“Increased revenue collection is not achieved by a system alone. Attitude and buy-in are equally important.”

Riaan NaudeExclusive interview with Riaan Naudé, Marketing Director, Consolidated African Technologies (CAT) – bronze sponsor at the upcoming iPAD Rwanda in Kigali.

Your specialty is remote data acquisition solutions – please tell us in practical terms how your products work and what they do for your clients?
Our products allow our clients to collect information from extreme, hazardous or outdoor environments, verify the data in the field by comparing it to historical trends as well as pre-set rules and finally return that information in an electronic format to prevent the need for additional capturing (and the associated potential mistakes).

Any exciting projects/case studies/success stories you can share?
We have successfully implemented our solutions at over 450 sites spread across 15 African countries. We have in excess of 12000 mobile devices in daily use and are widely known as the preferred supplier of meter reading solutions on the continent. Our CAT range of products is a comprehensive suite with modules that are suitable for use with Pre-Paid, Conventional Credit, Smart, AMR and Walk by AMR meters alike. Our clients range from municipalities reading only 900 meter a month to metros reading in excess of a million meters on a monthly basis. Many municipalities and utilities such as ESKOM (being our biggest single client) have had proven revenue collection improvements from utilising our solutions to build on data accuracy and customer confidence in the bills being delivered.

What is CAT’s footprint in Africa?
CAT has 450 sites in 15 African countries and conventional credit meters in countries such as Botswana and Swaziland are exclusively being read using CAT solutions to do so.

Tell us more about your business interests in Rwanda?
In Rwanda we are seeking collaboration with a local agent suited and able to take our product offering to the Rwandan market space.

What is like to do business in Rwanda?  Any challenges?
Since Rwanda is essentially French speaking the language barrier will always be an issue to non-French consultants. This having been said CAT is confident there is space for our products within the Rwandan market and huge value can be obtained from the same since translation into French and French User Interfaces is now a reality. In addition the lack of sufficient funds from many of the utilities is quite preventative in the sense that once a system is commissioned, utilities are not necessarily able to properly support and maintain such systems going forward.

Why did you decide to partner with iPAD Rwanda?
We have an existing relationship with a well-known client in Rwanda and would like to resurrect the system they have shelved because of financial limitations. With proper management and buy-in from the customer, their staff should be able to realise an increase in revenue 10 times or more the value of the system and its ongoing support and maintenance costs.

What will be your message at the event?
Increased revenue collection is not achieved by a system alone. Attitude and buy-in are equally important.