When Bill Gates’ Microsoft was looking to launch the first ever testing and quality assurance center in Africa, it turned to Techno Brain, based in Nairobi, Kenya. The Microsoft testing and quality assurance center, the fourth such centers of its kind in the world, was launched on May 2, 2018 and is housed at Techno Brain’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
Now, venturing in Liberia, the company, Techno Brain, which also specializes in digital identity management with end-to-end passport and border control systems solutions in the continent, recently won the bid to implement the National Identification and Vehicle Registration / Drivers License Projects in Liberia.
Mr. Manoj Shanker, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, is hoping that the Liberian operations will lay the ground work for improving identification technology in a nation still lagging behind the rest of the world and lacking the global standards and recognition that a company like Techno Brain can deliver. He sees a bright future for the training of youth and the formation of linkages to attract global companies.
For Shanker, the goal is to create ”Made in Africa” solutions that promote self-sustenance, social empowerment, long term economic stability and sustainability, showing that Africans can compete on the global stage.
Techno Brain’s vision, according to Shanker is aligned with his passion to empower lives in Africa through technology. And one area where Techno has had some successes is in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, which has been dominated by India, the Philippines and other countries in Asia. “We now have 600 people in this business and we are in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi addressing many markets. We have clients such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Walmart and are proving that Africans can handle and manage effectively BPO at lower costs,” the CEO avers.
Besides conducting digital indexing work for Google and image processing for Facebook, the company is also embarking on major initiatives in West Africa, including Nigeria and expanding into Mauritius and Angola while expanding its pedigree through its operations in the United States and acquiring the global tax and customs business of Crown Agents in the United Kingdom.
Additionally, Techno Brain is also engaged in helping global enterprises, including Fortune 100 companies, by providing leading technology, consulting, and outsourcing solutions. “Since our inception in 1997, we have built our strategy around innovation, technology, and teamwork”, Shanker revealed.
Techno Brain has long standing and strong relationships with the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Google and many global partners that rely on BPO services as a major part of their business strategies.
For Liberia, Mr. Shanker is hoping that Techno Brain in partnership with the government can establish an IT Center of Excellence in Liberia as a catalyst to jump start the IT industry in Liberia. This is an ideal proposition for a country whose close proximity to the US, Canada and England with compatible “time zones” and language (English) is ideally suited to attract a significant part of the BPO business that emanate from these 3 countries.
Last October, the Liberian government dedicated the country’s first National Biometric Identification System (NBIS), setting the stage for a transformative program that in effect changes the way government deals with private businesses and complement development efforts in national security, immigration, elections, financial services and government service deliveries.
The government and Techno Brain signed a US$ 5.9 million contract in April 11, 2017, to be implemented over the next three years.
Techno Brain, was selected through an international competitive bidding process that involved nineteen reputable and experienced companies. Under the contract, the National Identification Registry will set up a new biometric civil registry that will issue the first one million ID Cards, including 50,000 ECOWAS standard cards.
In Liberia, the overall goal is to register more than 4.5 million Liberians – who will obtain the citizen ID cards, and legal residents in the country.
Mr. Tiah Nagbe, Executive Director of the National Identification Registry, said recently, that the new ID card system will be a prerequisite for a number of day-to-day activities including opening bank accounts, voter registration and SIM card registration.
“If you don’t have the biometric ID card you cannot use your SIM card, the ID card will be required to do your SIM registration. You will also use it to open your bank account, do your voter registration, obtain a driver’s license among others,” Nagbe added.
Last month, Mr. Nagbe was the featured guest speaker at the 4th Annual “ID4Africa” forum in Abuja, Nigeria highlighting the successful launch of the Liberia National biometric ID card project. Although Biometric ID projects in Africa have been very difficult and challenging for many countries to implement successfully, Mr. Nagbe is confident of the Liberian project’s success, through its partnership with Techno Brain.
Mr. Shanker contends that Techno Brain has done well in excelling and proving that Africa can cater to its own governmental technology needs. “The public sector spends a lot of money in automation and it needs transformation with technology that will change the lives of the people it serves,” he added.
Last month, Boston Consulting Group, BCG, highlighted Techno Brain as one of 75 indigenous companies pioneering economic integration on the continent.
Techno Brain’s Integrated Financial Management System, IFMIS, deployed in Uganda, has been recognized by the World Bank as being “the best project of its kind in the world”, helping to keep track of and monitor local government spending. In Ethiopia, the company is implementing the largest IFMIS project in Africa including training 7500 public sector employees across 125 public agencies.
The success of Techno Brain was evident and on display in Nairobi last week as Kenya stands to benefited from Techno Brain’s emergence as a global IT player with the launch of a testing center for highly skilled engineering, quality assurance and testing work in Africa. Mr. Shanker is also confident that Liberia, too, can benefit tremendously from technology and he sees great hope for its youthful population.