Emperion launches franchise programme for cybercafes in Nigeria


Emperion Nigeria Limited last week made a bold move to make internet service not only available to the large majority of Nigerians, but made a promise to extend the services beyond the urban centres to rural communities. Sandeep Jayaswal, Managing Director, Emperion Nigeria said at the formal launch of the company's franchise programme the Nigeria has not been effectively served by existing ISPs.

The Emperion Franchise programme, Jayaswal stated, is primarily aimed at providing "cheap Internet to mass market using partners all over the country. It is targeted to provide nationwide unified quality Internet services under one umbrella".

"Cyber cafes are the best way to get cheap Internet in a developing country where majority of the people do not have power to purchase PCs. However, this business is in a sick condition today. This franchise programme suits exiting cyber cafes that can now increase their profitability by getting bandwidth on demand instead of paying for fixed bandwidth”.

"Emperion is trying to revive cyber café business by innovative method through the creation of Cyber Zones on Bandwidth on Demand. Emperion Franchise providing Cyber Zone services can buy bandwidth on hourly basis on different bandwidth package and use as and when they require rather than paying their ISPs a fixed sum. For example a Cyber Zone can have a bandwidth of 64/128 kbps on non-peak hour for 2 hours, then as the number of customer grow in peak hours, it can change bandwidth to say 128/256 kbps or 256/512 kbps as may be required depending on the customer levels in their Internet café.

They need to pay on hourly basis what they use. They can again revert back to slow bandwidth in non-peak hours. In fact they can stop using the bandwidth if they do not see any customer and also shut down their generator. This way Cyber Zones will cut fixed costs drastically. Existing Cyber cafes can become Emperion Franchise and become profitable instantly."

According to Jayaswal, the reason for the slow penetration of internet services in Nigeria can be attributed to situation where it is provided through small holder groups, unlike in the developed economies of Europe and North America. He believes Internet services provision should various solutions like, VSAT, radio, Wi-Max or Wi-Fi. He believes through its Hot Zone, Cyber Zone, Video Zone, Support Zone and Stock Point Zone, Emperion hopes to achieve internet provisioning nationwide.

Forecasting a cyber café business boom through its programme, Jayaswal said operators would "get all technical support and there is minimum down time. We would provide them free technical training on VSAT and radio networks. We would also train them to maintain their internal networks. This way, all first and second level support can be done by Cyber Cafés themselves rather than to wait for service provider's engineers to come and resolve their technical problems. This will ensure a high uptime for their operations."

To reduce the stress and cost of travel, Jayaswal said Emperion is creating a nationwide video zone programme. All Emperion franchisees providing video zone services will have large or small studios, where members of the public can come and do video conferencing from few minutes to long hours. "Emperion video zone kiosks are also planned where small franchisees can just have one computer attached to video equipment to do video conference with other computers.

Gone will be the days when video conferencing is viewed as a luxury meant only for the big multinational conglomerates. Franchisees providing video zone services will enable ordinary folks affordable service in various parts of the country, both for domestic and international calls. Emperion Nigeria is fully owned subsidiary of Emperion A/S Denmark, (a member of the Andersen Advisory Group).