Friday, September 12, 2014
Monday, August 25, 2014
By Nguyen Thai Khang*
MAPUTO, Mozambique, August 25, 2
/ -- Arriving in Mozambique when the telecom infrastructure was very limited and only 35% of the population was accessible to the telecommunication services, Viettel – the Vietnamese leading telecommunications - has endorsed an initiative to popularize telecom services in rural and under-served areas in Mozambique.
This initiative regards telecom provision as a commodity, which should be accessible regardless of geographical location or financial capacity.
The company has invested in a network, service support and introduction of social programs to enable telecom services accessible to rural Mozambicans, as part of improving their overall lives and become its customers.
Viettel aims at a sustainable social development and benefit both customers and the company by bringing mobile phones to every Mozambican and broadband Internet to every Mozambican family.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
By 2040, Africa will experience faster economic growth than any other region and is expected to have the biggest labour force in the world
CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, August 14, 2014/ -- CEOs around the world are increasingly recognising the untapped potential of sub-Saharan Africa. This is driven by Africa’s unparalleled demographic edge or demographic dividend. By 2040, Africa is expected to have the biggest labour force in the world and experiencing faster economic growth than any other region, according to a report issued by PwC
The projections are contained in the latest PwC ‘Global Economy Watch’, which puts the spotlight on the largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Most major corporations are already active in at least one of the four largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa – Lagos, Kinshasa, Nairobi and Johannesburg.
But PwC economists believe it’s the ‘Next 10’ biggest cities in sub-Saharan Africa that should also be exciting foreign investors. The population of these cities is projected to almost double by 2030, growing by around 32 million people. In fact, latest UN projections show that by 2030 two of the ‘Next 10’ – Dar es Salaam and Luanda – could have bigger populations than London has now.
Cities are the typical entry points for businesses trying to expand into new overseas markets, because they enable closer interaction with customers in a relatively small geographic space, which in turn helps contain distribution costs.
Stanley Subramoney, Strategy leader of PwC’s South Market Region, says: “The report projects that economic activity in the ‘Next 10’ cities could grow around $140 billion by 2030. This is roughly equivalent to the current annual output of Hungary.”
This is a conservative estimate as no premise has been made for real exchange rate appreciation despite relatively strong projected growth in these economies.
“In addition to the trends with regard to high rates of GDP growth, rapid urbanisation and the so-called demographic edge that sub-Saharan Africa possesses, a number of other economic phenomena in the region are starting to appeal to the global investment community,” says Dr Roelof Botha, economic advisor to PwC.
These include the following:
• Significant new discoveries of mining and energy resources, in particular gold and gas;
• Substantial investment in infrastructure and capital formation by the private sector, which has witnessed an increase in the ratio of total fixed investment to GDP from 17.7% in 2000 to an estimated 23% in 2013;
• Sustained growth in per capital incomes, which has led to demand shifts that are benefiting household consumption expenditure on durables, semi-durables and services;
• The ability of a growing number of countries to raise financing for infrastructure projects on the international capital market, in particular Kenya and Rwanda. Both of these countries have recently managed to sell government bonds globally at single-digit yields, which obviate the need for excessive debt servicing costs.
As a result, a return was made last year to sound growth in foreign direct investment inflows (FDI)) into a number of key African economies, says Dr Botha.
However, there are three problems that could slow the pace at which the ‘Next 10’ biggest cities in sub-Saharan Africa grow, according to the report. These are issues that sub-Saharan countries have been trying to tackle for many decades with limited success:
• Low quality of ‘hard’ infrastructure like roads and railways
• Inadequate ‘soft’ infrastructure like schools and universities, and
• Growing pains arising from political, legal and regulatory institutions struggling to deal with a bigger and more complicated economy.
“The challenges that policy makers face is to convert Africa’s demographic dividend into economic reality by overcoming these hurdles. History suggests this will not be a quick or easy process. Infrastructure development is a key driver for progress across Africa and a critical enabler for sustainable and socially inclusive growth. However, investors should form their own plans to mitigate these problems by supporting infrastructure skills and development programmes,” concludes Subramoney.
