‘ART’ of supporting Kenya retail market

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Sailesh Savani, Founder & CEO of CompuLynx, for the last 20 years, steers the wheel of a firm that has introduced the ‘art’ of supporting East Africa’s retail market through inventing innovate technology solutions.
He remembers the saying ‘innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth’ by Peter Drucker, which inspired CompuLynx establishing in 1994 and showed him that innovative technology would add value in retail market and other sectors.
Sailesh believes passionately in making innovation “ART OF SUPPORTING RETAIL MARKET” – and to continuously develop and implement new ideas or solutions that create business value and increase competitive advantage for retailers in the region and beyond.
He shares with Business Mirror what the firm is doing to be ahead of the pack in the technology world.
BM: Can you share the reason behind CompuLynx inventing technology solutions to retail market in East Africa? Which major products are you offering for the retailers and mention some of your customers?
Sailesh: Lack of advanced technology in East Africa’s retail market is something we had gotten a load of, and we wanted to be the bridge of solving real business problems in the sector. Our efforts have been driven by the firm’s mission of providing “State-of-the-Art IT & Business Transformation Solutions” and making our clients become and remain leaders in their respective fields.
Being an international Information Technology and business solutions provider in Kenya, we have been able to invent locally developed retail management software solutions for growing retailers. Our flagship product, “CORE POS” is playing a pivotal role for running retail businesses more efficiently. Developed and customized by our local software engineers, the product is an off-shoot of our enterprise solution which caters for small, medium and large retailers.
“CORE POS “ comes packaged with features that are essential to manage inventory & sales more effectively giving retailers better visibility of stocks, profitability and collections.
Due to the increasing cases of shoplifting and theft in the retail business that have left retailers counting massive losses, we are implementing anti-theft and loos prevention solutions for the sector. The anti-theft solutions not only cater to this problem area but also make customer flow management simpler.
Sensormatic, an alarm system is one of the anti-theft products that not only prevents shoplifting in supermarkets but also enables management of aisle movement. In the growing consumer electronic sector, we are implementing secure retail merchandising and displaying systems which enables retailers to secure their high cost goods, yet leaving them in the open for customers to touch, feel and try before they buy any such item. This is helping retailers to secure their goods while increasing sale of such items.
Just to mention a few, leading retail firms such as Nakumatt Holdings, Ukwala Supermarkets, Eastmatt Supermarkets, Woolmatt Supermarkets, Naivas Supermarkets are powered by solutions developed by CompuLynx.

BM: What has made CompuLynx brand shine in the retail market?
Sailesh: With the increasing growth in the retail market, Complulynx has been in fore front to develop and implement innovative technology that brings about business transformation and accrues business benefits to retailers. We ensure that we deliver latest technology, offer reliable support and be that trusted partner who is committed to delivering beyond just IT solutions and services to our customers, but to solve real business problems.
CompuLynx’s “Total IT solutions” portfolio has been something to shout on the roof. With our vast domain knowledge, intellectual capital and passion, we make IT a reality in the retail sector. Our distinct value proposition and service culture, coupled with our track record of successful service delivery, have enabled us to build enduring relationships with our customers.

BM: As CompuLynx celebrates 20 years of exploring innovative technology in East Africa’s retail sector, what are the key achievements that you like to brag about ?

Sailesh: As a Technology Solutions Provider, we are proud to have joined the highly acclaimed International Standards Organisation (ISO) quality management systems certified firms in Kenya. After receiving the ISO certification in 2010, we moved to further enhance our market reputation as a quality focused organization on all our operations.
Partnering with leading IT-companies like Oracle, IBM, Datacard and Microsoft among others, have enhanced our delivery services of providing various products, solutions and platforms in various industry sectors.
With our globalized service delivery center in Nairobi that provides support to over 400 of our customers in over 25 countries spread across 3 continents.
CompuLynx has grown from a two man, single location company to seven five globally with a force of over 150 employees in less than 20 years. We are also happy to be the pioneer of technology in retail market.

BM: Although your IT products continue to attract retailers, what is major challenge facing your company?

Sailesh: Lack of skilled workers in the information technology (IT) sector has been the major challenge. This problem has not only affected us alone but other local software firms, forcing companies to outsource work internationally or to train fresh graduates, which adds to operating costs. But we are not shying away from our responsibility of developing our youth. We employ fresh graduates from local universities and train them to become professionals in the field of technology development and support.

BM: As CompuLynx marks its 20th anniversary, what is your outlook for the future?

Sailesh: We are working with the company’s strategic objective of becoming a pan African company and improve business performance in the retail market.
We are working on our next generation retail solution stack that is due to be released in the mid of 2015.
Besides our domain expertise in the retail technology segment, we have developed expertise in Identity Management, Fraud and Loss Prevention which has emerged a focused business practice for us. We deploy solutions based on smart card and biometric technologies as well as neural network to minimize if not eliminate losses due to Identity theft and frauds. We see this as a high growth segment for us where we have solutions for all industries including Banking, Financial Services, Health, Education, Retail and Government.
Currently we have a team of 150 employees, and we are looking forward to increasing the number to over 250 in the next three years, becoming the employer of choice.

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