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AFRICA EDITION JULY 2018 africa.businesschief.com

Globalaw

Digitising the customer journey

SUPPORTING INVESTORS ACROSS THE CONTINENT

Moza Banco

DIGITAL STRATEGY AT MOZAMBIQUE’S PREFERRED BANK

GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER ANDREW DARFOOR ON ‘AMBITION 2022’

DHL Global Forwarding and supply chain excellence in Ghana

TOP 10

MOST VALUABLE BRANDS IN AFRICA


The World’s leading software for the World’s leading banks Over 3000 banks in 150 countries run Temenos


FOREWORD

ello and welcome to the July issue of Business Chief’s Africa edition. This month’s cover story features an exclusive interview with Andrew Darfoor, CEO of insurance specialist Alexander Forbes. To drive its expansion across the continent, the company is undergoing a significant transformation which it has named Ambition 2022. “We want to have a bigger social impact across our markets. For instance, in our home market of South Africa, only 6% of South Africans can retire with any level of certainty or dignity, which by default means 94% can’t. That’s entirely unacceptable,” he Darfoor tells us. Also featured this issue is Globalaw, a worldwide network of 110 independent law firms whose presence across Africa helps investors navigate legal regulations. Find out what VDMA Managing Director Pieter Van der Merwe has to say about the opportunities for investment across the continent. Elsewhere, our city focus charts the economic scene to be found in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, while this month’s top 10 charts the continent’s most valuable brands. Finally, be sure to read our other exclusive interviews, featuring DHL, LYT Architecture, MozaBanco, MTN Sudan and Zimnat Group.

H

Enjoy the issue!

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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CONTENTS

ALEXANDER FORBES DELIVERING FINANCIAL FREEDOM TO CUSTOMERS

08

22

Supporting investment in the gateway to Africa

Cyber solut

to cybe


City Focus

ADDIS ABABA 46

utions 34 ercrime

58

Top 10

most valuable brands


CONTENTS

66 Moza Banco

78 Zimnat


Global 88 DHL Forwarding

96 MTN Sudan

106 LYT Architecture


ALEXANDER FORBES

A DIGITAL JOURN TO DELIVER FINAN TO CUSTOMERS 08

J U LY 2 0 1 8


TECHNOLOGY

NEY NCIAL FREEDOM Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Darfoor highlights how Alexander Forbes remains committed to the digital customer experience WRITTEN BY

CATHERINE STURMAN PRODUCED BY

JUSTIN BRAND

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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ALEXANDER FORBES

L

isted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), specialised financial services group Alexander

Forbes provides retirements, employee benefits, health, wealth management, asset management and insurance solutions to institutional and retail clients across seven jurisdictions in Africa. To drive its expansion across the continent, the company is undergoing a significant transformation under its new Group CEO. Titled Ambition 2022, its new growth strategy aims to transition Alexander Forbes to be a leading pan-African financial services organi10

zation, delivering the right outcomes to shareholders and clients. Its strategic anchor will help customers achieve financial freedom and a lifetime of financial well-being. “We are a trusted brand and we are building a great place for our employees to work, where they feel they’re having a social impact,” observes Group Chief Executive Officer, Andrew A. Darfoor. “We want to have a bigger social impact across our markets. For instance, in our home market of South Africa, only 6% of South Africans can retire with any level of certainty or dignity, which by default means 94% can’t. That’s entirely unacceptable,” he explains. “We therefore want to work with more people, both corporates and individuals to J U LY 2 0 1 8


TECHNOLOGY

ensure that both employers and employees can work smarter to ensure that employees can reach retirement stage having much more set aside.” With this in mind, Darfoor notes that unlike developed countries such as the UK and the US, individuals gain access to their entire pension pot in one lump sum once they leave their employer in South Africa, providing minimal financial incentives for many to preserve. “Most people cash that money and then spend it. We therefore want the preservation rate to be as high as possible such that when people move from employer to employer, we can preserve the assets they have accumulated,” he says. “There are a number of social impacts, particularly around retirement, that we’re absolutely focused on in terms of having a much more social impact in our markets.” Responsible for driving Alex-

Inside Alexander Forbes head office in Sandton

ander Forbes’ strategic anchor, Darfoor strives to support cora f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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ALEXANDER FORBES

Inside Alexander Forbes head office in Sandton

We believe in being a proactive force for positive change

A local, data-led, customer-centric approach to digital transformation

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Creating unique, data-led customer experiences

Founded by Africans working for Africa

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With you from strategy to execution to beneďŹ t

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Getting the job done with

Getting the job done, with you

For more visit www.bsg.co.za


TECHNOLOGY

porate businesses and individuals to provide

customers better services and

employees with an integrated platform,

solutions,” he says.

encompassing retirement solutions, pen-

“We want a single view of cus-

sions, savings and employee benefits. In

tomers and then aggregate that

addition, the company provides exceptional

single view to drive more impor-

financial advice through a broad range of

tant decisions through data

solutions within savings, asset management

analytics. So, AI and data ana-

and more.

lytics are fundamental to our

“We want our clients to make smarter financial decisions and we have these broad range of solutions,” says Darfoor. “Whatever clients need financially, we’ve

future business model.” With a long-term goal to shift its customer relationship from payer to partner, Alexander

got it. We partner with clients to help them

Forbes is fully committed to

make smarter financial decisions, whatever

becoming part of its customers’

stage of life they’re in or whatever corporate

life journey.

they’re in to drive the right outcomes.”

ENHANCING THE CONSUMER BUSINESS Investing over R1bn ($76m) to upgrade and strengthen its digital infrastructure, the largest single capital investment commitment in its 83-year history, Alexander Forbes intends to overhaul the way in which it engages with customers across its operations, spanning products, sales and the solutions provided to individuals to enhance the customer journey by making it more digital. “We’ve got access to the entire portfolio of an individual. The question is how we then use this information to drive predictive analytics to better price and offer

“WE ARE A TRUSTED BRAND AND WE ARE BUILDING A GREAT PLACE FOR OUR EMPLOYEES TO WORK, WHERE THEY FEEL THEY’RE HAVING A SOCIAL IMPACT” — Andrew Darfoor , Group Chief Executive Officer

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ALEXANDER FORBES

“It’s entirely different if you think that the relationship is where my financial services partner can help me make smarter decisions that in turn

based systems is therefore essential.” However, this has not been without its challenges. Regarding cultural biases, where many

help me reach the right out-

markets consider insurance as a luxury item,

comes. This simply gives you a

Alexander Forbes aims to inform its custom-

more in-depth perspective

ers’ view to one which where financial

much more than you could do

solutions are repositioned as an essential

by yourself,” adds Darfoor.

part of protecting what is important to them.

