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The Dutch company mediates for African IT professionals in Europe and the United States

  • Africa is a growing provider of IT professionals to companies in Europe and the United States.
  • Dutch brokerage Tunga responds to that demand and sees a clear growth market.
  • Business Insider CEO Ernesto Sproot spoke about creating a win-win environment for Africa’s growth and meeting the growing demand for information technology services in the West.

Africa is a growing provider of IT professionals to companies in Europe and the United States. That is not unreasonable.

A large, relatively well-trained pool of talent on the continent and a young, As an internet enthusiast Will not be alone in 2040 Is doubling, But mostly speaks English.

Moreover, digital infrastructure is growing rapidly in many African countries, for example, unlike India, the time difference with Europe is very small.

Last but not least, wages are still low. Because a Dutch IT professional can ask for a starting salary of between 2,500 euros and 3,000 euros a month without a blush, the average monthly salary of a Nigerian, Egyptian or Ugandan ID person is volatile. About 1,000 euros.

The continent is now estimated to be like that 690,000 professional software developers. Add to that the fact that we have a shortage of such professionals in Europe and that your business model exists.

Social entrepreneur Ernesto Sprout thought of something similar when he founded Tunga in 2015, the design company Butterfly Works, which is a crossroads between a quiz company and a full-service HR service provider.

“There is a greater focus on helping coffee farmers Fair trade, Provides balance for both parties. Mediating IT services is a lot of fun, and it also yields high returns for professionals from Africa, ”Sprout Business Insider told the Netherlands.

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Also read Business Insider

Ernesto Sprout, CEO of Tunga.  Photo: Tongue

Ernesto Sprout, CEO of Tunga. Photo: Tongue

Tunga means ‘to create, to create’ in Swahili

“We initially had the idea of ​​creating an online marketplace that could meet supply and demand, but it didn’t work out,” says Sprout. “Cultural distance was too great. We got involved and started doing projects like building applications. However, more and more customers wanted to manage people themselves and ask us to recruit, fit and guide them. That’s 95 percent of our business now. ”

The idea for Tunga was born in 2015. Sprout worked on a startup and saw how difficult it was to find good programmers.

He was associated with design firm Butterfly Works, which has already set up various IT schools across Africa for young people from disadvantaged areas. Like Sprout, the director of Butterfly Works also finished high hotel school. There was a click, the rest of the history.

Recruitment is not limited to fit and secondary

With offices in Amsterdam, Kampala and Lagos, Tunga now employs about 20 to 25 people. Number of IT professionals Before Tunga is now approaching the 70s and 80s, spreading to 45 customers in Europe and the United States.

The business model is simple: IT people team up with Tunga’s customers, but Tunga’s are paid, they take care of management, keep a finger on the pulse and provide an alternative when an IT person breaks down.

The customer pays a monthly commission to Tunga. As mentioned: Merger between a full service HR service provider and a second company.

But not completely. Butterfly Works’ past tense comes into play: Education.

“We get a lot of applications every day, but most people are not ready for it yet. We’ve created a platform for this, a kind of dashboard where candidates – and we – can read how they do it, what skills they still need to work on,” Sprout said.

“We also have an academy that offers courses so that we can provide perspective to those who do not meet the requirements. We are really creating an ecosystem. We do not want to catch fish from the pond and the fish want to enter the pond.”

Developers from 24 African countries

Tunga has about three legs. All operating are located in Africa and the trade division is in Europe.

“Our head office is located in Kampala, Uganda, where work is coordinated,” says Sprout. “We have a service center in Lagos where we facilitate work. We have a center where our staff can go, for example a customer wants his team members to sit together in the office.”

Real crafts? This is done by experts from all over English-speaking Africa, although the lion’s share of it works from Nigeria. “We have developers from 24 African countries, but most of them are from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Egypt. Ghana is on the rise.”

Tunga’s business arm is in Europe, to be precise in Amsterdam’s Vipatstrat, where only one person works. Sprout: “The rest work from home. We have a sales manager in Spain, a sales leader in Amsterdam, our social media company in Den Bosch, and our telemarketers in Norway and the UK. ”

Corona Resource Company

This system seems to be the most corona source even before we know what a corona is. Did Tunga notice any of this? “The Corona crisis has not affected us in a functional sense. Our sales and marketing model was already 90 per cent online and over the phone. Many of our colleagues got used to drinking coffee with each other with customers. They had to switch more,” Sprout said.

In terms of economic impact, Tunga has been suffering from the crisis for some time. Sprout: “In March and April last year, naturally we had a complete stagnation because everyone put the brakes on the first lock. One fall the pipe was empty. We did not answer the phone, we used to call companies. But everyone was suddenly home. ”

However, the corona effect was short-lived. Sprout 2020 has seen a resurgence since September “since January it has gone crazy again”.

Does Tunga suffer a lot from coffee drinking colleagues? In other words: is it a competitive market? Sprout: “Many companies don’t do this. There is a key player, but it mainly focuses on the US market. With such a party we have a competition for talent. There are also some parties centered in Africa, but they are very small. The demand is so high, it really is one Seller’s Market. If you have talent, you can always set it aside. But talking to companies is easy for us because we have a different story. ”

How are those customers? Tunga has grown up Corporates, But startups and SMEs. According to Sprout, the latter were “not really satisfied” in the labor market. Incidentally, the customer site is not limited to the Netherlands. Tunga is increasingly serving parties in the UK and Norway.

Launched in 2015, the first two years of the pilot phase focused on seeing what works and what doesn’t. In 2017, Tunga purchased an opportunity site called Caspotal from DPG Media Group as a customer. From that moment on, the company gained traction.

“This is a real release, and it’s been an upside since then. I think we have now served 150 customers. We currently employ 70 to 80 people, which is only half of last year.

African Information Technology Skills Development Market

What are the further growth forecasts? “It simply came to our notice then. I think we can grow from 1,500 to 2,000 people without any problems. Then we have to deal with some foreign markets. But when you look at how big the IT population shortage is and how many IT people enroll in those countries, it is by no means adequate. I expect that even the worst economic situation will have a small impact on this sector. ”

Are there any global aspirations outside of Africa? “In theory we can go to other continents, but we have a purpose for Africa. We see a lot more potential. We were established to help young people in Africa.”

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