Mara Online to Connect African Continent With the World

Mara Online to Connect African Continent With the World

When Ashish J. Thakkar, founder and CEO of Mara Group and Mara Foundation launched Mara Online in May — with offices in Uganda and Kenya — he called it an inspirational choice for connecting Africans across the continent to the rest of the world.

“With the expansion of the African mobile and internet markets, we strive to develop quality services and tools that will empower and inspire African users,” Thakkar told AfkInsider. “By engaging with our African youth, our goal is to support them in creating an identity in the world of technology, enabling them to innovate, share and collaborate across borders.”

Mara Online is an online and mobile system helping its users exchange ideas and data through social portals, which in turn builds focused groups trading common interests and information needs. The service melds together web and mobile technologies, spurring a multitude of encounters — running the gamut from educational tools for business owners to mobile applications connecting users around the world.

Thakkar, 31, doesn’t plan to stop there. Over the remainder of 2013, Mara Online plans to launch three mobile applications: MaraConnect, allowing smartphone and tablet users across Africa to call and text at no cost; Mara Messenger, an instant messaging platform offering quick transmission of text messages; and BuzzMe, a social media network allowing users to meet and network around the continent and the world.

“I am confident that MaraConnect will shake up the market and become the premier choice for connecting people in Africa and beyond, while reducing consumers’ costs for mobile communication,” Thakkar said.

Thakkar can back up his statement with impressive facts. The Mara Online concept began in 2012 when he came up with Mara Mentor, an online mentoring platform for burgeoning business owners. Initially launched by Mara Foundation and Mara Online, the platform already has over 100,000 users. Adding Mara Messenger and MaraConnect to the equation will further interconnect its user base, allowing customers to communicate more expansively — even globally.

“As the African mobile and Internet markets expand, we expect that MaraConnect will be the premier choice for connecting people across the continent,” Thakkar said.