Based in Benin, As World Tech makes smart watches, connected mirrors and other latest generation laptops that are rocking 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,” said the brilliant 30-year-old project manager who has already thought of a solution for WhatsApp’s ancestor today. I can say that my past experiences have enriched me immensely. Project manager, marketing and digital communications consultant, Richard has undertaken numerous missions for various companies such as Facebook (Meta). It then became closer to digital through the proliferation of innovations and other initiatives such as I-secours, International Virtual Fair and a self-diagnosis platform intended to relieve the Beninese health system during the Covid -19. Founder of the AS® brand, Asuka Spirit, began the adventure of his new startup the day his two smartphones were stolen. “The next day, I looked for effective anti-theft solutions to stop losing my phones, but I couldn’t find any. That’s when I thought of 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 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 its own brand. Among the products available for sale in the dedicated online store are designer and carefully connected mirrors that allow you to call and listen to music without earphones, as well as innovative laptops with African names. such as: Shango, Oga, Ifê, Folake. Knowing the potential of his target African market, Richard intends to devote his time. “I have already received some takeover proposals. My goal is not to sell but instead to have high-level shareholders to build a strong African brand that carries values and offers products tailored to our needs, by refocusing on the person at the heart of the whole process. , we are different to do high-tech. Richard is one of the business partners of the Beninese innovation agency Sèmè City. It cooperates with the Ministry of Digital and Digitization of Benin.
A noble brand
To do this, the Beninese brand aims to honor a divine development, based on sustainable consumption and production methods. In addition to using components with a longer life, As World Tech is evaluating devices that have a high index of repairability and can be recycled, with the goal of reducing computer waste. Not to mention its actions against the digital divide through training and equipment recovery. “We can work on a massive scale while insisting on the ecological aspect,” Richard recalls. We need to manage to create a synergy between all players because we have many levers to cope with the challenges of development and environment. On the innovation side, its 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 sneaker. to reduce stress. While brand references are now available in a showroom located in Cotonou in the heart of the capital on Avenue Steinmetz, Richard is initiating other steps in terms of business. Many major brands, African, European and American should no doubt distribute As World Tech from next fall. “We are preparing a fundraising campaign”, Richard added before concluding, straight to the point: “We want to cover 17% of the market in Africa for connected objects and computer systems within 5 years and we are talking about more than 590,296,163 people connected to the internet through devices, i.e. 43% of Africa’s population source: “Internet World Stats 2021.” To achieve this, apart from B2C, we must, with the support of our leaders, prepare our Ministries, Institutions, Hospitals, Universities and Colleges with our own computers and other connected devices. It 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 through co-creation. His leitmotif: Africa, the place to be!