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Fostering satcom business and partnerships in Africa

13th Feb 2017


Steve Tunks, Head of Sales and Business Development, Africa, NSSLGlobal, outlines NSSLGlobal’s unique approach to fostering business and partnerships in Africa…


Anyone you speak to in the satellite industry will tell you that Africa, with its rapidly-emerging economies and developing business and infrastructure needs, represents a huge opportunity for the right type of Satellite Communications (Satcoms) company. For many companies, particularly those that attempt to transplant existing business models directly onto this vast and distinct continent, addressing the diverse African markets can prove tricky.


NSSLGlobal has been fortunate enough to have had a great deal of success in selling in satellite infrastructure within Africa. Most recently we’ve been heavily involved in further development of our strategic partner in Zambia, and will shortly be announcing still further successes in-region.


One of the keys to this success has been our approach to partnerships. One of the things we’ve heard said quite frequently is that too many distributors in Africa operate a simple ‘box shifting’ model. They sell, and they go. It’s a short-term, price-oriented model, and delivers minimal additional value. A great deal of organisations within Africa are looking for more than this; things like knowledge transfer, training; consultancy, investment in local economies, etc.



This is exactly the route NSSLGlobal has taken in the past couple of years to foster local partnerships. Rather than ‘selling-and-leaving’, NSSLGlobal attempts to foster local expertise by training both companies and end users into our technology, and effecting better knowledge transfer. We also bring in resources and financial aid to help our partners market the solutions. Therefore, while I’d argue a great number of businesses are prepared to make money from the ‘African Opportunity’ not many have proven prepared to foster talent in-region in the way we’re doing. NSSLGlobal is offering something genuinely different.


Ultimately this approach is a win-win for everyone. As well as developing local expertise, this approach, (which is in line with our wider philosophy of selling on value rather than bottom-line price), has afforded us a number of opportunities as local organisations recognise the value in what we deliver, while simultaneously being assured of the ability to work with local or in-country partners that we help to develop.


There are huge opportunities right now in the government and military sectors in Africa, (areas where we’ve had a good deal of success), particularly in security and border control. Other notable areas of growth include mining, oil & gas exploration, (which has undergone a massive uptick in bandwidth requirements), and maritime (particularly in South Africa).

Obviously the trick is in fostering good local relationships. Over the coming months we’re looking to set up further strategic partners ‘on the ground’, (in all likelihood telco companies). However, networking in Africa is often a matter of meeting the right people face-to-face, so you can expect to see NSSLGlobal at shows in Africa across the coming year.


If you’d like to understand more about our work in Africa, or would like to understand how we might be able to partner with you to help your organisation, email Steve Tunks.


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