Tag: Investment

Nurturing relations for business and development

Nurturing relations for business and development

Growing supply and demand through business relations

No doubt, the toughest terrain in doing business is the Sub-Saharan region. The endless red taped bureaucracy, the myriad of licenses and permits, accessing capital, ridiculous legal costs for enforcing contracts. Actually, now that I am listing this, I realise the challenges are not different from doing business in Austria.

What makes doing business in Africa difficult is the high diversity of cultures, poor infrastructure and sourcing the right skilled workers. Let me add in poor time-keeping and keeping up with customer behaviour. How can you circumvent these barriers to enable smooth trading? The answer is: You cannot. Your best bet is to understand your target customer, find a trusted local partner and mirror the negotiation skills of an Asian trader.

Nevertheless, there appears to be a growing trend of European enterprises taking advantage of the mixed economic system, private freedom and rising middle class in Africa. Austria is slowly catching on to this trend and realising the potential high returns of investment in education, skills, health and off-grid renewable energy.

Do not fear the dominant presence of Chinese.

The Chinese trader does a very good job in manufacturing and infrastructure development. The quality levels remain a matter of debate. But you should know that the African consumer loves quality goods, which are affordable, durable and fitting to local needs. You have a great chance of winning the African consumer if you provide sustainable products or services. Very often, no-frills products without unnecessary features are enough to cater for the mass market.

Have patience.

You are on the path to sustainable profitability as long as you are persistent, resilient, own enough liquid cash flow, supported by trusted local partners, and have an understanding of the consumer, local cultures and market trends. Your chances of success are heightened further if you are trading with African countries led by governments that are accountable and pushing innovative industrialisation strategies. Take for example Mauritius or Rwanda.

Join the expanding network circles of Austria-Africa relations. 

Throughout September 2017, Austria offered an exciting programme of discussions, entertainment, education and training with a focus on business and development in Africa, including Aphropean Partners’ Frontiers of Dialogue, the Aussenwirtschafts Österreich’s Forum on Business and Development with focus on Africa, The African Gala 2017 hosted by the Diaspora, and so forth.

Building relations is the key to success. Together with strategic partners, we can help frame your understanding of the emerging and frontier market of Africa. Simply get in touch and email curious@aphropean.com for consultation and seminars.

Profitable sustainability is not a cakewalk

Profitable sustainability is not a cakewalk

How to draw a roadmap to sustainable business

Cashflow is the lifeblood of every business. Most companies cannot afford to look beyond profitability in the short run. But sometimes you just gotta to give. Strategic planners with foresight recognise the attractive returns of social responsibility, despite reaping returns more in the long run.

What leads you to sustainable development goals? Which stakeholder plays a crucial role in the value chain? There are four primary value chain components that stand out in a strategic sustainability business model:

The Product

Produce goods and deliver services sustainably and profitably. How? By taking in consideration three sustainable components: 1) working conditions, 2) raw materials and 3) environmental performance.

Take for example Mondi Group, the paper and packaging company. Recently, the international organisation rolled out its sustainability strategy program. This complicated process involves all the company stakeholders and requires thorough due diligence on Mondi’s vast supplier network spread across 30 countries.

Also, Mondi’s sustainability policies and management systems focus on key global trends affecting society and business, including:

  • modern slavery and unsavoury working conditions;
  • ethical sourcing of raw materials;
  • reducing deforestation through forest-friendly policies such as the Growing Responsibly Model.

You may be interested to know how to conduct Due Diligence for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. Learn about the OECD Guidelines.

The Employee

Staff play a fundamental role as CSR-ambassadors. Notably, the Millennial generation (born 1980-2000) tend to adopt socially responsible values. As you already know, engaged employees who relate with the company values tend to perform better and push profits to upper levels.

Large organisations such as Mondi plc take more time and effort to implement and adapt revised changes to business operations. The effort to meet profitable sustainability objectives comes at a high cost – bigger budget allocations to human resource for staff training as well the marketing department. The organisation`s social responsibility marketing strategy weighs heavy on communication and carefully orchestrated campaigns. Company resources are largely funded to promote the means and ends of sustainable profitability measures within internal and external business operations.

The Customer

You cannot ignore the rising demands for sustainable products and services.

Mondi plc recognises this.

Customers in Europe respond more to climate change management and environmental efficiency and are likely to have the means to pay for biodegradable packaging. Whereas the customers in Africa refer to sustainability as a way to save cost for maximum output in Africa.

I wonder how Mondi tackles the dilemma of producing quality environmentally friendly paper and packaging at affordable prices.  Perhaps you can tell me.

There are multiple ways to engage with existing and potential customers. Social Media is a great medium to listen and obtain direct feedback from customers. You need to keep your green enthusiasts happy. Brand loyalty is key, which brings me to the subject of branding.

The Brand

Throughout my childhood, Mama reminded me and my siblings not to boast. I try not to blow my own trumpet excessively and prefer others to do it for me. Funny enough, this applies to companies as well.

Organisations cannot rely only on public relations and advertising to boost their brand cred. There are sneakier methods to increase brand awareness. Carefully embedding sustainability values into the mission statement is one way to develop’CSR programs, collaborate with socially responsible advocates and Aphropean Partners to consult on sustainability marketing campaigns.

Take care of the planet and people for profits

The private sector is in a prime position to make a real impact in the way we live our lives today and in the future. Social entrepreneurs tend to tie sustainability to the mission and value proposition. Larger organisations will more or less be forced to view sustainability in the same light as quality. The recent international standards demand a sustainable approach to its value chain for profits in the long run.

