TECHNO BRAIN: THE MUSTARD SEED OF AFRICA

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What began as a little hub, spotting and polishing IT talent in Kenya and Tanzania, has morphed into a multinational leading competitor of IT innovations, with branches all over the world

By Caroline Mwendwa

Driven by a quest to see African youths get a grasp of technology, Manoj Shanker set out to Tanzania from India to do just that; ignite a flame of technology among youths in Africa. He however stumbled on one challenge; there was lack of education and capacity. The only recourse to see his dream on the move was to build the capacity and that is how he opened the first training Centre in Daresalaam, Tanzania and later went on to Nairobi Kenya. “Moving into Kenya, I realised that the youth were more enthusiastic and even more curious to learn more. There were more and more trainees coming in and from this group, rose leaders who would then train the incoming members,” explains Manoj remarking that the talent he experienced was overwhelming. “It was then that I realised that the only difference between the African youths and those of the west, is the level of opportunity.” Training became the mainstay of Techno Brain for quite some time, and eventually, there was a pool of polished talent, full of creativity.
As a keen entrepreneur, Manoj spotted an opportunity. “I realised that the bigwigs in the private sector such as banks don’t buy software from local companies. They import them at very high costs, probably twice the price they are sold in their country of origin. Secondly, the government institutions suffer from slow and corrupt systems, due to lack of technological infrastructure.” This spurred a new idea. Why not leverage from the institute and establish a company that offers solutions to these local challenges?It was then that Techno Brain was restructured into a company of 1, 300 employees, with modern facilities present in 22 other countries. Techno Brain is today a leading custom software provider offering innovative IT solutions, IT training, and BPO- / IT-enabled services to NGOs, governmental, and private organisations globally.

Empowering Lives the Digital Way
Focusing on IT capabilities that matter the most to African entities, Techno Brainas a CMMI Level 5 Company has unsurpassed experience and knowledge of providing, deploying, commissioning, training and maintaining large engagements all over the world for Governments, NGO’s and the Private sector.
“We have worked with our customers to use modern technology to transform the delivery and effectiveness of services in those sectors that are key to the sustainable growth and prosperity of the countries in which we operate,” explains Mr Manoj. Some of the areas in which Techno Brain has had unmatched impact include: Public Financial Management, security and capacity building.
Public Financial Management
Responsible management of Public Finances is the foundation of all successful nations. On the one hand generation of government income through effective and efficient management of customs revenues and domestic taxation provides the funds for improving governments’ services to its citizens. On the other hand those funds need to be spent wisely and without waste. Tight control and transparent reporting of government budgeting and expenditure is a hallmark of successful government and allows the funds raised to be used to the utmost benefit of the nation and its citizens.
Techno Brain has developed products that have empowered today’s governments to address arising mandates to improve citizen service delivery, transparency, fiscal accountability, and compliance. Such solutions include, IFMS™, an end to end solution to manage government budgeting and expenditure; GIS systems to support in informed decisions and policy making; e-cargo tracking systems to combat transit fraud in the country; and to widen their tax and boost revenue, Techno Brain has Total Revenue Integrity Processing System, Trips+, an online system enabling the complete modernization of Tax and Customs Administration.
“We aim to help governments imagine new things for their cities, as well as empower people to create safer, healthier, modern, educated and prosperous cities.”
Techno Brainoffers a myriad of solutions aiding in reliable financial data. These include: project monitoring and evaluation; national planning; cabinet management; financial management; fleet management; monitoring healthcare;security, managing land, ensuring revenue growth and  managing utilities, among others. These solutions help strengthen government financial controls, improving the provision of government services while at the same time raising the budget process to higher levels of transparency and accountability, and expediting government operations.

Security
As security continues to be basic concern in companies and governments worldwide, there is evidently a great need to have in place solutions that ensure effective, secure, and reliable identity management in public and private organisations. Techno Brain’s core IDM products, i.e. SecuRegister provides a platform to addresses the requirements of organizations to establish the identity of its users and citizens.
For example, while issuing passports, driving licenses and national ID cards, a government needs to be thoroughly certain that duplicates do not exist. “Our solutions for police forces provide highly effective criminal identification capabilities using fingerprints. We ensure that the benefits reach the right persons, whether it is in healthcare or aid distribution,” Mr Manoj elaborates.