“The journey for somebody

“I also often say that our biggest competitors

who’s a millennial is also going to

in many markets are fast moving consumer

be entirely different in terms of the

goods companies,” explains Darfoor.

journey of somebody aged 55 14

right technology including CRM and cloud-

and above. “We use these insights to

“It’s a lot easier to go and buy the latest iPhone or flat screen TV rather than put that money towards pensions, savings or

determine the type of advice and

retirement. It’s largely a question of

solutions that are most appropri-

education, intervention, and improving

ate for your journey. Having the

awareness. We’re trying to change behav-

BIO

Andrew Atta Darfoor was appointed as Group Chief Executive of Alexander Forbes Group Holdings on 1 September 2016. Under his leadership, the business has defined a new ambition titled “Ambition 2022” for the organisation with a focus on becoming a globally distinctive panAfrican financial services leader with an integrated model supported by technology enablement. J U LY 2 0 1 8

Darfoor is an experienced financial services leader with a successful 20 years plus track record of bringing bold vision and all-encompassing strategic planning to international next-stage business growth, re-invention and turnaround challenges in the financial services sector across multiple continents including North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle


TECHNOLOGY

iours to drive the right financial outcomes. “The level of financial literacy is relatively low in many markets we operate in. So half the battle is improving financial awareness and education to then have a discussion around what’s right for individuals, based on the outcomes they want to achieve.”

MULTI-CHANNEL ADVANTAGES Partnering with Israeli technology giant Sapiens and FIS, a US based global

15

provider of financial technology solutions, Alexander Forbes has sought to modernise

East. Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer at Sun Life Financial International, a division of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, leading a division providing life insurance, protection, savings and wealth management solutions across 50 countries in Asia, Middle East and Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Prior to this, Darfoor held a number of senior leadership roles at Old Mutual plc, where he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual (Bermuda) Ltd. He previously held international management positions focused on strategy and business development at Credit Suisse AG, UBS AG and Ernst & Young LLP. a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


ALEXANDER FORBES

its retirement, retail and digital platforms, spanning pensions administration, book-

tionship with learning, the

keeping and recordkeeping.

organisation has partnered with

“We’re trying to get to the stage where an

online learning platform Degreed

employee can look at their benefits, their pen-

to launch a new business, Alex-

sions, contribution amounts, online, and then

ander Forbes Empower, to

see whether they’re on the right path to

customise its content for the

achieve the outcome they want,” says Darfoor.

benefit of staff members as

Microsoft has also been brought on board,

well as offer this platform to

where the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics software has enabled the business to aggregate its customer data and build an online portal. Taking on board the importance of engag16

Encouraging a lifelong rela-

ing with customers on any device they wish to use, from face-to-face, digital or online, modernising its digital infrastructure to support its future growth has led to an improvement in the client experience, but also optimised Alexander Forbes’ ongoing costs. “We plan to serve our clients more efficiently, more effectively at a lower cost whilst maintaining our ability to interact with them through whatever channel or media or device they want,” adds Darfoor.

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE Whilst Alexander Forbes has stressed the importance of its digital transformation, the company would not be where it is today without its employees. J U LY 2 0 1 8

corporate customers.


TECHNOLOGY

17

“WE PARTNER WITH CLIENTS TO HELP THEM MAKE SMARTER DECISIONS, WHATEVER STAGE OF LIFE THEY’RE IN OR WHATEVER CORPORATE THEY’RE IN TO DRIVE THE RIGHT OUTCOMES” — Andrew Darfoor , Group Chief Executive Officer

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ALEXANDER FORBES

“If staff are interested in a specific area, they can go online and have access to that content. For us in the business, we can also push content and link it through a report. It becomes one additional channel of encouraging a lifelong relationship with learning to our workforce,” states Darfoor. “We think this is critical and believe that 60% of the skills in the workforce today will, quite frankly, be irrelevant in 10-20 years’ time. So, the ability to rein18

vent, re-learn, to have that passion for evolving your skillset, I think is going to be critical in the workforce of the future. “We’ve also now started to offer our online internal platform to some of our clients.” Not one to rest on its laurels, the business has also placed significant focus on its corporate social responsibilities, which Darfoor states is not only ‘the right thing to do,’ but is also a great ‘recruitment tool.’ “Millennials are placing a great deal of emphasis on the company they work for having a J U LY 2 0 1 8


TECHNOLOGY

social impact as it’s cool for them to talk to their friends and their communities around what the company’s doing,” he says. “We have accelerated our engagement around social initiatives and embedded this through to our business model. We are also engaging much more with universities and have developed a graduate development programme in collaboration with a number of leading universities. We are also stepping up what we do in our communities much more actively than we’ve ever done before. Whilst Africa continues to be a growing continent in terms of GDP growth, the discussion around financial awareness, as well as various financial products and solutions, remains an essential area of focus for Alexander Forbes in its ambition to remain a leader in the African financial services market. “The business is on a transformation journey and we’re on that journey to build a leading pan-African business,” concludes Darfoor. “We believe technology is a key component but, ultimately, we’re trying to change behaviours to ensure more people can retire with dignity.”

Alexander Forbes head office in Sandton a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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L E A D E R S H I P S T R AT E G Y

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G LO BA L AW

Supporting investment in the gateway to Africa 23

Globalaw is a global network of over 100 independent law firms whose presence in Africa helps investors confidently navigate often complex legal systems. Pieter Van der Merwe discusses how investors can make the most of opportunities on the continent WRITTEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


L E A D E R S H I P S T R AT E G Y

DMA Corporate

platform connecting lawyers,” says Van der

Commercial Attorneys

Merwe. “We had several interviews with

was founded in 2010 as

Globalaw directors and looked at the sub-

a local, independent commercial

stance of the firm and its representation in

law firm in Johannesburg. In 2015,

areas we do a lot of work in, like Europe.”

