TekSol Ghana: A Software Development Company Focused on Financial Technology

Louis Amenyo Adanuty gives an overview of the financial technology sector in Ghana and presents TekSol, a software development company based in Accra and specialized in providing financial services to institutions, with the goal to become the market leader in the provision of software application and consulting services, not only in Ghana, but across Africa.

Interview with Louis Amenyo Adanuty, CEO of TekSol

Louis Amenyo Adanuty, CEO of TekSol

What is your assessment of the sector in Ghana? How competitive is the market? What are the current trends?

The technology sector in Ghana and Africa is still in its growth stage. In terms of competition, many local startups such as ours are beginning to come up to serve the needs of market. We began as an enterprise business providing software solutions to financial institutions and enterprises, but over the past five years, the trend has been growing towards more fintechs using financial technology to provide services in the financial space. It is beginning to disrupt the way services are provided within the financial industry. That is where the trend is heading, not just in Ghana but all over the globe. Mobile penetration in Africa is helping us to launch heavily into that space by using mobile technologies to provide financial services.

Are there gaps in the market? There are many companies providing the same kinds of services. Is the fintech market very competitive?

Yes, but now, companies operating within this space are all doing mostly the same things: providing payment solutions, money transfer solutions to the telecos, providing mobile money services and operators to the fintech companies, providing value added services. The competition is keen because almost every company is starting with the payment and money transfer. How can we go beyond what is currently being done with the services being provided and the kind of technology that we have currently and how can we leverage that to provide services beyond payment?

What can you provide beyond payment?

We are looking at how we can use technology to provide financial services other than just making bill payments and money transfers. We are looking at insurance, pensions, and all the other subsectors within the major financial sector. How do we reduce brick and mortar and people always having to walk into bank branches to access financial services? On your mobile phone you should be able to do things that you previously would have had to go into a branch to do. These things are happening within the space and it is very exciting.

What are your competitive advantages? What makes you different from others and what do you bring to the market?

Teksol started off as a local business, so we have taken the time to understand the workings of the Ghanaian and African financial space. We have leveraged that to develop solutions for businesses. Where most businesses fail, we have succeeded. Those that are starting up now have to learn how things are done, whereas we already understand how things work here and we build solutions and innovate to fit those challenges and actually solve problems pertaining to the markets. That is a very big differentiator for us.

What services do you provide?

We have served our clients for the past five years without losing any of those businesses. Last year, for the first time, we made the Ghana Club 100 list organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. It is a very prestigious grouping of businesses that are making strides and making waves.

As a fintech company, we started off by providing core banking solutions to the banks, Tier 2 financial institutions like savings and loans companies, the finance houses, and microfinance institutions. We have done that for the past ten years and our solutions have evolved and a lot of research and development has been done. We just launched our latest solution for the banking and financial services sector. Our new core banking solution creates a broad-based platform not only for the traditional banking operations. We are providing channels of payment and transactions. We are integrating mobile money transactions so customers of the financial institutions or the banks can naturally interact and transact without having to go to the banking hall or traditional ATM machines. We are doing a lot now with mobile phones and other services like payments, bill payments, and ecommerce. We are integrating the back end of these banks to other service providers to make it easier for their customers to transact without going to the brick and mortar location. We also are the largest provider of fund management software in the Ghanaian market and we intend to carry that across Africa. We provide services to investment and fund management companies. We provide financial assistance for mutual funds managers, private wealth, and short-term money market securities and capital market. We allow clients to actually see their assets under management and see how well their fund managers are managing their funds. We also provide services to the pension sector and pension fund managers as well as the trustees. About five or six years ago, the government of Ghana tried to liberalize the pension space. Prior to that, we had the government-managed pension scheme, “SSNIT”. Once it was liberalized, there was a need for private players to come into the market. They needed technologies to manage their businesses and to manage their funds and that is where we came in. We developed, engineered, and innovated solutions for the pension administrators and fund managers and most of them use our solutions still.

What is your international reach and what are your plans?

We are currently registered and about to start operations in Rwanda. We also just opened up a Cameroonian office. We intend to operate in about 10 countries in the next 18 months across Africa.