Employment through Impact Sourcing
Through its business process outsourcing, Techno Brain has helped secure employment for underprivileged youth. Together with Rockefeller Foundation, World Vision International, and other NGOs and technology partners, it has had great impact in seven countries in Africa. “There are 800 people working in BPO within the organization, of whom 400 have come from underprivileged communities. In the past eight years, 300 youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in Kenya have been engaged, 43 percent of them being women,” Mr Manoj clarifies.

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As a result, Techno Brain BPO ITES was recognized for its leadership on Impact Sourcing by Microsoft. In addition to partnering with the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, where together with the Techno Brain Training division has trained 10,000 African youth, Techno Brain BPO ITES has worked for the Microsoft Analog team to capture and label data for various projects. A case in point is the digitization of 4.5 million medical records in Kenyatta National Hospital. This project employed 35 under privileged youth from informal settlements of Nairobi and provided them with basic training on the complete process involved in digitization of medical records.

Securing the vulnerable
Techno Brain has set up 7 child helplines in Africa using its own case management solution, known as mSecured. Here children caught up in emergency cases call in the contact centers who then offer help by escalating these cases to the relevant authorities.
Besides this, Techno Brain has launched a Refugee Helpline. The helpline, supported by the Refugee Agency will be a sign board to members of the public, groups and organizations that can best help them get involved in responding to the crisis.
To address the grave maternal-child deaths in Africa, Techno Brain has miVR product which is built on mobile telephony to help mothers with poor or no access to health facilities to access important health information pertaining their pregnancy at all stages from conception to post-natal.

Training & Capacity Building
“Training continues to be a large component of what we do even while we expand our IT solution portfolio.  As part of Africa 1st Initiative, we endeavor to bridge the gap of employ-ability and provide day-one productive workforce to the industry. To this end, we offer a series of professional and academic programs that will equip graduates to acquire professional and academic skills respectively that are aligned to the market needs.”
Techno Brain’s matchless learning experience has touched the lives of 275,000 students leading to over 4,000 ICT placements out of which 12,000 have been provided with ICT scholarships. The ICT diploma programs, aligned to employ-ability needs of Africa, are supported by projects, job placements and internships.

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Last year, Techno Brain successfully trained and certified 200 ICT officials in Kenya from 47 counties in an operation excellence drive for a World Bank Funded Project.
In Rwanda, over 3000 government officials were also trained on various ICT and Operational excellence skills through the Rwanda Development Board.
Currently, Ethiopia is training 7500 Government officials to use Oracle EBS for the national Integrated Financial Management Information systems being deployed through the Ministry of Finance.Other organizations such as Ethiopian Electric Power, INSA, National Cement Corporation, Ethiopian Airways, Ethio Telecom Awash Bank and many more corporates and NGOs are benefiting from Techno Brain.
Techno Brain also has a strategic alliance with Huawei in Ethiopia and has jointly set up a state of art Huawei data center to build capacity for corporates and academicians.

Digital Transformation
“We have taken an exciting journey to transform Techno Brain into Africa’s Leading Digital Company. Our businesses can now offer Analytics, Big Bata, Internet of Things, Mobile and Block Chain,” Mr Manoj points out.
Techno Brain has strategic partnerships with giant IT companies including Oracle and Microsoft as the digital technology enablers for businesses in every industry and region across the globe. Being a Microsoft Partner network, meansapplication of the highest standards of Microsoft’s widely-recognized partnership program. This year, Techno Brain was honored as the West East Central African Partner of the Year, among a global field of top Microsoft partners during the Microsoft Inspire in Washington DC.
“As an Oracle Gold Partner and Cloud Standard partner, we use Oracle specializations and advanced specializations to enhance solutions for our customers. We will continue to extend the value of Oracle technologies and systems to address critical issues pointing towards the long term economic sustainability for the economies we are operate in.” Techno Brain was awarded the First Sub-Saharan Oracle Partner to implement a Hybrid (on premise and Cloud) Solution on Oracle Business Intelligence.
Last year, Oracle awarded Techno Brain ‘East Africa Transformational Deal 2016’ for the implementation of BI/DW for Africa’s largest Telecom. “Currently, we are implementing the largest Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS) rollout in Africa, and the first Business Intelligence & Data Warehouse (BI/DW) solution in Ethiopia that led our recognition as an Oracle Field Deliver Partner in Ethiopia,”  he offers.
Over the last 20 years, Techno Brain has achieved great success in Africa by offering disruptive solutions that cost less time and resources to implement.

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