V

the company joined Globalaw

Being part of Globalaw is very much an

which, according to VDMA Man-

interactive process. “We regularly attend

aging Director Pieter Van der

meetings and contribute,” says Van der

Merwe, is a key part of the firm

Merwe. “It is what you make of it. We also

and has been vital for companies

regularly receive instructions from

wishing to expand their reach in

Globalaw firms and we’ve developed

South Africa and the wider region.

a really good pipeline of work.”

“We had many relationships with

Globalaw scrutinises law firms to decide

law firms but were interested in a

who joins their network and from this, anyone

24

J U LY 2 0 1 8


G LO BA L AW

seeking legal representation is assured of

benefited greatly for being part

quality service through the network. “You

of Globalaw’s reputable plat-

need a certain profile as a global, commercial

form. “Most of South Africa’s

firm,” Van der Merwe explains. “Let’s say a law

trade is with Europe and there’s

firm in the UK wants to use a law firm in South

good representation in key cit-

Africa – you’d look through indexes, Google,

ies,” says Van der Merwe. “From

LinkedIn… but through Globalaw, lawyers

a South African perspective,

know and trust me and they send work to me.

we are heavily dependent on

They don’t need to revert to an index because

inbound investment. South Afri-

we have that relationship and interaction.

can companies need to go to the

As an established, well-run organisation,

more sophisticated markets to

Globalaw has good representation worldwide

present ourselves, our skills and

and membership is consistent.”

our country. As a firm, we see

As a South African business, VDMA has

a lot of inbound work.” 25

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


L E A D E R S H I P S T R AT E G Y

“FROM A SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE, WE ARE HEAVILY DEPENDENT ON INBOUND INVESTMENT. SOUTH AFRICAN COMPANIES NEED TO GO TO THE MORE SOPHISTICATED MARKETS TO PRESENT OURSELVES, OUR SKILLS AND OUR COUNTRY” 26

— Pieter Van der Merwe, VDMA Managing Director

INVESTING IN SOUTH AFRICA “As an emerging economy, South Africa doesn’t generally do a lot of outbound investment,” Van der Merwe explains. “As far as sector growth is concerned, we’re seeing a lot of growth across all sectors.” He points to the energy sector as a key area of growth for the fast-moving nation. “There’s a lot of inbound investment in renewable energy. South Africa is the principal energy provider for the region and there will be a lot of development in that sector. I think as far as comparable emerging economies go, in terms of the BRICS countries for example, we can become a leader. There’s a lot of growth opportunity which of course leads to a lot of legal and financial work.”

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G LO BA L AW

Van der Merwe also points to food and agriculture as areas to watch. “There are a lot

talented financial people, lawyers and commercial directors.”

of opportunities there, as well as financial services opportunities. I would like to see

A UNIQUE PLACE TO DO BUSINESS

more investment funds – we see a lot of deals

“I think there’s good talent here

flowing into the country because we’re

first of all because of the unique-

a growing economy. In my view, there are

ness of South Africa,” Van der

many opportunities across many sectors.”

Merwe continues. The country is

Many factors come together to encourage

a bit isolated in global terms. We

investors to look at South Africa. “We view

tend to do a lot of things on our

ourselves to be a rather larger and more sta-

own. Having this large economy

ble economy than some of our African

in a fairly unique continent, we’re

neighbours. This leads to us being the first

very much innovative by nature.

choice for many European businesses to

Africa has unique problems and I

start, then infiltrate and spread into other

think that environment creates

jurisdictions in Africa. We have a very well-

more innovative thinking. South

regulated financial sector as well as very

Africa is a multicultural country a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

27


L E A D E R S H I P S T R AT E G Y

with 11 languages and a lot of mixing which I think leads to forward thinking.” Van der Merwe highlights South Africa’s world-class financial sector, largely untouched by global recession, as an attraction for local and global investors. “It is important because for an inbound investment or startup, you rely more on your financial system in terms of how it’s regulated, its banks and central banks, and how easy it is to do commerce. Our stock exchange is world renowned. This offers a lot of substance and a lot of comfort.” 28

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G LO BA L AW

South Africa’s annual growth stands at

where and we see this continuing

about 1% with this figure much higher for

for a long time, because if you

cities like Johannesburg. “People see

compare South Africa to compa-

a substantial economy and they want to

rable countries… I may be

participate because there are a lot of

biased, but I would always invest

opportunities which there might not be in

in South Africa. I trust our system

other markets like Europe, where it is more

in terms of integrity and I feel

competitive and developed.” VDMA is deal-

very comfortable with the busi-

ing with a lot of inbound work, helped by

ness environment.”

the Globalaw network. “We’ve helped

With many businesses keen to

a prominent oil and gas company on a very

get involved but unsure where to

large arbitration in the global market. We’ve

start, how can VDMA and

also helped a Canadian company enter the

Globalaw help and what must

medical cannabis environment.”

investors remember? “In terms

“We in the firm, and in the market overall,

of legal work, every country has

are very busy,” Van der Merwe adds, citing

its own dynamics and unique

that VDMA has just become the number one

culture and politics. In Africa as a

law firm in South Africa in unlisted mergers

whole, it is different than working

and acquisitions. “Work comes from every-

in more sophisticated markets. I

“WE FOLLOW, FROM A COMMERCIAL LAW PERSPECTIVE, ALMOST TO THE LETTER WHAT THE UK DOES. IF YOU’VE DONE GLOBAL WORK, THIS MEANS YOU’RE COMING INTO A SYSTEM YOU ARE ALREADY ACQUAINTED WITH, AS WELL AS BRING FULL OF THE BEST PRACTISE IN THE WORLD” — Pieter Van der Merwe, VDMA Managing Director a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

29


L E A D E R S H I P S T R AT E G Y

would say you need a bit more on-the-ground experience.” However, Van der Merwe is adamant that doing business in South Africa is more straightforward than foreign investors may think. “We follow, from a commercial law perspective, almost to the letter what the UK does. If you’ve done global work, this means you’re coming into a system you are already acquainted with, as well as being full of the best practice in the world.” 30

THE GATEWAY TO AFRICA

“AFRICA HAS UNIQUE PROBLEMS IN MANY WAYS, AND I THINK THAT ENVIRONMENT CREATES MORE INNOVATIVE THINKING” — Pieter Van der Merwe, VDMA Managing Director

