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Zoom is finally in Kenya, but why should we care?

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By Gathua Miricho

Last Friday, a local firm, Afatrading Company Limited put pen to paper, a deal that saw them become Kenya’s only authorized resellers of Zoom licenses.

This big occasion lacked the usual fanfare that marks similar occasions of its ilk, as all this was done through a 1 hour Zoom meeting.

The company in question has been in operation for quite a number of years but had been dealing mainly with hardware solutions for video conferencing needs.

The company director, Adil Mughal, termed this as key milestone for the company. He further said that this was the only partnership of its kind in the region, since the only other reseller is based in South Africa:

“This is a big step for us, but a big leap for Kenya. That a big company like Zoom, a company that has made billions of dollars in sales this year alone would look favourably at a Kenya, it means that Kenya is obviously doing something right.”

Zoom was founded back in 2011, by Eric Yuan a Chinese born American. However, it was only this year that the company became a household name, following the global Covid-19 outbreak.

Kenya has seen a global Zoom uptake. Companies, individuals and even government institutions have used Zoom to hold meetings. According to Adil, the major challenge for corporate users has been support:

 “With Zoom headquartered thousands of miles away, the only recourse has been sending an email or reaching out via social media, but now, with this deal in place, clients can walk in to my office or just give me a call and their issue will be addressed.”

Covid-19 has caused a huge shift in business. Companies have now realized that they do not need everyone in the office for the dreaded Monday meetings as they can do that in the comfort of their homes by simply using Zoom.

However, just like any other technological revolution in history, there is a downside. Companies have realized that they can operate profitably with a skeleton staff and many have downsized, leaving many people jobless. The hotel industry will also suffer since not many people will travel to attend conferences, all one needs now is an invite link and voila, you are in.

But I might be wrong, maybe this is just a fad and the craze will soon subside and we will go back to the “old normal,” but I hope I’m right, because I really enjoy sleeping through those Monday.

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