Kampala, Uganda | ISAAC KHISA | Magoola Matthias, is the CEO Dei Group International, the firm behind social marketing platform, Dei places. He spoke to The Independent’s Isaac Khisa about social marketing to drive Uganda and Africa’s tourism potential.
What is your management style as a manager?
Management is a very complex task. However, the easiest way to go about it is to put God fast, and the rest can always follow. Secondly, I respect colleagues. I lose nothing when I listen, advise and seek to be advised. I do not take management decisions by myself, we take decisions as a unit. So we share the developments as well as the challenges at Dei Group International which is the parent company of Dei Technologies International, the “mother” of deiplaces.
Recently, you unveiled a social media platform known as Dei Places. How does this platform work? How different is it compared with the usual social media platforms?
To start with, the main objective of the platform is to advance Africa’s tourism potential to the rest of the world. There is so much about Africa that is not known, not even by us the natives.
We focus on individuals, organizations among other entities sharing information in text, pictures, videos and audio about places. Places can be a business, a tourism site among other entities.
Deiplaces gives the user an opportunity to open up a place, which is a page within the platform. The user can then post content about anything they want to promote in that place.
How can an individual join/start using the platform?
There are two ways. One can either visit the website which is www.deiplaces.com and sign up or download the deiplaces app onto their phones and sign up. The process is easy and can take one less than a minute.
What are the key drivers for launching the platform in Uganda?
Much as the platform is being used internationally, its core objective is to popularise Africa’s potential to the rest of the world. It is obviously true that Africa’s annual tourists are very low in number. Such a situation is not a proper representation of Africa’s tourism potential. Marketing Africa has been identified as the major cause for the low numbers and deiplaces is here to close that gap.
What is your assessment of social marketing in Uganda?
Uganda is one of the fastest-growing countries in internet penetration, which stands at 13% as of August 2017. Many more people are starting to appreciate this wave. Over 95% of the people who use internet are ardent social media users.
Last year and now 2018, Uganda has seen one of the strongest digital waves ever witnessed. Companies are now considering social media much more than they used to.
As the wave continues to take toll, people should know that Dei Places has a sieved audience for business not the clattered space our other colleagues provide. On this note, we invite people and companies to sign up to Deiplaces create Places and start marketing.
If you say this platform is here to help people market places, how do you benefit from the innovation?
Right now, we are focusing on ensuring that all the potential tourism sites on the African continent are given attention. We are focusing on ensuring that the number of tourists coming into Africa multiplies. We are in times where so many people do not have jobs. And this is not only here in Uganda but across the globe. We want people to market those places using the platform market their places to tourists. We want them to market their business for more clients, get more connections among so many other things.
How will this platform generate revenue?
The platform will be able to make money through its booking option where people can book for hotels, transport, tourism sites among other facilities. Here, different facilities will strike deals with the platform where they will both arrive at a win win situation. So far, a number of facilities have already signed up and people are already using the option. However the company is not charging for it now and it’s not about to in the nearest future.
Apart from this new platform, what else do you offer as Dei Group International?
We are enthusiastic innovators who have introduced quite a number of successful products. About a year ago, we launched the first-ever antimalarial drug produced on the African continent. The drug has been appreciated not only here in Africa but internationally. We also have a Cross-mobile Money platform (XMM) and many other products in the offing. Very soon, we shall be coming back to give you news on another innovation.
Where do you see Dei Technologies in the next five years?
At Dei Group, our goal is to build one of the World’s great Companies that will positively change the lives of the African People and the World at large.
We make decisions in the context of Forever! We are not making decisions for the expediency of getting through one day. We are innovating for this and the next Generations.