VMK, the home-grown Republic of Congo tech start-up is the first African company to design and assemble mobile phones on the continent. The chief executive Verone Mankou announced on Thursday July 16, that they are aiming to assemble 4 million phones annually which is a massive increase in production.
Mankou started the company in 2009 at age 29 in order to tap into the ever-increasing market of mobile phones aimed at challenging the larger foreign companies.
Currently the firm employs 200 people in the Congo.
Originally their products, a tablet, smart phone and low-end mobile phone, were produced in China. However. Mankou told Reuters that they “will be doing in Congo what we have been doing in China. We will import the [raw] material.”
Currently, VMK sells their products in the Congo and the Ivory Coast. Mankou informed Reuters that the company plans to expand sales into other African countries with the increase in production.
In February this year, Disrupt Africa, reported that the start-up had plans to open stores in the Ivory Coast as well open stores in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Senegal by the end of the year. They quoted Mankou as saying that the “the opening of a store in Abidjan [the economic capital of the Ivory Coast] is an essential step in the extension of our Pan-African vision. It is here, at the crossroads of West Africa, that VMK has decided to embark upon conquering the new class of African consumers.”