In this way, South Africa really is Africa’s gateway, allowing inves-

always a director of Globalaw from an Afri-

tors to enter the market as part

can country,” explains Ven Der Merwe.” The

of a system they feel comfortable

current director is from Morocco. Globalaw

with. “As a relatively new democ-

makes sure the Continent is always repre-

racy, we are focused on

sented.” Even where Globalaw doesn’t have

constitutional matters and equal

a firm presence yet, it is still very much

rights. You’re coming into

committed to growth in Africa and to seek-

a sophisticated system within the

ing out potential new member firms. “Where

African continent which you can

there isn’t a member, most firms would

trust to set up your business and

inquire from me who to use in a specific

to create value.”

country. If we have a trusted contact in that

For Globalaw, there is an ongoing focus on developing a wider African network. “There’s J U LY 2 0 1 8

jurisdiction, we will put them forward.” Comprising 52 countries, Africa is a melting pot of legal systems including, according


G LO BA L AW

31

to van der Merwe, roughly 45% English, 45%

difficult for us to pinpoint relevant

French and 10% Portuguese or Belgian.

regulations – we visit Lloyds of

“With many different cultures and political

London and insure the deal with

systems, you really need to know your story.

the counter-party or country risk.”

“In wider African markets we focus a lot

As part of a global network, it

more on due diligence than usual. For exam-

is clear VDMA can more confi-

ple, you would usually do due diligence on the

dently point businesses in the

target asset, but if someone wants to buy a

right direction – and the num-

business in Mozambique where the legal sys-

ber of businesses investing in

tem is Portuguese, we do due diligence not

the region are on the up. “The

only on the asset but also on the people

bottom line,” says Van der

involved, and we do a deeper investigation

Merwe, “is that we’re very

into the transaction. We also rely a bit more on

excited about our country and

insurance, especially in countries where it is

the business sector.” a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


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TECHNOLOGY

34

Cyber solutions WRIT TEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK

to cybercrime

With data breaches highly publicised and ransomware threats on the up, Business Chief caught up with software company EQUIIS to find the solution

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a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


TECHNOLOGY

W

ith the cost of cybercrime to business in 2016 estimated at $500bn in lost revenue, and this figure

expected to increase by over $2trn by 2019, businesses both public and private are still struggling to implement secure communication. EQUIIS CEO Derek Roga is adamant more needs to be done to offer economical and intuitive solutions. EQUIIS provides enterprises with a range of secure communications solutions so that from oil and gas companies to law firms, businesses can communicate securely and efficiently with each other and with clients, 36

protected against the ever-increasing

“The idea was dangers of cybercrime and ransomware. to provide an With a recent report from NTT Security having revealed one third of global business decieasy-to-integrate sion makers prefer to risk ransomware platform that demands rather than investing in cybersecucould provide rity, despite attacks having increased by the enterprise 350% in 2017 alone, it’s no surprise there are with a tool to so many issues with keeping data secure and communicate that EQUIIS is growing exponentially in a presecurely” viously neglected space. — Derek Roga, CEO EQUIIS

Derek Roga, a tech entrepreneur with 25

years’ experience, previously worked in the telecom software space, working with Blackberry before founding EMS in Dubai in 2005, which involved “taking the Blackberry solu-

J U LY 2 0 1 8


37

tion to the marketplace through

go out on his own in the space and founded

mobile operators”. Within three

EQUIIS to assure clients with similar needs of

years, EMS became Blackberry’s

a secure, compliant communication method.

largest partner, representing 18%

Speaking to Business Chief, Roga was

of the company’s global sales

joined by Joe Boyle, CEO and co-founder of

and working with 105 mobile

SaltDNA, who started working closely with

operators worldwide.

Roga when the businesses formed a tech-

Roga went on to work with

nology partnership in 2017. Previously,

clients in the intelligence com-

Belfast-educated Boyle had worked for Irish-

munity. “They had a need to

based startups as well as Ericsson. “After

understand what type of com-

a number of years working in telecoms, I made

munications took place where

a switch to work in enterprise networking.” In

and if there was anything surrep-

2013, he founded SaltDNA, which was largely

titious they could identify.” Thus,

focused on “giving enterprises solutions for

in 2016, Roga was well-placed to

securer, compliant managed communication”. a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


TECHNOLOGY

Together, both entrepreneurs’ experience helped fill the cybersecurity gap. “What drove us to start the business was that over the past

“A lot of organisations are grappling with how to do the most to ensure cybersecurity solutions are implemented with the least amount of investment” 38

— Derek Roga, CEO EQUIIS

several years there had been a significant uptick in cybercrime,” says Roga. “It’s a significant issue being faced by entrepreneurs. The idea was to provide an easyto-integrate platform that could provide the enterprise with a tool to communicate securely: secure messages, calls and file transfer, and being able to spontaneously have conference calls in a secure manner, regardless of where the team was in the world.”

J U LY 2 0 1 8


EQUIIS also offers the option

explains: “the administrator controls who has

to burn messages at both ends

access, who is communicating with them,

once read in case a device

how they are communicating and where they

becomes vulnerable.

are communicating from, ensuring the integrity of the platform.”

SECURE MARKETS

“The reason clients choose us,” Boyle adds,

EQUIIS’s closed communication

“is really that control and management of

network gives clients two options

closed user groups. Being able to do secure

to communicate. “We have our

conference calls within their own network,

own cloud network where we

not having to trust anyone else, is a key

host the solution. An enterprise

requirement for these large organisations

subscribes and we give them a

and government bodies that can’t afford to

portal through which they can

take any risks.”

manage their subscribers. It’s in

Key markets for EQUIIS include the oil and

our secure network and they can

gas industry, and the business is now grow-

deploy it across their whole

ing in the legal and government sector.

enterprise really quickly.” The

“A number of law firms use our solution,” says

second way is an on-premise

Roga. “In some cases, law firms are man-

solution which affords the client

dated to ensure the protection and integrity

organisation complete control.

of their attorney-client privilege communica-

“We take the infrastructure we’ve

tions, so they use our solution to accomplish

developed and replicate that in

that.” In terms of government, particular areas

the client’s own network.”

include police, military and intelligence organ-

How does EQUIIS’s offering

isations. “They are required, or have their own

differ from a consumer-facing

mandate, to ensure they’re getting the best of

communication service? “The

the best in regards to technology, and that the

WhatsApps and Vibers of the

solution they implement has the highest of

world enable somewhat secure

security built around it. Over the last two

communications but are not

quarters we’ve had some significant wins with

made for enterprise,” says Roga.

government agencies.”

