Belgium-based business management software firm Odoo announced today that it has chosen Nairobi, Kenya as the location to establish its first African offices.
The firm began operations in its Kenyan arm on 1 July 2022, and it is reportedly seeking to hire 50 new employees to fill the new offices within a year.
Earlier this year, Patrick Lukusa was appointed as the director of Odoo Kenya, the new subsidiary of Odoo S.A. opening in Africa.
According to Odoo, its Kenyan branch was incorporated, its office was leased, completely fit out and recruitment began all “in a few weeks” with the goal to launch activities on July 1st with a headcount of 15 new employees (sales consultants and business analysts).
“It was very important for us to open this new office and 2022 was the year to do it. We wanted to be closer to our customers and address them locally, with local talents, which is something we cannot achieve from afar” says Fabien Pinckaers, CEO & Founder of Odoo S.A.
Odoo S.A. already had a customer base in Africa. Its business applications suite is used by more than 7,5 million users worldwide, but the company says it lacked a local presence and support.
Additionally, SMEs in Africa are facing new challenges and cannot keep on operating the way they did 10 or 20 years ago.
“Digitization cannot be ignored anymore. Today an SME in Nairobi or Abidjan faces the same challenges as one in Sydney, Madrid, or Mexico in terms of efficiency gains. We want to equip these SMEs with a modern, fully integrated suite of business applications that can address their needs at a reasonable cost and boost their competitiveness”, explains Patrick Lukusa, director of Odoo KE LTD.
New Kenya-Specific Software from Odoo
To ensure its ability to address the market’s needs, Odoo Kenya has already announced several new features specifically designed for Kenya, including:
- Kenyan Chart of accounts
- New eCommerce acquirers accepting payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, mobile money (Mpesa, Airtel, MTN, etc) throughout Africa
- The Kenyan Payroll.
Furthermore, the company says that several new local employees have been recruited, trained, and have already commenced duty in the new office on Chiromo Lane, Westlands, Nairobi.