Editor’s Note: This post is contributed by Thibaud Andre, a French consultant working at Chinese market research firm Daxue Consulting. He likes to share insights about emerging markets. In particular, he like to identify emerging trends and innovations that may change economic landscape in these countries.
Following recent annual tradition, NewAfrican Magazine published a special edition listing the 100 most influential Africans of 2014. Among them was a China-based African entrepreneur who shared his story.
JX Paulin and his company Mysimax aim to develop the high-end technology market in Africa. During his twenty year working experience in China, with half of them as an entrepreneur, Paulin observed the impact of technology in a country’s development. He was one of the few Europeans to believe in the growth of China as a world-leading power twenty years ago, and he notes the same potential in Africa today.
“Emerging countries are the markets of tomorrow for high-end technological devices,” Paulin told us. “Consumers from these countries want to enjoy the same things as their counterparts in western countries, and it would be absurd to not give them a customized offer.” Particularly in countries where the level of consumer technology is very low, spectacular growth can be expected.
MySimax is a China-based start-up focused on enabling access to technology in emerging countries, especially in Africa. Enthusiasm is already high, with the company having developed partnerships with local telecoms firms (such as Wallee in Cameroon) and funding from leading investors (such as Akwa Capital). More than 7,000 students have been equipped and involved through its projects.
Paulin’s next steps are to find more investors and to advance technological standards in Africa, without forgetting his presence in China. “I have spent twenty years in China. In terms of technological change and dynamism, it should be an example for any project in emerging countries. My experience here is my best asset in Africa, because I know the path to follow.”
African markets requires knowledge of the local environment. To succeed, it’s a question of being a provider of high-quality, localised solutions. “It’s possible through partnerships with local investors or communities, because we can’t simply address individuals in these countries. It includes governments, schools and all organization related to the community,” he said.
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketofontgues)