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In our 5 minutes with profiles, MEF members talk about their business, their aspirations for the future and the wider mobile industry. This week, CEO Charles Stretch introduces multichannel communication specialist SMSPortal.

What does SMSPortal do?

We are Africa’s largest cloud communications platform specialising in Application to Peer/Person (A2P) messaging. Our API creates an easily accessible platform that integrates with any application making the connection from an application to the world seamless and easy for anyone.

Easy integration is what is pivotal in the current market and makes our product offering a sought after one for customers looking for a guaranteed way to engage with their consumers in real time.

When did you launch and what growth have you seen?

SMSPortal launched as a start-up in 2002 and has enjoyed an incredibly healthy growth rate over is lifetime, over the past 5years we have seen over 20% growth per annum. The A2P market is forecasted to experience exponential growth over the next few years which is an exciting prospect for us.

What are your main goals?

Our goal is to continue to innovate and create an ever present omnichannel cloud communications offering that is able to cater for the growing customer demands. The market and its consumer has become less patient and consumes in the NOW, our aim is to continue to build on our foundation and product base that continues to allow our customers to engage with their consumers in real-time. The way the market and consumer engage happens in real-time and our goal is to give our customers the tools to do that.

Where do you see yourselves in three years’ time?

SMSPortal in 3years time will be leading Africa and taking on the world in the CAAS industry. As mentioned the market is exploding and those who can innovate and adapt to the market are the ones who will thrive, we see ourselves as one that has our finger on the pulse of the market and look forward to growing with the market demands of omnichannel engagement.

What aspect of mobile is most exciting to you right now?

The most exciting aspect of the mobile market is the fact that the world is becoming a mobile first world, i.e. brands cannot avoid the simple truth that a strategy that does not target and engage on mobile first is a strategy that will fail. Covid-19 has accelerated this movement and having a solid foundation and platform to navigate through this period of market growth makes it an exciting prospect to take our product offering and expertise and connect the world.

What’s the most critical issue that will hit mobile within the next 12 months?

I would like to address this more as a reason to adapt than an issue, the market is changing, fast, and we as providers should be adapting to this change at the same speed. The issue is that those who don’t, get stuck in a legacy offering and I don’t think that it would be possible to catch up once you fall behind. Mobile first is what consumers want and the way they engage is personal, even when engaging with businesses and brands, it’s our job to make this personal engagement possible and keep up with demand.

Apart from your own, which mobile companies are the ones to watch in the year ahead?

The Cloud communications industry is the one to watch as a whole, this sector is exploding with innovation. Omnichannel communication offerings that allow brands to engage on the channel of their customers choice is paramount, the market has become a customer first market with mobile at its core, but this mobile first strategy needs to be omnichannel and flexible to consumer needs.

Charles Stretch