Home » Ashish J. Thakkar’s Mara Phones signs export deal with Angolan firm

Ashish J. Thakkar’s Mara Phones signs export deal with Angolan firm

by Mfonobong Nsehe

The first African smartphone manufacturer, Rwanda-based Mara Phones has entered into a deal with the Angolan company MISALE to export its mobile phones to the country.

According to Taarifa, the agreement was signed on Nov. 17 during a business forum organized by the Rwandan Development Board, with Rwandan and Angolan companies attending.

Owned by business mogul Ashish J. Thakkar, Mara Phones is a subsidiary of Mara Group. It operates in Rwanda and South Africa and prides itself as the producer of the continent’s first smartphone. It launched operations in October 2019 with the vision of becoming a leading brand in Africa.

Mara Phones was designed in partnership with Google as part of the Android One Program. Since its inception, it has launched about three different phone brands, including Mara Z, Mara X and Mara S. It also plans to launch a new phone in mid-2022.

Billionaires.Africa understands that the company is facing stiff competition from more established brands in terms of pricing. For example, the retail price of Mara X and Mara Z are $190 and $130, respectively. This is much higher than the cheapest Samsung phone, which sells for $54.

Mara Phones runs at 20-percent capacity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the economy in 2020 and 2021. However, Mara Phones Managing Director Eddy Sebera told Taarifa: “Things are getting better and most countries are reopening. We have exported our phones to 76 countries (Africa and the rest of the world), as the company grows steadily. We are happy with the progress in the domestic market.”

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