With EQUIIS’s solution, he

In addition, business in the healthcare and a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

39


TECHNOLOGY

finance sectors is picking up.

seconds so they can use the

“We offer something unique in

solution. It’s intuitive; there’s not

this space: the ability to be com-

much training required and this

pliant, particularly around

can then broaden to a wider

regulatory requirements. In the

group of users. It’s an elegant

financial services industry,

way for us to build rapport

there’s a requirement that every

and relationships.”

transaction and communication be recorded and kept for

OPEN SOURCING SAFETY

future reference.”

In addition, Roga feels use of

A key added value for clients is

40

open-source software assures

the assurance of compliance and

users the solution is safe. “What

safety when using EQUIIS’ solu-

we have is not proprietary tech-

tion. “Clients are looking for a

nology. We use open-source

partnership,” Roga explains,

encryption: it’s tried, tested and

“And if the partner and the people

validated. Frankly, when you start

representing it can really empa-

touting proprietary solutions in

thise and understand their

the market, two things happen:

challenges, and provide real

there isn’t enough user experi-

world solutions, not hypothetical

ence to validate the technology,

ones, it becomes a partnership.”

and secondly you are opening

A consultative process also helps assure customers the solution suits their needs. “We can get a test group running within

yourself up for people to try to be the first to hack it.” “We don’t see ourselves as cryptographers,” Boyle explains.

“We can get the latest encryption techn then wrap up the management, cont and compliance around these techn — Joe Boyle, CEO and co-founder of SaltDNA

J U LY 2 0 1 8


41

hnology and trol, visibility nologies� a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


TECHNOLOGY

“We take the latest and greatest encryp- nitely something we see as becoming tion technology and if something better

more and more important across organi-

comes along, it’s about a three to four-

sations and sectors. Our technology

week process to upgrade. We’ve done

should definitely be something anyone

that four times in five years. What makes

who has a trusted engagement with

us different is that we can get the latest

a client where they are dealing with sen-

encryption technology and then wrap up sitive information should leverage.” the management, control, visibility and

Echoing the NTT study, Roga

compliance around these technologies

emphasises how little organisations

to make it something an enterprise can

are willing to spend on cybersecurity,

easily buy, because we tick all the boxes.” even in 2018. “If I’m a corporation, and With data breaches these days widely I’m going to invest say $10mn in a mar-

42

publicised, Boyle argues “the vast

keting campaign for example, I can see

majority” of businesses and indeed cus-

my return on investment (RoI) in a very

tomers are unaware of potential dangers tangible way. It can be measured and and how much data isn’t encrypted.

quantified. Whereas if I take the same

“There’s a level of apathy. But it’s defi-

$10mn and invest in cybersecurity, that

$500bn

revenue lost from cybercrime in 2016 J U LY 2 0 1 8


RoI is intangible. A lot of organisations

America lots of people send voice

are grappling with how to do the most

clips. Not only does this allow you to

to ensure cybersecurity solutions are

have an asynchronous conversation

implemented with the least amount of

with someone, but it is actually highly

investment.

compliant as you can keep a record

“We come in offering a very elegant solution giving peace of mind that

of things as they progress.” In addition to voice notes, Roga

one part of the issue is covered – and

adds: “From a technology perspec-

covered economically.”

tive we’re always innovating. Our service is significantly enhanced:

LOOKING AHEAD

we’re bringing in video conferencing

An area of increasing important for the

and communication… A lot of the

future will be voice clips, says Boyle.

enhancements we implement come

“A lot of organisations on the consumer

from direct interaction with our

side are sending voice clips and voice

customers and understanding the

notes. It’s catching on more in the

landscape we exist in. That’s going

UK, and in Asia and North and South

to happen continuously.”

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

43


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S T R O P E R Y N A P M O C E V I S U L C X VIEWS, E

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR OTHER TITLES?


CITY FOCUS

ADDIS A City Focus

This month we are focusing on the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and the changing economic landscape of the nation

46

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ADDIS ABABA

ABABA 47

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


CITY FOCUS

A TOP DESTINATION

In 2015, the European Council on Tourism and Trade named Addis Ababa the top tourist destination in the world. It does not disappoint the visitor, offering up numerous visual delights and cultural surprises to anyone who has not visited previously. As the capital of modern Ethiopia, the city is home to approximately 3mn people and qualifies as a state in its own right, with a wealth of commerce and gov48

ernment office located here. Addis Ababa is the hub of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as well as the headquarters of the African

Pictures: mustafa6noz

Union. In addition, the city boasts a modern airport, Addis Ababa

attraction, but a testament to the vision and

University set on the grounds

the efforts of the last emperor to move the

of former Emperor Haile Selas-

country forward in the years following World

sie’s Palace, a respected

War II and Italian domination.

museum, the second-largest cathedral in Africa, a major

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

sports centre and Merkel Square,

There is a vast disparity of resources and

an important site for public gath-

opportunity in Ethiopia. Despite having one

erings and exhibitions.

of the world’s fastest-growing economies,

The copper-domed tomb of Haile Selassie is not only a tourist J U LY 2 0 1 8

nearly a third of its citizens live below the poverty line, and it is still considered a


ADDIS ABABA

49

‘third world country’ because of its recurring problems with drought, hunger, crime and political unrest. Emperor Haile Selassie mounted a campaign to modernise the country, educate its citizens and achieve a measure of stability after World War II when the nation threw off the yoke of Italian domination, but when his reign ended in 1974, Ethiopia once again was plagued by political and economic uncertainties, poverty and famine.

‘Addis Ababa is the hub of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as well as the headquarters of the African Union’ a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


CITY FOCUS

Today the country is moving forward once

in Sudan to flow through the

again, both in governmental stability, social

Egyptian Delta to the Mediterra-

stability and business.

nean as the legendary Great Nile River.

CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME

A huge population, approxi-

Its geographical features, high altitude and

mately 102.4mn in 2016, places the

lack of consistent rainfall make farming diffi-

country at 16th on the list of most

cult, even though Lake Tana in the Ethiopian

populated nations in the world,

Highlands marks the source of the Blue Nile.

further challenging the resources

Downstream, it is joined by the White Nile

of a developing economy.