Are you going to look for partners?

Africa consists of countries that speak English, French, and a few other languages. Very soon we will have a population of 1.2 billion on the continent which is a very big market for us. How do we leverage those numbers to drive trade and business? We do not want to concentrate on only the Anglophone countries. Therefore, we are using Cameroon as our test case. Until recently, Rwanda was a French speaking country. Beginning our expansion, we want to test the francophone countries and be able to see how things work there so that when we are deploying our strategies, we know how to take care of the entire continent.

What are some of your success stories? What awards have you won?

We have achieved many successes. We are the number one provider of investment and fund managing software for investment companies in Ghana currently, which is a huge achievement. We compete with foreign companies and we are able to get business from them. We have served our clients for the past five years without losing any of those businesses. Last year, for the first time, we made the Ghana Club 100 list organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. It is a very prestigious grouping of businesses that are making strides and making waves. It is a platform that projects your institution or your company as doing very well. We were profiled as the 20th most prestigious company in 2018. It is a very big achievement for us. I was also just named the Outstanding Software Development Entrepreneur in Ghana for 2018. We are making very good progress and people are beginning to recognize that what we are doing is actually making an impact.

What challenges do you face?

There are a couple of challenges that we have, especially in this part of the world. We are still developing our infrastructure and our internet reach. Even though we are making progress, it could still be better. The major challenge facing SMEs or startups in this part of the world, especially in our industry where everything is intellectual, is capital, access to funding. There is a lot of funding coming to this area now, but it is not like it is in Europe or America. We need capital to expand, to grow our team, to expand our market reach, and to do R&D. We have a lot of projects in the pipeline to launch, but access to capital is making it difficult to expand the way we have strategically envisioned to run our business. That is our greatest challenge. With access to quality capital and pension funds, venture capital or private equity, we will be able to grow in scale to a level that can make more impact than we are currently making.

Are you considering listing the company?

Listing is the way forward. We operate within society and the community and we want them to also own a part of what we are doing. Secondly, as a listed company, it gives you that level of credibility because you have to be transparent. We are preparing the company to list in the next five to ten years. We have already been in business for ten years. So, we have demonstrated with our few resources that this is what we have set out to do and we have been able to do it. We have sustained Teksol for the past ten years on our own internally generated revenues without any funding from anywhere. I started the business right out of school and from one man we have grown to almost 32 and we are still growing. That is what I set out to do, not just to rush and get capital. Everybody needs capital, but what are you going to do with the money? With almost nothing we have been able to create a company that has been able to run for ten years and be very profitable over those ten years. For that, we have been recognized and awarded. We have demonstrated that capability. Now, we are in our growth stage and we need the necessary resources, the capital, to be able to launch to the next level. We want to accomplish this through either a growth capital equity fund or a combination of equity and debt to be able to scale. We want to launch our new products and services to the African market and the world at large. The strategy is to grow across Africa and then scale to the entire globe.

Where do you see yourself in three years’ time, the medium term? What do you want to achieve for the company?

In the medium term we want to launch our flagship product, which is in the pipeline. We want partners and investors to come in and hear our beautiful story. The next big thing that is going to happen to the African financial services sector, the fintech industry, is very exciting. In the next three years, we should be able to launch and be able to make the necessary impact that we want to make and to grow the business to be very attractive and a brand that everyone respects, a brand that you want to be associated with, a brand that will create value for all stakeholders, especially our customers and our employees, as well as the community where we operate. This will go a long way towards promoting financial inclusion across the African continent.

Do you have any final comments?

I would entreat our government to pay attention to technology and the tech startups because it is an area that is providing solutions to many of the challenges that we face. Developed countries are doing this and we can also do this with a supportive environment. In the area of funding especially, there is a need for a lot of funds to be created to support startups who are innovating solutions for our problems and challenges in this part of the world just like we have in the US, Europe, and now Asia, China, India. We will be left behind in the area of healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, financial services. The way forward is technology. Without a proper, sound foundation, we will not be prepared to meet the future. We will still be here and be consumed by foreign solutions and we will be nowhere to be found.


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