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30 Most Influential Companies of the year 2020 (Special Edition)

Accloud: We’re changing the world of business, for good

Accloud: We’re changing the world of business, for good

Relieving the critical hardware maintenance burden and costs, the cloud computing technology increased the pace of business, minimizing human-intensive tasks and maximizing overall productivity.

With its over-the-network services, the cloud computing technology enables you to get the job done on the go. Moreover, you will not have to pay for everything. Just pay for what you use!

Accloud empowers SMEs in high growth markets with innovative cloud-based business management tools specially designed to meet their unique needs. The company is driven to break down economic barriers so every entrepreneur can grow at the scale of their ambition. It is changing the world of business, for good.

Ross James, Chief Executive Officer, opens out about Accloud

What is your thought on digitization of businesses? How will it help in yielding good results?

My passion has always been to help the most disenfranchised MSMEs get access to capital, giving them the power to change their own lives and digitization of their enterprises is absolutely key to enable a host of other services. Empowering them in this way means greater income, better health and stronger education services.

Ultimately, we have a responsibility to help tackle the vast structural and systemic inequalities that exist in the world. Digitization through Fintech – coupled with the most exciting parts of distributed ledger technology – can fulfill that vision.

Help us understand your comprehensive suite of multilingual business tools (in detail)

We see this as the largest social impact we can make. Our business is formed around the concept of sustainably improving the lives of the customers and communities we serve. If we grow their businesses, their communities will benefit and prosper.

We also hold a firm belief that quality education is paramount to changing lives. In particular we are very focused on programmes supporting education for girls. They are extremely disadvantaged in the developing world and need all the support they can get for a fair and equitable education. In addressing this, we believe that change can be amplified beyond what our product alone can deliver.

Our platform or hub as we prefer to call it is an end to end solution for Small Mighty Entrepreneurs. From basic accounting, Inventory management to an SME specific market place for seamless trading, Virtual Cooperatives for aggregated purchasing and aggregated sales and very excitingly, fractional ownership of productivity enhancing capital items, micro-loans and venture capital. All they need is here in our Hub.

Explain the role Accloud plays in building community and increased profits to entrepreneurs. What is your expansion plan for the future?

Our biggest milestone is still ahead of us. We’re going to completely change access to capital for MSMEs, in a way that reflects our vision and the needs of Small Mighty Entrepreneurs across developing economies.

We will start that transformation with longer-term micro-loans that are much more aligned to the needs of these businesses. At the moment, MSMEs are forced to take small loans over a very short duration and at excessive interest rates. Loan periods are generally just a few months and interest rates can range from 18% to 38%.

No business can hope to grow under these conditions. We will level the playing field and allow these incredible, entrepreneurs to grow at the scale of their ambition.

What is Accloud’s contribution towards trade and finance sector?

At present many solutions are sold as separate products. They’re often not mobile friendly or they’re simply not available to rural entrepreneurs. Our focus is on building a mobile-first offering that provides the business owner with everything they need in one place. We’re bringing tools that are normally only available to large corporates and putting them in the palms of these Small Mighty Entrepreneurs.

We also address one of the major, overlooked challenges: language. Our platform is available in a variety of local languages making it simple to on-board new entrepreneurs so they can grow at the scale of their ambition.

What is your say on today’s slavery? And how would like to bring change into it?

Todays’ modern slavery is born from economical exclusion in the main. By creating online communities with the ability of anonymous reporting we can help at one level. We will also see those enterprises that are far more productive than typical in the same industry segment. That will enable greater scrutiny of such business. Both methods will assist in the uncovering of modern day slavery and such enterprises can be forced to change or be shut down by the authorities.

How successful is Accloud and how are your customers seeing it?

Small Mighty Entrepreneurs (as we prefer to think of SME’s at Accloud) are used to economic instability. By underpinning them with capital, we will give them more certainty – and an opportunity to grow quickly during the post-Covid phase.

Accloud is robust and constantly adapting, which also puts us in a strong position to drive the bounce back. The more people we can get onto our platform, the better they can run their businesses. We can also create access to better priced products, including financial instruments, and ultimately connect them with new customers.

We see this as a platform for recovery. Importantly, our efforts to allow contact-free commerce will help to minimize the effects of such global pandemics in the future.

Pandemic has definitely hit companies across the globe. What effect does it have on your company?

Of course we’ve just been hit by a pandemic and economies need a rapid return to growth. Key to this is to get the bounce back in the MSME sector. There’s very little focus on this currently, with headlines skewed towards corporates. We believe our offering can really help reach this powerful commercial segment – one that employs and sustains such vast swathes of the world. They’ve not been properly served to date and we intend to change that. We believe they hold the keys to a more sustainable future, for our planet and people.

 Ross James will introduce himself

I am resourceful, committed and tenacious. I don’t give up easily. I am also very collaborative and want to bring our company and our people on the journey by inspiring them. We have a very strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) belief knitted into our DNA, so we are here to make a real, positive difference in the world. It is my belief that corporations today must become far more conscious of the communities and environments they work in. They need to become positive forces, both socially and environmentally.

There is always more to do! But I enjoy a relaxing evening with a glass of wine with my inspiring wife, Lina or a relaxing evening with some close friends. Although I enjoy eating out, I am very relaxed at home, cooking and experimenting in the kitchen with my wife. I am an explorer at heart and enjoy discovering anything that is new to me.

I read a lot, avoid social media, rarely watch television, and love photography which allows me to combine a creative spirit with a tech outlook.

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