Mr. Nicholas Bortey, The CEO of Liranz Limited hosted Dr. Mohammad Amir Anwar, a researcher at University of Oxford at the Liranz office at Spintex on Thursday 18th May 2017.
Mr. Bortey was to assist with research into IT and BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) space in Ghana.
The main objective was to understand what the impact of Outsourcing work and online micro-work was on the development potential of Ghanaian firms and workers.
The conversation also touched on outsourcing and other low income digital work (or IT sector work) and whether they are offering Ghanaian firms a chance to upgrade to higher value chain positions. On this, Mr Bortey gave some of the reasons why IT outsource is helping companies. He gave some of the reasons as follows: companies are able to focus on their core line of business while their technology is been managed by another company; It’s financially flexible and reduces operational cost in that, when companies outsource, cost associated with hiring an employee; management oversight; training; health insurance; employment taxes; retirement plans etc are eliminated.
He also added that outsourcing Information Technology dramatically reduces companies’ risk of implementing a wrong and costly decision as well as helps companies benefit from a collective experience of a team of IT professionals instead of just the knowledge of one person.
He also spelled out some barriers that prevent Ghanaian firms from outsourcing their IT. One of which had to do with developing protocols and procedures that will help business heads who are relatively new to the benefits of outsourcing, better appreciate and accept its services.
He said, in managing a company’s Information Technology in Ghana, the way to go is outsource and companies are gradually embracing this truth and some have taken the lead to outsource their IT departments.
Nicholas Bortey is one of the young professionals redefining entrepreneurship in Ghana’s IT Industry and business space. In 2012, he took that bold step and turned his long -time dream into reality. From the scratch he set up a Premier IT Consultancy & outsourcing company; offering a unique bundle of technology solutions and support services to SME’s and Large Enterprises.
Five years down the lane, Liran Ltd is rated an emerging top IT support firm that has become a true IT partner. In this Interview with Caro Opata- Hogan, he opens up on his foray into entrepreneurship, challenges, the future of Managed IT services in Ghana and many more…..
Tell us more about Liranz Ltd
Liranz is a Ghanaian owned premier IT company with a team made up of diverse professional backgrounds and experience. Over the years, we have developed strong relationships with clients in various sectors such as oil and gas, financial services, legal services, logistics & transportation, healthcare, non-governmental agencies, real estate, agriculture, manufacturing, education, startups, etc.It was clear from the start, our goal was to become more of a true IT partner to our clients, and less of a break-and-fix service provider. Our aim is to provide the highest value in IT Consultancy&Outsourcing services available.
Liranz is rated an emerging Top IT support company in Ghana, how did you achieve this?
We achieved that by doing it the Liranz way. Hard work, dedication and quality service to our clients. We have a 99 percent client retention rate and a growing list of satisfied clients. We go the extra mile to satisfy our clients. When I say an extra mile, I mean in an effort to becomena true IT partner to our clients, and less of a break-and-fix service provider, we sit with our client, discuss their company direction, goals and what they are expecting. After getting all the facts, we advise and develop a tailored solution that fitstheir needs; we manage it from start to finish.
How impactful have your services been?
We have made a huge impact since we started operations and seriously still impacting on businesses with our services. Because of our years of experience in the field of business and technology, our service structure has been well-tailored to serve business needs. Even though we are not the first to bring or talk about IT outsourcing and managed IT Services in Ghana, we have redefined it. We have set example what an IT Outsourcing & Managed IT Services should be or do. We have brought it to live, we have lived by it, we have made it our bread and butter. Today, SME’s that can’t afford a full time CTO, IT manager or CIO are on our virtual CTO/CIO service which means they get a virtual CTO/CIO who work with them to map up their IT service strategy on- IT operations & change management, – IT governance and delivery processes improvement, Digital transformation strategy etc. All tailored to their business goals.
It’s no coincidence that we have a lot of multinationals companies as clients. It’s because of our quality of service. We have staff serving businesses from small to enterprise level clients across the nation- with some serving clients on full time bases and others on hourly basis with the same quality of service structure.
We don’t just end there; we also provide IT support services to some of our Oil & Gas clients on land and offshore (FPSO). Our impact so far is endless.
What are some of your remarkable experiences as MD for Liranz?
Shouldering the uncertainty that comes with running a business, being father for all, constantly finding ways to motivate your team, constantly evolving to carry the business vision and communicating to your team to buy into it. Sleepless nights, going through pain of ambition day in day out. Dealing and managing different kinds of people with different lifestyle from different background, it’s unbelievable experience. You have to be willing to pay the cost to be the boss.
What are the challenges that come with your line of business in the IT industry?
As we know there are different challenges in every industry and these challenges differs from one industry to the other. One of the biggest challenge in our industry is, it takes longer time for companies to make up their minds about fully or partially outsourcing their IT to an IT consultancy & outsourcing firm. It’s also capital intensive, it takes a lot to get all the personnel and resources together to serve your clients better.
What do you see as the greatest opportunity for growth in Ghana’s ICT industry?
The fact that the Government sector, local and international businesses are now heavily relying and demanding more of advanced Technology for their business processes in Ghana is one huge opportunity for the ICT Industry to grow. It’s up to us the industry players to match up to the demand and skillset required to grow faster.
How do you see the future of managed services in Ghana?
The Future of Managed IT services in Ghana is bright. As we know, Ghana is still developing and attracting more investors. Businesses are gradually moving from the manual ways of doing things to more sophisticated ways. Business are beginning to realize that they can’t run efficiently without technology in this modern era and most importantly they need quality and affordable IT business solutionsthus, the need for Managed IT Services. So yes, there is a huge opportunity for managed IT Services to grow here in Ghana but just that it has been slow. I believe stake holders like us in the Managed IT Services industry have to educate business leaders more on why their business need a good MSP to manage their IT.
If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?
Hhmmm! Tough question. My first wish is, to have all the resources I need to take Liranz to the height I envision – the No.1 ITConsultancy & Outsourcing firm in Ghana and across the West African Region. My second wish is to have more quality time to spend with my family .
Lastly, I wish my dad was alive to see the man I have become. His little boy has become a man. I lost him when I was just seven, and I remember him advising me every day to work hard in life to become a good man and have a good heart to help others. I believe he would have been very proud of me today even though Iknow he would have still demanded more from me.
What are your projections for Liranz in the next 5 years?
Because we are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, which has enabled us to constantly push new boundaries and enter new markets to better support our clients. Our ongoing success will depend on us continuing to grow, employ top technical people and retaining the trust of our client.
Yes, we have been adjudged as the IT Consulting firm of the year in Ghana at the recently concluded IT & telecom awards- GITTA 2017, but I am expecting us to keep investing time and energy in our staff members, helping them reach their potential through exposure to a range of IT Services delivery, Customers services methods, and technologies in a variety of climates. Our clients’ trust will depend on our continued ability to add value to their projects. This is essential for every mandate in the next 5years”
I am expecting us to cement our name as the house hold name in IT consultancy & Outsourcing industry in Ghana.
Expecting us to make more impact on business and business owners relying on us for their IT business processes
Yes, we are already working with some clients from India, Spain and some other countries; I am expecting us to establish at least one branch in one of the West African countries.
We have started it, but I am expecting our Liranz Foundation to be in full force and should be making an impact in people’s lives in the next 2-5 years. And off course we should be in stronger position financially.