Comviva’s AfricaCom 2023 Recap: Anil Krishnan Highlights Strategic Focus on Africa

Anil Krishnan, SVP at Comviva, shares insights on AfricaCom, emphasizing engagements with existing partners and their significant role in fintech across Africa.

I am Chris Green, Chief Editor of Tech Africa News. This is AfricaCom 2023, day three. I’m here on the Comviva Technologies Booth, and I’m with Anil Krishnan, SVP – Africa Market Unit at Comviva Technologies. Anil, good to talk to you.

How has the show been for you so far, given that we’re on day three today?

Firstly, Chris, it’s a pleasure meeting you. The show has been productive. For us, it’s been about engaging with our existing customers, renewing relationships, and discussing future projects. Day three tends to be slower, but the preceding days involved meaningful sessions with customers and potential opportunities. We also participated in panel discussions and a fireside chat, delving into new trends in mobile money and digital financial services. Overall, it has been a worthwhile experience.

That’s good to hear. Can you tell us a little bit more about Comviva and the solutions you offer for the African market?

Comviva is celebrating its 25th year, having evolved from a pure VAS company. Our focus now spans Digitech, MarTech, and FinTech. In Africa, we’ve been present for the last 15 years, partnering with major operators like Airtel, Vodacom, MTN, and Orange, primarily in fintech and messaging solutions. With a stronghold in fintech, we power around 40 mobile money services on the continent, making us a leading platform in terms of transactions and financial volumes. Our solutions also extend to top-up services and messaging platforms with significant deployments across various operators.

Considering the rapid growth of fintech, could you provide more insight into your mobile money solutions?

With close to 40 deployments, we collaborate with operators like Airtel, EcoCash, Africell, Axiom, and Orange. Notably, Airtel Money spans 14 countries, EcoCash in Zimbabwe, and we support MyMP app as a front-end for mobile money systems. Our top-up solution is widely used, especially in Kenya and Ethiopia. In messaging, we have significant deployments with MTN and Airtel, including VAS Cloud and Firewall Solutions.

I appreciate the comprehensive overview. Shifting focus to industry challenges, with your extensive experience, how do you foresee Comviva contributing to bridging the digital divide in the next one or two years?

As the world goes digital, our focus on Digitech aligns with enabling digital channels for telcos. While USSD and SMS remain core channels in Africa, smartphone penetration is increasing. The affordability of smartphones and the exploration of 5G by some operators will catalyze digital growth. Connecting the unconnected is evolving into the digitization of services. Over the next 2-3 years, we anticipate more operators embracing digital services, and we are well-positioned to support them.

The show has been insightful. You’ve emphasized engagements with existing partners. Can we expect to see Comviva back at AfricaCom next year?

Absolutely. We’ve already pre-booked for the event next year. AfricaCom is a significant focus for us, being a pivotal Africa-centric event in the telecom industry. While we may not match the scale of MWC, AfricaCom’s focus on the African market, bringing together telcos, vendors, and the entire ecosystem, demands our support. Our commitment to returning reflects our confidence in the event and its role in our market strategy.

That’s reassuring. Anil, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for taking the time today. I look forward to catching up with you again next year. Thank you very much.

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