Karim Kharrat, Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman
The number of tech hubs across Africa has grown by nearly 50 percent in the past year alone. Many African countries have been embarking on and embracing technology, among which Tunisia has been the driving force of innovation in North Africa and across the African continent. Located in the capital of this thriving hub is Be Wireless Solutions (BWS), a leading operator of IoT networks, products, and applications. By offering innovative turnkey, integrated and connected solutions for saving resources in various fields, including manufacturing, agriculture, energy, transport, and smart cities, BWS is revolutionizing wireless communication in the Tunisian region. BWS was created by Karim Kharrat and the Ghram brothers, Sofiene and Nizar—industry experts with long-standing experience in different industries—who shared a common interest in creating new technologies. “Back in 2016, after having participated together in several workshops and brainstorming sessions on how to profit from the unlimited number of skilled engineers in Tunisia and Africa, we decided to become an active player of technological transformation,” says Karim Kharrat, Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman of BWS. At the end of 2016, Tunisia had launched a call for interest for the attribution of the IoT operator license. This was the starting point of the BWS journey. “It was an excellent opportunity to consolidate efforts and pave the path for an actual IoT leader in the country,” adds Kharrat. After subsequent efforts, in 2017, the firm obtained an IoT license and then in 2019, a startup label.
Ingrained at the core of the BWS is the purpose to help customers and partners reduce their consumption of energy (electricity, water, and fuel).
Building around this DNA, the firm offers solutions that allow real-time and remote monitoring of connected objects such as refrigerators, machines, water meters, vehicles, agricultural spaces (including henhouse, greenhouse, beehive, and hutch), and even housing estates. BWS initially began by offering two wireless solutions: one that allows real-time follow up of fuel consumption in fleets and a cooling management system for agriculture, hotels, and hospitals based on connected objects and LoRa connectivity. In mid-2019, BWS introduced electricity and water metering devices and soon—after continued R&D efforts—earned the acknowledgment of being a reference provider of IoT devices for industrial companies. The firm then slowly expanded its offerings to include integrated solutions for monitoring greenhouses and henhouses with a wide range of analysis and reports allowing the optimization of electricity and water. “All of our solutions are comprehensive, scalable, and customizable. Since inception, we have been taking into account a deep understanding of market characteristics and an objective and fair assessment of internal capabilities. Efficiency and flexibility are the key words that sustain any of the strategic decision we take,” informs Kharrat.
This approach has allowed BWS to grow without a massive need for capital (the company raised about 500000 dollars two years ago) and become the national IoT leading operator with no less than 5000 connected objects installed in two years. BWS is currently targeting 50,000 connected objects in Tunisia by the end of 2023. “We believe that all of our IoT offerings are flexible enough to satisfy the needs of businesses in any country in the world, be it web development or hardware development. We believe that this plays a significant role in enabling the company to adapt its products, organization and methods to the needs of the international market,” explains Kharrat.
Bearing testament to BWS’s services and solutions is its success story with a leading African manufacturer of taps. The client was using a component produced in Germany for the management of the presence and automated functioning of its taps. They wanted to have better performance, and BWS was able to propose a solution that allowed a ten times better performance at half the price. Today, BWS serves the biggest companies, including the national company of gas and electricity and the national company of water production and distribution. The company is also the commercial partner of the incumbent Telco operator in the country and the leading ISP in the country.
Another notable aspect of the company is the fact that all of the solutions offered by BWS are developed and produced in-house. “Thanks to the expertise of our team; it allows us to be very flexible when it comes to satisfying the specific needs of our customers and partners,” asserts Kharrat. Besides, it is the extensive range of competencies mastered by the BWS team that allowed the company to gain the confidence of key players in the Tunisian economy. Currently, a go-to-market strategy for the international expansion of BWS is under preparation by Deloitte. The company is also looking forward to the second fundraising to pave the path for its global expansion. BWS is also anticipating the release of its first BWS B2C solution early next year.