Who says it is easy to create a path of profitable sustainability? Or sustainable profits? The aim to sustain a competitive advantage in the long run while taking care of the people and planet.

Richard Obahor

Richard Obahor

Richard Obahor is a Multi-Award Winner, Property Investor, Property Developer, Property Acquisition Expert, Property Manager and Luxury Life Style Service Agent. As the event host, Richard will share his insights on Real Estate Investment for Nigerians in the Diaspora at the Afro-Austria Business Summit on 27 May 2017.

Richard had acquired a multi-million GBP property portfolio owing to his outstanding and unique acquisition skills. He set up his first real estate company in 2008, offering property acquisition, property development, and property management services to high net worth clients. The deviant, disruptive, and unconventional businessman has, over the years, not just proffered UK real estate services to his broad-spectrum customers, he has also integrated into the Nigerian property market where his company now develop quality luxury homes.
The notable public speaker who is also known for his sartorial dressing, has interests in other promising and fascinating career adventures, such as his special publication for the delight of real estate’s enthusiasts called “Richard Obahor Developer Extraordinaire”.
He has garnered several skills and experience from reputable professional institutions as well as an MBA from the prestigious Plymouth University, UK. Richard won the prestigious 2016 BEFFTA Leadership award and the 2016 GAB (Gathering of Africa’s Best) award for Excellence.

The Afro-Austria Business Summit is free, but places are limited, so registration is required. To register, please email events@aphropean.com, call +43 664 494 1020 or click this link.

Hon. Dayo Bush

Hon. Dayo Bush

As the former Chairman Hous Committee on Treaties  & Agreements at the House of Representatives in Nigeria, Hon. Dayo Bush will share his insights on Business Protection and Security at the Afro-Austria Business Summit on 27 May 2017.

An Architect by profession, Hon. Dayo Bush has distinguished himself as a thoroughbred and proficient professional in the Nation’s building and construction industry before his foray into partisan politics.

He has proficiently combined the primary goal of representation which is lawmaking for the general well-being of the people and the enhancement of the development of his constituency. Hon. Dayo Bush had at several times implemented interventionist programmes in the area of roads, security, electricity, water supply and educational support projects in some primary schools within the Federal Constituency.

Due to his vast knowledge and experience and relationship with his fellow representatives, Hon. Bush-Alebiosu has served on many committees of the House including National Security, Petroleum (Upstream) and was a former sub-committee Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other committees.

Hon. Dayo Bush had at several times implemented interventionist programmes in the area of roads, security, electricity, water supply and educational support projects in some primary schools within the Federal Constituency.

Due to his vast knowledge and experience and relationship with his fellow representatives, Hon. Bush-Alebiosu has served on many committees of the House including National Security, Petroleum (Upstream) and was a former sub-committee Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other committees.

The Afro-Austria Business Summit is free, but places are limited, so registration is required. To register, please email events@aphropean.com, call +43 664 494 1020 or click this link.

The Afro-Austria Business Summit 2017

The Afro-Austria Business Summit 2017

Celebrating Africa’s New Dynamism

Purple Premium Ltd and Iroko Awards International, in collaboration with Aphropean Partners, invites you to participate in the first Afro-Austria Business Summit with a focus on global business and economic development.

Currently, on tour across Europe, this event provides you with an excellent chance to:

  1. Connect with enterprises who have successfully conquered a stake of the African market.
  2. Learn about the vast opportunities in real estate investments, capacity building, security, packaging industry, project funding and using technology for profitable sustainability solutions.
  3. Meet with industry specific decision makers, government representatives, civil societies and entrepreneurs with a vested interest in Africa’s New Dynamism.

Held on Saturday, 27 May 2017 between 17:00 – 21:00, the Afro-Business Summit will take place at the ARCOTEL Kaiserwasser, 8 Wagramer Strasse, 1220 Wien (near Kaisermühlen U-Bahn station).

The Afro-Austria Business Summit is free, but places are limited, so registration is required. To register, please email events@aphropean.com, call +43 664 494 1020 or click this link.

WHAT BRINGS AFRICA’S NEW DYNAMISM?

Richard Obahor, multi-award winning CEO of Purple Premium Ltd and the event host explains.

MEET THE SPEAKERS

In the theme of Celebrating Africa’s New Dynamism, the Afro-Austria Business Summit will feature a line of inspiring keynotes, including Speakers (click on the names for bio):

Dr Dayo Olomu – Staying Ahead in a Volatile Business Climate & Digital Age

Rita Isiba – Profiting from Sustainability through Technology in Africa’s Emerging Markets

Hon. Dayo Bush – Business Protection & Security

David Smith – Business & Packaged Opportunities in Nigeria

Herbert Macheiner  – Project Funding

Yemisi Akindele – Grooming Leaders of the 21st Century

Richard Obahor – Real Estate Investment for Nigerian in the Diaspora

Subrinah Dolischka – Moderator

 

Afro Austria Business Summit

ENTERTAINMENT

Along with the inspiring and educational keynote sessions, the event will live music and an awards ceremony. The evening will feature a performance by Ola Egbowon, Austria’s critically acclaimed soul & pop artist, who will perform singles from his last album, Love is Alive. The Afro-Austria Business Award is a ceremony for deserving businesses and professionals, including categories:

  • Making a Difference in the Community
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Excellent Business

 

ola egbowon

 

To register for #AfroAustriaBusinessSummit, please email events@aphropean.com, call +43 664 494 1020 or click this link http://bit.ly/AfroAustriaBusinessSummit

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