Making ‘Traks’ into wider African markets

29 May 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914723

Commerce & Trade
ICT In Industry
Import / Export

LEVERAGING almost two decades of experience in South Africa, and a presence in a further six African countries, key and equipment management company Traka Africa has announced an acceleration in their growth strategy. It plans to open new operations or expand more widely in five southern African countries, as well as into East Africa.

Globally, Traka already has a presence in 40 countries through a combination of its own subsidiaries and local partners.

Key and equipment management is a highly niche market that Traka Africa’s General Manager Craig Williams estimates as a global R5-billion to R7.5-billion market. The African segment is approximately R350 million, with the largest chunk being in South Africa.

Capping a period of strong, 25% a year growth in the South African market over the past five years, Williams said Traka is expanding, having recently also launched a new automotive business unit in South Africa, Traka Automotive, focused on car dealerships. 

Making ‘Traks’ into wider African markets
Traka Africa’s General Manager, Craig Williams, left, and Business Development Manager, Nicolai van Zyl

Traka Africa provides asset management solutions using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology particularly to the mining and petrochemical, banking and now automotive industries, and globally is a market leader in the management and security of keys and mobile equipment such as laptops and barcode scanners.

Business Development Manager Nicolai van Zyl said: “Traka already operates in several countries outside of South Africa such as Rwanda, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana and recently Mauritius.”

He said the company had built considerable expertise in supplying to the mining industry and in more recent years the banking and telecommunications industries and it was, therefore, a logical step to use this experience to grow its business in other African countries strong in those sectors.

“We have identified various opportunities to launch into Africa and will now be targeting countries with stable mining economies, such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mauritius and Botswana.

“We have also gained, in a relatively short time, a lot of influence and expertise in the vital banking and telecommunications sectors, which are major contributors in the economic growth of Africa at the moment, especially the rapidly growing sector of East Africa where there already existed fast fibre networks.”

The selection of individual countries has depended on a matrix of characteristics: tax, economics, logistics and business potential in each sector. “This reduced the options to just a handful of countries,” said Van Zyl.

The “equally exciting” economies in North Africa are for the moment being neglected in the first wave of expansion as “too ambitious”, and to enable the company to focus on those it is more operationally ready for.

Williams said Traka’s experience in South Africa would stand it in good stead. “We have found that many of our prospects and customers prefer to deal with companies based on the continent. Our advantage lies in being African and our ability to support partners and customers with a specialist team based in the region, with the full support of our global team headquartered in the UK..

“We have a quite ambitious target of 15% growth per annum over the next five years and will be investing in growing our staff numbers and wider African footprint to achieve these ambitions,” he said.

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