Dark Fibre Africa announces acquisition of Conduct
Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) is in the process of acquiring South Africa-based Conduct, in a move to overcome the last mile barrier and give enterprises across South Africa easy access to fibre connectivity.
Conduct is a last mile fibre solutions provider offering an open access network to service providers, so allowing them to deliver high speed voice, video and data solutions.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of March, pending the necessary approvals.
Reshaad Sha, Chief Strategy Officer at DFA, said: “The Conduct acquisition gives us an overnight presence as a last mile provider and, importantly, puts into motion our strategy to connect as many customers to our fibre network as possible in a cost effective way.”
Sha added that DFA has identified a largely unmet need in the market for cost-effective fibre connectivity to enterprise customers.
The cost of building out the last mile from an existing network into the building has been a barrier to entry to fibre connectivity for many enterprises.
He said: “Our customers, being Internet Service Providers and telecoms operators, therefore require an underlying solution that accelerates business connectivity more economically.
“DFA has focused its efforts on building a product set to lower or remove, this barrier to entry.”
Johan Pretorius, CEO at Conduct, said: “Conduct's last-mile network enables enterprises to get access to fibre very rapidly.
“Combining this last mile infrastructure with DFA’s metro network provides ISPs instant access to new customers while businesses benefit from fibre. Suddenly there are fast, reliable, competitive services at their fingertips.”
DFA expects its last mile strategy to be significantly enhanced with the acquisition of Conduct, allowing it to further speed up the delivery of last mile fibre connectivity to its customers while maintaining the successful recipe that Conduct has developed over the last two years.
DFA, through its ISP partner network, aims to connect up to 10,000 business customers to its fibre network by March 2015.
DFA will make all the capital investments required to build out this last mile fibre network where it currently has a metro network presence across South Africa.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.