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
51 countries, 60 direct reports, 60,000 customers, 4,000 employees, 14 aircraft, 2 young children and 2 dogs! Charles Brewer is the MD who loves leading all of that
At the helm of this business is Managing Director Charles Brewer, who has been with DHL for more than 30 years, has worked in all regions of the world and found himself in Africa for the first time three years ago.
“Like many who haven’t actually been to Africa, the perceptions I had were found to be very different in reality,” Brewer says. “Simplistically, Africa is the last frontier. It is the most beautiful, dynamic and exciting region I have had the pleasure to live and work in, and despite the very obvious challenges and occasional risk, I love being part of this exciting journey.”
His role, as MD, is to “motivate and excite my employees to deliver unbelievable and unparalleled service levels and to help our customers grow and be successful” and it is clear that customer centricity is at the very core of Brewer’s DNA.
So what does it take to oversee this many people and territories?
“We worry a great deal less about formal qualifications and focus far more on emotional qualities, experiences and abilities” – not surprising when you consider that he spends huge amounts of time on the front line and considers himself the Chief Energy Officer.
Every week you will find Charles in a different country in Africa – he could be with a courier in Rwanda this week, selling with a sales executive in Senegal the next, to sitting side-by-side with a Customer Service Agent in Lagos the week after. “If you want to know what your customers or employees really think about your product or your company, get to where the action is as often as you possibly can.”
A few years ago, just after Brewer arrived in Africa, he took the bold decision to completely de-layer the management structure, with an aim to bring everyone closer to the “sharp-end” and to significantly improve communication and speed of decision making.
“Africa is so dynamic and I just felt that we were too far removed and operating far too slowly”. All 51 countries now report directly to Brewer and the new structure has proven to be really successful.
“The new structure is very different and demands a very open, rapid and engaging leadership style but it is working really well, with quicker decision making, simpler communication lines and a significantly improved employee engagement level”. As an example, the couriers, who are key to the DHL service delivery promise, are never more than four levels away from Brewer and five from the Global CEO.
Think global, act local and TRUST!
One of the key lessons learned over the past three years and specifically as DHL went through the structural change, was the importance of trust. “With so many countries, all with different opportunities and challenges, you have to trust the teams on the ground”. What that means is using the global processes and procedures, but allowing a high degree of input on how best to execute locally.
To illustrate his point, Brewer describes a recent example were DHL was running a retail point of sale promotion to attract new customers to its ever-growing retail points. The typical approach would be to offer discounts and/or corporate give-aways to incentivise walk-in customers. The country manager in Ethiopia however suggested a much better idea – giving customers a chicken as part of the Easter celebration.
“When the Country Manager first suggested ‘chickens’, I had to laugh and genuinely thought she was joking, but she was serious and right – the promotion was hugely successful”.
It is big, but doable
DHL’s sub-Saharan regional headquarters is based in Cape Town, but Brewer spends a considerable amount of time visiting the company’s operations across the rest of the continent. “You have to be very visible”.
In a region as large as Africa, this is however easier said than done. Unlike Europe where one would struggle to fly a stretch of more than four hours, travelling across Africa can be gruelling. Just visiting each of the countries in West Africa can easily take two to three weeks.
“It has its challenges in terms of flight schedules and being away from one’s family, but it makes for an interesting experience and I’m still having lots of fun. Playing a small role in the African growth story is an incredible privilege and one that I am very proud of,” says Brewer.
As we leave his office I hear him call out to his assistant, “which lucky country am I going to next week?!”
ARTICLE VIA " How we made it in Africa'.
Friday, July 25, 2014
I was excited to Emcee the launch of the OLXSOMA2014 awards this Tuesday at the Norfolk hotel, quite an evening it was!
Nendo's Mark Kaigwa, Director Digital Communications in the Office of the President Dennis Itumbi, Dogital humanitarian Philip Ogolla and OLX's Peter Ndiangui all took us through their experiences in the Social Media space as Ogolla challenged us to think about the digital footprint we shall create.
PS: if you're single you're doing something wrong. There's a couple that met on OLX! Sell something 😊😊😊😊