50

J U LY 2 0 1 8


ADDIS ABABA

In 2012, the country spent

mately 10% during the previous 10 years,

nearly 40% of its budget on

but Ethiopia received more than $3bn of

infrastructure development, and

donor aid annually.

inflation reached 26% annually. At the time, life expectancy was

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

under 60 years for the average

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was

citizen, and there were more

prescient in noting that growth and develop-

than 12,000 homeless children

ment must centre around IT and trade

in the capital alone. The poverty

manufacturing in order to stimulate jobs and

level had declined by approxi-

private sector growth, which has proved to

51

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


CITY FOCUS

be true. Today, investment opportunities are growing as the economy continues to expand at an annual pace that, by some estimates, approaches 11%. Even though the IMF puts annual growth at a more modest 5-7%, it remains consistent, pointing to a more viable future for Africa’s ninth largest economy and second largest population. While the best market prospects are still centred around government projects, there are at least five other areas of interest for business investors: education, agribusiness, financial services, telecommunications and heavy construction. 52

Nearly identical views are echoed by export.gov, which notes that primary US exports to Ethiopia include aircrafts and parts, vehicles and parts, machinery and medical equipment as well as construction

Picture: DavorLovincic

and agricultural equipment.

‘The Government of Ethiopia welcomes partnerships and investments that will help move the country forward, contribute to a better life for its citizens and help develop sustainable business’ J U LY 2 0 1 8


ADDIS ABABA

The Government of Ethiopia, according to all reports, welcomes partnerships and investments that will help move

Pictures: itpow

the country forward, contribute to a better life for its citizens, help develop sustainable business, industrial, educational and health models, and contribute to both public and private advancement within the country. ENERGY, AGRIBUSINESS AND EDUCATION

A massive energy initiative, with an emphasis on renewable hydroelectric power sources, is currently underway. The nation’s energy capacity will be expanded more than fourfold in just a three-year period between 2017 and 2020. While enhanced agricultural practices and better distribution ability should help to alleviate hunger and boost the standard of living, the government recognises that education is key to future growth, and that the current literacy rate of 42% is unacceptable for a modern a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

53


CITY FOCUS

Bole Medhane Alem Cathedral

54

nation. There are more than 30

disadvantaged economy that character-

universities throughout the

ised the Ethiopia of the past will take time,

country, and primary schooling

but government officials and private busi-

has been initiated by mandate

ness are determined to work together to

in most villages.Â

boost the standard of living, provide employ-

Moving from the severely J U LY 2 0 1 8

ment opportunities and allow this ancient


ADDIS ABABA

55

land to prosper both now and in the future. It is a hopeful and exciting time for Ethiopia,

may be facing a future where it will be lauded more for its ingenuity

and visitors to Addis Ababa cannot help but

and foresight, moving into an

be impressed by the changes that have taken

enviable position as a business

place, even in the last decade.

centre and a developing jewel of

The city that was recognised for its beauty

the African continent. a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


VISIT OUR WEBSITE

R E A D T H E L AT E S T I S S U E


T O P 10

most valuable brands 58

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Africa is home to a number of successful, growing companies in various industries. Following is an overview of the top 10 most valuable brands on the continent W RI T T E N BY

O L I V I A MIN N OCK 59

Africa, the world's second most populated continent, is a land of opportunity for businesses from a variety of industries. As the below listed companies and other successful local businesses have found, an entrepreneurial spirit, modern technology and excellent customer service can enable companies that start out small to become regional giants. What’s more, many of the below listed businesses work closely with multinational corporations in various countries to export their services and products to a worldwide audience.

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


T O P 10

Tusker

$201mn www.tusker.beer

Tusker is a successful beer company that is managed by East African Breweries. The company is headquartered in Kenya and has subsidiaries in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Tanzania, and distribution partners in

Sasko

$154mn 60

Rwanda, DRC and Burundi. As a whole, East African Breweries employs 1,653 people. Tusker is cur-

www.sasko.co.za

rently worth $201mn. The fact that it

Sasko is a wholesale food company

has been in business for nearly 100

that produces bread, flour and bake

years has undoubtedly played a large

mixes which are sold throughout the

role in the company’s success, as has

continent. The company is managed

Tusker’s decision to use locally pro-

by Pioneer Foods, an African con-

duced malted barley instead of

glomerate that specialises in

imported malted extracts.

producing, distributing, marketing and selling grocery items around the world. Pioneer Foods has branches in three African nations and 8,600 employees. Sasko is currently worth $154mn. Its 80 years of history coupled with the company’s recent design upgrade play an important role in making it one of the top four companies in its industry in South Africa. J U LY 2 0 1 8


Dangote $491mn

www.dangote.com

The Dangote conglomerate includes companies producing steel, oil and gas, food and beverages, cement, fertiliser and packaging materials. It also offers property management, technology services, port operation services and transportation among other services. The company is based in Nigeria with subsidiaries in more than half a dozen African nations. It has 30,000 employees and is worth $491mn.

Glo/Globacom $427mn

Akio Dangote, founder of the Dangote Group, can attribute his success to early assistance from a wealthy

www.gloworld.com/ng/

family as well as his own passion for

GLO is the second largest telecommu-

business and business acumen.

nications company in Nigeria. It also operates in Republic of Benin, Ghana and Ivory Coast. The company employs 2,545 people and is currently worth $427mn. Globacom’s success can be attributed to its many valueadded services, including lower tariffs, mobile banking, vehicle tracking, pay per second billing and a multimedia messaging service.  a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

61


T O P 10

Multichoice $623mn

www.multichoice.co.za

Multichoice is a video entertainment and internet company that manages seven separate brands. It is based in South Africa and has over 7,400 employees. The company is worth $623mn and attributes its success to its innovative services and cutting-edge technology. The company is based in Gauteng and owns the DStv, M-Net, SuperSport, MWEB and GOtv brands.

