Welcome!

News Feed Item

How to Win in Africa

Companies Need a New Approach to Competing in Africa, According to BCG Report

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA -- (Marketwired) -- 01/09/14 -- Companies are starting to place big bets on Africa, but many of them are still figuring out what it takes to win on the continent, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The continent is a dizzying collection of emerging markets, each with its own unique business environment, risk profile, and potential. Companies frequently do not know what to expect, where to start, and how to prosper.

"In the past, multinationals treated Africa as a trading post, extracting unfinished natural resources and shipping goods for a small group of Westernized elite consumers located in the continent's large coastal cities," said Patrick Dupoux, a BCG partner and coauthor of the report, titled "Winning in Africa: From Trading Posts to Ecosystems." "To succeed in the new, more diversified Africa, companies will need to change their approach. They will need to actively engage with the continent by building local teams and networks of suppliers, partners, communities, and public and private stakeholders. We call this the 'ecosystem mindset.'"

With other emerging markets slowing down, the stakes are high for global companies in Africa, which is on an upswing. Winning in Africa outlines a series of macroeconomic shifts that are changing the fortunes of a continent that analysts and journalists once called "hopeless."

  • The equivalent of 11 percent of GDP is flowing into the continent in net capital flows.
  • By 2040, Africa will have a larger working-age population than China or India.
  • Mobile penetration has jumped from less than 2 percent in 2000 to more than 60 percent in 2011.
  • In 2011, for the first time in history, a majority of African nations were governed by democratically elected leaders.
  • By 2017, there will likely be 257 million consumers with discretionary income.

Collectively, these forces have promoted the development of more diversified and sustainable national economies. "Africans have good reason to be optimistic and enthusiastic about their future," said Stefano Niavas, a BCG partner and another report coauthor. "The continent has undergone a revival that few people were predicting 15 years ago."

Winning in Africa lays out an approach for companies to take advantage of these trends by addressing five specific African realities.

  • Africa is the final frontier. Africa is the last sizable area of untapped growth in the global economy. But given the operational challenges, companies will need to bring Africa into the boardroom to ensure continuity, commitment, and persistence. Unless Africa is a C-suite initiative, the effort will be wasted.

  • There is not just one Africa. Clusters of African countries share language, culture, borders, and trade and financial agreements, but they all require vastly different approaches to strategy, organization, and business. Companies need to address this diversity.

  • Talent, market knowledge, and risk are bottlenecks. More so than in most other emerging markets, talent and market knowledge are in short supply in Africa. Political, economic, and governance risks remain in many markets. Consequently, companies must invest aggressively in people, market intelligence, and risk management.

  • The African customer is rising. Companies must develop products, services, and brands that resonate with consumers and business customers. Because distribution is so challenging in Africa, companies need to have sufficient control to ensure that goods and services are delivered as promised into the heartland and not just along the coast.

  • Africa has an ambitious development agenda. African leaders are diligently working to improve the social infrastructure of their nations, to create jobs, and to generate higher-value economic activities. Consequently, companies should figure out how they can help countries achieve their development goals while also making a profit.

"Success in places like China or India will not necessarily translate into success in Africa," said Tenbite Ermias, a BCG partner and coauthor. "But companies that figure out how to build deep and lasting businesses in Africa will be handsomely rewarded because the barriers to entry remain formidable."

A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.bcgperspectives.com.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or [email protected].

About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.

About bcgperspectives.com
Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management's agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG's extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walked through how Octob...
In his session at DevOps Summit, Tapabrata Pal, Director of Enterprise Architecture at Capital One, will tell a story about how Capital One has embraced Agile and DevOps Security practices across the Enterprise – driven by Enterprise Architecture; bringing in Development, Operations and Information Security organizations together. Capital Ones DevOpsSec practice is based upon three "pillars" – Shift-Left, Automate Everything, Dashboard Everything. Within about three years, from 100% waterfall, C...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
"We formed Formation several years ago to really address the need for bring complete modernization and software-defined storage to the more classic private cloud marketplace," stated Mark Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Formation Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...