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Indian Software company, Zoho, allowed to offer electronic signature service in Kenya

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The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has granted approval to the Nairobi-based branch of the Indian multinational Zoho to offer electronic signature services in Kenya. This move has heightened competition in this sector.

Zoho, a software as a service (SAAS) company, received the CA’s authorization this week to introduce Zoho Sign to the Kenyan market. This service enables users to sign contracts digitally, eliminating the need for paperwork. This development is a significant step towards diversifying the digital signature service industry, which has so far been dominated by only four licensed providers in Kenya.

The CA’s approval follows Zoho’s collaboration with Tendaworld, one of the four firms currently licensed by the CA to operate as electronic certification service providers, allowing Zoho to expand its certification system. The other licensed providers are Evrotrust, the ICT Authority, and India’s Emudhra Technologies.

Veerakumar Natarajan, Zoho’s Kenya country manager, stated, “With this, Kenyan businesses can execute digital signatures for contracts and agreements, compliant with both Kenyan and global laws.”

The adoption of electronic certification services is growing worldwide as businesses embrace paperless processes. However, its uptake in Kenya has been relatively slow. This service enables digitally signed documents to be electronically certified as genuine, making them legally binding and admissible in court or during legal proceedings.

“In Kenya, not many people use this service as we’re still reliant on paper, and most people prefer to print and sign documents,” noted Mr. Natarajan. “But potentially, the market is significant, with many potential applications. With the CA’s approval, we can approach large enterprises and promote its adoption as a standard practice.”

Zoho entered the Kenyan market in May last year, opening a physical office in the country. Since then, it has increased its employee base in Nairobi by 33 percent and more than doubled its partner companies.

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