62

Pick n Pay $576mn

www.pnp.co.za

Pick n Pay is a large supermarket chain based in South Africa. It also has stores in Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zambia. The company has more than 80,000 employees and is worth $576mn. Pick n Pay’s recent rebranding has helped it recover from a 2011 slump, as has the store’s track record for providing efficient services and affordable prices. J U LY 2 0 1 8


Tiger Brands $883mn

www.tigerbrands.com

Tiger Brands, South Africa’s largest food company, has 41 subsidiaries and 20,591 employees. Its African offices can be found in South Africa, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. Tiger Brands is worth $883mn and its success can be attributed the company’s entrepreneurial spirit as well as its

Safaricom/Mpesa $691mn

acquisition of numerous successful small brands. However, not all its recent purchases have been success-

www.safaricom.co.ke

ful and the company has lost

Safaricom is a telecommunications

considerable value in recent years,

company based in Nairobi, Kenya,

especially in its purchases of compa-

with other offices in Kisumu, Nakuru,

nies in other African nations.

Mombasa and Eldoret. It has over 4,000 employees and is worth $691mn. The company’s many mobile-based services, its successful partnerships with other companies in the region, the fact that it was the first East African company to possess 3G internet technology and its recent success with 4G/LTE connectivity have all helped to make it a force to be reckoned with in Africa and other nations. a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

63


T O P 10

64

Shoprite

$999mn

www.shopriteholdings.co.za

Shoprite is Africa’s largest food retailer, operating 2,689 outlets in 15 African countries. Its stores also sell general merchandise from suppliers in South Africa and other countries. It has nearly 144,000 employees and is worth $999mn. Shoprite has won awards for excellence and popularity and has been successful in its business dealings and expansion efforts. Its partnerships with numerous suppliers have helped it offer a wide range of goods in all its retail outlets.

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01

MTN Group $2.9bn

www.mtn.com

MTN Group is a South Africa-based telecommunication giant with offices in South Africa and nearly two dozen other African nations as well as offering its services to four further countries. The company has 17,510 employees and is worth $2.9bn. MTN Group’s expansion into Nigeria has been particularly successful. The company holds a 35% market share and generates one-third of its revenues from Nigeria alone. It has won numerous awards for being one of the most admired and valuable brand names in the region. 65

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MOZABANCO

66

Moza Banco: The preferred bank of Mozambique J U LY 2 0 1 8


67

WRITTEN BY

LAURA MULLAN PRODUCED BY

JUSTIN BRAND a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MOZABANCO

68

THE AFRICAN BANKING SECTOR IS A HOTBED OF INNOVATION. IN MOZAMBIQUE, MOZA BANCO IS DRIVING FINANCIAL INCLUSION WITH ITS CUTTING-EDGE DIGITAL STRATEGY frica has the secondfastest growing banking market in the world, according to a report by Kinsey, and it seems the story is no different in Mozambique. Championing services like mobile money solutions and agent banking, one of the country’s leading commercial banks,

K

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Moza Banco, has strived to offer affordable, instant and reliable financial services to both urban neighbourhoods as well as rural villages, areas where no bank may have ever established a branch before. Looking forward, the 10-yearold bank has big plans for the future but none outshine its


BANKING

“Most of the population don’t have bank accounts and so part of our strategy is to reach this demographic through alternative services from what is provided in this market. By offering services like agent banking, mobile banking and other financial facilities we aim to create a genuine relationship with our clients and make Moza Banco their preferred bank of choice.” The African banking sector is a hotbed of innovation and Moza Banco is no exception. Sansão Monjane, Head of Information Technology and Systems, believes the way in which Moza Banco adopts unique innovations and business approaches helps to distinguish it from its competitors. commitment to be the nation’s preferred

“We do our best to ensure we

bank of choice and to promote financial

are also at the cutting-edge of

inclusion.

technology and that our services

“Moza Banco isn’t focused on being the

are available to everyone at their

biggest bank in terms of size or its number

time of need,” Monjane explains.

of clients but is focused on establishing

“We take a different approach

its place as the country’s preferred bank,”

compared to the other banks in

explains Espírito Santo Monjane Jr.,

Mozambique and this helps to

Deputy Director of Information

differentiate our services

Technology and Systems.

from the others. a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

69


MOZABANCO

Espírito Santo Monjane Jr. Deputy Director of Information Technology and Systems

70

Espírito Santo Monjane Jr. is 30-year-old professional who has worked in the banking industry for nearly eight years, five of which at Moza Banco. Having studied Computer Science, Monjane Jr. started his career working for a small startup, AfriSis Lda., as a programmer, developing projects for municipal departments and district governments thus following his passion for software development. His first experience in the banking industry came from BCI, in 2010, also as a programmer, where his main focus was developing user interfaces for their business process automation.

Sansão, Monjane Head of Information Technology and Systems Sansão Monjane is a young Head of IT in one of the most promising banks in Mozambique, with a team of 45 people that ensures the the maintenance and evolution of Moza banco IT systems, that includes infrastructure and all applications and IT related services. With a degree in Journalism, Monjane was always passionate about the IT world, which lead him to work in reputable companies in the market, such as Intercampus from Growth from Knowledge (GFK) Group as IT Manager. In 2012, Monjane joined the banking sector as an IT technician, and since then has rose through the ranks to his current position.

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BANKING

71

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MOZABANCO

“That’s why we’ve been awarded

we are pushing it further through

as the most innovative Southern

more agents across the country.

African bank for the African Banker Magazine for two years in

in the market without having to

a row,” he adds. “In essence,

put a traditional branch at every

we always try to innovate to

site. We believe it is the most via-

make sure that we are

ble solution for growth going

enablers in the market.”

forward and it is also in line with

One way in which the Mozam-

more people into the financial

sector is through its use of agent

system, which is a big issue in

banking, whereby a banking

Mozambique, and in Africa as a

agent – that is a retail or postal

whole.” “Like many other developing

actions on behalf of the bank.  

countries, the infrastructure in

Launching the first banking

Mozambique is challenging,”

agent in Mozambique around three years ago, Monjane Jr.

adds Monjane. “We don’t have the means to

believes this cogent strategy has

get to remote places. If you have

been a roaring success.

a branch in a remote place, you

“Right now, we are pushing

have higher costs of transferring

aggressively towards agent bank-

money to those places, higher

ing, whereby we partner with

costs of maintenance for the

some commercial entities so that

branch, and higher costs for

we can provide banking services

the employees. That’s why

all over the country,” he explains.

with agent banking, you can

“We are going outside the urban areas to rural markets where people want to trade cash.

