Nigel Quadros – Supabet – “Africa is the new frontier of business”

It’s no secret that Africa, as a continent, encompasses a number of the world’s fastest-growing economies. With that in mind, it’s little wonder that companies from across the globe have identified it as a region to focus on.

The sports betting industry is no different, and at last week’s ICE Totally Gaming conference, a panel entitled “Localising your African expansion strategy” was set up to discuss how betting operators and suppliers can successfully penetrate these developing markets. Speaking on the panel, Nigel Quadros, CEO of Kenya’s Supabet247, provided tips and identified pitfalls for betting firms looking to enter Africa.

“It’s not about cut and paste”

“Kenya is a neighbouring country to Tanzania, but what works here doesn’t necessarily work there. The top five operators in Kenya have been very successful, and because of that, everyone else thought ‘let’s get into this’ like some sort of get rich [quick] syndrome. This is not the right approach. It’s not about a cut and paste.”

“Focus on your own niche area”

“You need to focus on what you want to do – how you want to differentiate your platform and your product. Or are you going to do what everyone else is doing? What would you do in order to make that change yourself?”

“You need to put a lot of money upfront”

“I’d say that anyone looking to expand into the African markets would need at least $50,000 dollars a month for the first six months. Aside from the cost of the platform, you’ve got to have a strong marketing strategy. How are you going to be heard above all the big players in the market? Secondly, your penetration must cover both the urban areas and the rural areas. The guys in the rural areas are daily players; as opposed to the guys in the urban areas who just gamble on the weekends.”

“We don’t have smartphones, we have simple phones”

“One of the challenges that we have is the user experience, and the user interface. Crucially, it has to be simplistic, it has to be simplistic for the type of devices we have in our market. We don’t have smartphones, we have simple phones. We have phones that are shared between three people in a household. During the day it is with the father at work; at night it is with the mother who can check her messages; later on it is maybe passed on to one of the kids.”

“Don’t splash money on billboards and newspapers”

“Don’t splash money on billboards and newspapers – find a roots market to the rural areas. There is a different way that you can connect with these people, Not all of them can afford a newspaper. In Kenya, what happens is the newspaper where all the odds and lottery numbers are published is photocopied and people will huddle around it and decide what to bet on.”