As World Tech, African high-tech startups will follow

Based in Benin, As World Tech makes smart watches, connected glasses and other latest generation laptops that shake up the ICT market.

A lover of digital solutions

Richard Gautier Odjrado, the new face of tech in Africa, for him, it all started when he was a teenager when he traveled to trade fairs in Côte d’Ivoire with his father, then an electronics seller. The click. “I’ve always defined myself as a solver because problems inspire me,” says the brilliant 30-year-old project manager who has come up with a solution for what is now WhatsApp’s ancestor. I can say that my past experiences have enriched me a lot. Project manager, marketing and digital communication consultant, Richard has carried out many missions for different companies such as Facebook (Meta). Then it became closer to the digital through the multiplication of innovations and other initiatives such as I-secours, the International Virtual Fair and a self-diagnosis platform intended to relieve the Beninese health system in the time of Covid -19. Founder of the AS® brand, Asuka Spirit, the adventure of her new startup began the day her two smartphones were stolen. “The next day, I looked for effective anti-theft solutions to stop losing my phones, but I couldn’t find anything. That’s when I came up with a preventative solution that prevents me from losing my phone. »

“People at the heart of the whole process”

Three years later, he launched in Cotonou, Benin, a prototype of the “AS WATCH” connected watch of the preventive anti-theft type with an integrated digital thermometer that, after three meters, is triggered by vibration when it detects that’s the smartphone. is far from AS WATCH. In just 72 hours after posting a demo video, Richard received approximately 12,000 purchase intentions. Confirmed in his potential to offer effective solutions, he founded As World Tech in June 2021. His idea? Offer innovative technological products, home appliances and other accessories at affordable prices with own brand. Among the products available for sale in the dedicated online store are designer and discreet connected glasses that allow you to make calls and listen to music without earphones, as well as innovative laptops with African names such as : Shango, Oga, Ifê, Folake. Knowing the potential of the African market, his target, Richard wanted to bide his time. “I have received several takeover proposals. My goal is not to sell but rather to have high-level shareholders to build a strong African brand that carries values ​​and offers products adapted to our needs, through refocusing on the person at the center of the entire process. , we will do high-tech differently. Richard is one of the business partners of the Beninese innovation agency Sèmè City. It works with the Ministry of Digital and Digitization of Benin.

A noble brand

To do this, the Beninese brand wishes to respect a divine development, based on sustainable consumption and production methods. In addition to using components with a longer life, As World Tech bets on devices with a high repairability and recyclable index, with the aim of reducing computer waste. Not to mention its actions against the digital divide through training and equipment recovery. “We can produce on a massive scale while insisting on the ecological aspect,” recalls Richard. We have to manage to create a synergy between all the players because we have many levers to be in line with the challenges of development and environment. On the innovation side, his start-up, which now has twelve employees with more than 25,000 product requests worldwide, is preparing to launch its own range of smartphones, digital school supplies and even connected devices. sneakers. to reduce fatigue. While the references of the brand are now available in a showroom located in Cotonou in the center of the capital on avenue Steinmetz, Richard is initiating other steps in terms of business. Many major brands, African, European and American should undoubtedly distribute As World Tech from next fall. “We are preparing a fundraising campaign”, added Richard before concluding, straight to the point: “We want to cover 17% of the African market for connected objects and computer systems in 5 years and we are talking about more than 590,296,163 people connected to the internet through devices, that is, 43% of the population of Africa source: “Internet World Stats 2021″. To achieve this, apart from B2C, we must, with the support of our leaders, equip our Ministries, Institutions, Hospitals, Universities and Colleges with our own computers and other connected devices. This is also about digital sovereignty.” The coming months will be decisive. Richard encourages young Africans to believe in themselves and stay on the continent to develop it in co-creation. His leitmotif: Africa, the place to be!

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