Business software vendor Odoo has chosen Kenya as the location to establish its first African office, setting up operations here from July 1, 2022. The firm, which targets to recruit up to 50 new staff in the Kenya office within a year, offers several new software features that have been implemented to address the specific needs of Kenyan and African SMEs.
Earlier in the year, Patrick Lukusa (pictured top, at the centre) was appointed as the director of Odoo Kenya, the new subsidiary of Odoo in Africa. Later on, after a few weeks, the company was incorporated, then leased an office in Nairobi. This was then followed by the recruitment of 15 new colleagues (as 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, the CEO and Founder of Odoo.
Odoo already had a customer base in Africa. Its business applications suite is indeed used by more than 7.5 million users worldwide, but it lacked the local presence and support. Additionally, SMEs 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 Kenya.
To ensure its ability to address the market’s needs, Odoo Kenya has already announced several new features specifically designed for Kenya based clients. These include: Kenyan Chart of accounts, new eCommerce acquirers accepting payments methods such as credit cards, debit cards, mobile money (covering Mpesa, Airtel, MTN, among others) throughout Africa, and the Kenyan Payroll. Furthermore, several staff members have been recruited, trained and have already commenced work in the Nairobi office located at Chiromo Lane, Westlands.
Going forward, Odoo has set several goals and targets for Kenya, one of which is to achieve a turnover of Kshs 250 million (equivalent of 2 million EUR) in year one.
Odoo was founded in 2002. It currently has an annual revenues of €169 million in 2021, 71% organic growth per year, and has about 2,200 employees worldwide (with 970 of the staff based in the Belgium head office) as well as 230 staff working as developers. Overall, Odoo has 2 new employees every working day for the last 12 months, assisting 4,100 partners with more than 30,000 Odoo-related jobs created in 130 countries. Odoo now has 15 offices globally, that is Belgium (4), Luxembourg, Spain, Hong Kong, India, Australia, San Francisco, Buffalo, Curitiba, Mexico, Kenya, Dubai), serving 7.5 million users worldwide.