Chinenye Anuforo

Top talent is hard to attract and sometimes even harder to keep. Truth is, in today’s highly competitive job market, companies want to find and retain the best talent possible. Although a number of companies are discreet about taking chances on new, less experienced talents for several reasons, many are finding fulfilment in attracting and sustaining amazing talents, especially in the technology sector.

According to a CcHub report, companies struggle to fill tech vacancies due to lack of skilled technical talent. Interestingly, despite a large pool of human capital, many companies still struggle with the ability to find, process and retain skilled talent and this is worrying. The importance of technology talent, cannot be over emphasized, especially in Nigeria where there is great drive towards executing a digital transformation.

Many will quickly remember the time when, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic investment vehicle of Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, led other investors to make a $24 million investment in Andela, a start-up that trains software developers in Africa. This investment came at the right time and has helped to sustain a thriving tech hub in the country.

Over the next five years, several other large companies will invest, on average, hundreds of millions of dollars and some more than a billion dollars to transform their business to digital and they will need tech talents to help them achieve productivity.
This year, driven by the desire to boost human capital development, and enhance customer experience, to grow the local market, Tek Experts, a renowned global technology company commenced operation as a Customer Service and Support (CSS) centre in Lagos, in partnership with Microsoft.

Through its operations, the company hopes to train tech-savvy Nigerian youths to leverage their skills to impact positively on technical expertise development with career growth, and provide great levels of service to customers as it has done with similar centres in other locations around the world.

Such centres are said to have created more than 5,000 jobs, and helped thousands of people to build long and rewarding careers in places like Costa Rica, USA, Malta, Bulgaria, China, and Vietnam.

Founder, Tek Experts, Yaniv Natan, said the target is to develop talent that will improve the technology landscape in Nigeria, and leverage its skills to provide excellent service to customers.

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Noting that technology is fast becoming a key driver in Nigeria’s economic growth, he said initiatives like this will further spur growth because the collaboration would enable people and businesses advance in the local market, and also solve technical problems.

Stressing that Nigeria already has quality tech-driven young graduates, who only need opportunity to learn and expand in the tech world, Natan said the firm is committed to investing in the region and its people to raise the country’s profile as an exceptional location for technical talents.

“This is the first phase in what we want to be a long and fruitful future in Nigeria. We are investing in state of the art offices, in providing best-in-class training programmes and in developing the infrastructure that will provide exceptional services to our clients and exceptional careers for our employees.

“Tek Experts will provide business and IT support solutions for companies across the world, and give the services of a uniquely passionate and expert workforce that takes intense pride in helping companies manage their business critical operations. Our services include Software Support, Training and Education, Customer Success, Sales Support and Application Development,” he added.

Interestingly, at the opening ceremony of the technology and innovation expo (EXPO 2018) this year, the federal government revealed its plan to build technology hubs in Nigerian universities across the nation’s six geopolitical zones as a means of promoting science and technology development in the country. The idea is to strengthen the technology and innovation ecosystem by supporting the development of new innovation hubs in partnership with the private sectors.

Speaking on the collaboration, With Tek Expert, Country General Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso stated: “We are excited that Nigeria will be the first country in Africa to host a Global Operation for Microsoft through our strategic partnership with Tek Experts. This is a unique opportunity for Nigeria’s youth to realise their potential and pursue a world class technical career locally. This is in line with our mission of empowering every individual and organization on the planet to achieve more”.
On the prospects that a collaboration between Tek Experts and Microsoft offers for Nigeria, Aileen Allkins, Corporate Vice President, Customer Service and Support, Microsoft said: “We are committed to investing in the talented workforce Nigeria has to offer through our partnership with Tek Experts and I expect that this relationship will continue to grow and provide additional career opportunities for the local market. By expanding our global support model to Nigeria through Tek Experts, we are able to enhance the support we offer Microsoft’s customers across multiple time zones in EMEA and the east coast of the US”.

Building and sustaining talents in technology, stems from the strong belief that the country’s developing technology industry can even play a bigger role in not only making the economy a lot richer through self-sufficiency, but also provide an avenue for revenue for the government. However, if we must catch up with the pace of technological advancements in the world, Government and private sector must deliberately harness the vast latent talents in the country’s tech ecosystem.