation where creativity thrives, very competitive and very work friendly environment to work in that fulfills customers and client needs.
How do you intend to maintain the momentum of Right click?
One of the first thing we have identified is that we need to increase our customer satisfaction index, also be more innovative to serve our clients better and also to develop solutions that would be very difficult to push away, basically to keep adding value to our products.
We currently have some strategic partnerships, locally and internationally, and we are currently in the works with other global partners, who will collectively push the interest of right click not only in Nigeria but also abroad.
What drives us and our board is the corporate objectives of the company which becomes my own key performance index.
I hope to penetrate into green areas, places we haven’t been able to enter as of this year, and play in those areas, in terms of solutions and locations, for example, power, transportation and more Government or public sector business.
Twitter, Face book, LinkedIn, these companies all went from a fast growth trajectory to later having IPOs and cashed out to create brand new billionaires. Do you see yourself (right click) going that route in 5 – 10 years time and perhaps listing on the NSE?
Oh yes, I think it is the objective of every organisation to at some point hit the brakes and then become a global brand. One of the things we have identified in this part of the world is that IT industry or firms have not been able to really grow to become world names, it is something that we hope that very soon, rather than later we would be able to achieve. Like I said we have been around for eleven years and we have only gone from strength to strength and I hope that in five years, we will be listed on the floor of the stock exchange.
You are obviously a role model to our young people of today that want to play in the IT sector. What message would you leave for them on how to succeed in the Nigerian IT sector or any sector for that matter?
I would say hard work, hard work and hard work. I have had people who have played in this market, and no matter how hard it seemed they have broken through. So not being able to break through is not an excuse.
We are in a time where information is everywhere; if you need something you can leverage off the internet and get information. So get as much information as you can, stay focused and work hard.