J U LY 2 0 1 8

the country’s strategy to include

bican bank is making waves in the

outlet – processes clients’ trans72

“It’s an alternative way to grow

reach this slice of the population in a much easier way.” The financial landscape is

We were the first to make that

changing rapidly and perhaps

happen in Mozambique and now

one of the most notable trends is


BANKING

73

the emergence of application

leading disruptors in the market,

programming interfaces, better

this is a trend which Moza Banco

known as APIs.

has been keen to tap into.

Located at the heart of open

“We are in an area of Mozam-

banking, APIs are open source

bique where a lot of people are

technologies which allow fintechs

introducing new technologies,

and third-party developers

new solutions, and enabling new

to build financial applications

areas of the market,” notes Mon-

on top of the bank’s existing

jane. “In IT, our strategy is to

IT infrastructure.

partner with those entities and

By ‘opening’ up the banking

make our banking services

sector, the introduction of APIs

available through alternative

allows third-party developers to

services and apps such as

create helpful services and tools

when you are paying your bus

that customers can utilise.

fare or shopping online.”

Partnering with some of the

To compete in Africa’s diverse a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MOZABANCO

“BY OFFERING SERVICES LIKE AGENT BANKING, MOBILE BANKING AND OTHER FINANCIAL FACILITIES WE AIM TO CREATE A GENUINE RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR CLIENTS AND MAKE MOZA BANCO THEIR PREFERRED BANK OF CHOICE” — Espírito Santo Monjane Jr., Deputy Director of Information Technology and Systems

The best of ICT with a human touch Living in a mode that is “always-on”, and communicating within a society that never sleeps, Information and Communication Technologies are vital for every people and business activities. We imagine and deliver top-notch, scalable and sustainable solutions, with a human face and touch, at the heart of digital transformation. Axians is the VINCI Energies brand dedicated to ICT. We’re in 22 countries, with 9000 employees and revenues of €2 billion, in 2017.


BANKING

75

financial market, mobile banking is a must. In the continent today, there are around 100mn active mobile money accounts, used by one in 10 African adults, according to

In 2014, ‘Global Banking and Finance Review’ named Moza Banco as the fastest-growing commercial bank operating in Mozambique in 2014.

data from McKinsey. “In Mozambique, around 5mn people have bank accounts yet 18mn people have a mobile phone. Therefore, mobile banking is a key way to get to non-banking clients in the country,” explains Monjane. By all accounts, it seems Moza Banco has an expansive portfolio on offer, and the firm shows no signs of slowing down its innovation. For instance, the bank recently introduced self-service kiosks so that people can pay their taxes or pay for government services with a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MOZABANCO

ease. But, despite this, the commercial bank is keen not to push technology on its customers. Instead, Monjane Jr. says the bank’s digital strategy is about meeting the capabilities of its clients to genuinely promote financial inclusion. “We’re trying to make the interface simple and intuitive so that it is easy to engage,” explains Monjane Jr. “We are taking what they know, something as simple as their feature phone, to provide services,” he continues. “As we reach people with more financial opportunities we can also offer applications for smartphones. 76

“Technology is everywhere, but we are adapting to the capabilities of our clients.

“If we digitise the money in the

We’re not forcing them to use a specific tech-

country, we don’t have to worry

nology. We’re not saying, ‘everybody should

about the cost of producing

have a feature phone or the cheapest smart-

paper money. For the bank, it’s

phone to use our services’. Instead, we are

just great for us, because we have

saying, ‘we understand might not have this

more clients, more business, and

technology so we will use what you have so

we have more projects to offer the

that you can have a relationship with us’.”

community. Then from a social

The underlying message behind Moza

perspective, it’s helping the econ-

Banco is one of financial inclusion. This is not

omy grow and it makes life easy

only important for the bank, it’s also vital for

for the everyday citizen.”

the country at large. “Financial inclusion can be viewed from two

A successful digital transformation needs a successful team

perspectives: it can be viewed as business for

to lead the way. At Moza Banco, it

Moza Banco, but it also has a huge social ben-

seems the firm’s young, highly

efit,” says Monjane.

skilled workforce is critical to its

J U LY 2 0 1 8


BANKING

the box and come up with solutions to the everyday problems we face inside and outside the bank. We are making a lot of effort to push the bank forward, to make ourselves better each day.” It’s an exciting time for Moza Banco. The firm has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and from December to April the banking market grew around 5%. As such, Moza Banco remains optimistic about the future. “The banking sector is one of the most promising markets in Mozambique,” reflects Monjane. “I think that, like a lot of places in Africa, we have entered a new era of banking where we don’t have to follow traditional modsuccess. “At Moza Banco, we have a

els that were set up years ago. “In the next five to 10 years we expect Moza

shared belief that young people

Banco to be one of the top three banks in the

are critical in the banking sector,”

market for definite,” he adds. “We expect to

Monjane explains. “We invest a

be the preferred bank for our customers but,

lot in upskilling our staff and

most of all, we expect to contribute exponen-

sending people for training.

tially to the growth of

We invest a lot in enriching our

the country, because, doing banking in

personnel to keep them up

Mozambique isn’t just about business. It plays

to date with the latest

a huge social role.”

technology in the market. “In IT, in particular, we also understand that innovation is a key motivation. Aside from everyday work, we push people and push ourselves to think outside a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

77


Z I M N AT

Zimnat

CONNECTING LIFE ASSURANCE TO THE FUTURE 78

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TECHNOLOGY

Zimnat’s Group Chief Digital Officer Tendayi Chirokote on the challenges he faced transforming the digital culture of the Zimbabwean life assurance company WRITTEN BY ANDREW PRODUCED BY JUSTIN

WOODS BRAND

79

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Z I M N AT

IT

80

consultant Tendayi Chirokote was working for African telco Telecel Zimbabwe when Zimbabwean insurer Zimnat tasked him with spearheading a digital transformation at the company. “I was working with Telecel Zimbabwe for about four years and before that Econet Wireless for about seven to eight years,” he explains. “Yeah, it was quite exciting coming up with a lot of mobile solutions: mobile money, money farming and mobile tracking, plus a lot of work integrating the Econet business into one ERP solution.” Insurance had become a dirty word across the African continent since the economic collapse of 2008 had seen so many companies go to the wall. Needing to remodel the public’s perception of insurance, particularly when times were tough, led Zimnat to pursuing better communications both externally and internally. “Zimnat were in need of a digital transformation drive,” Chirokote explains. “They wanted to go into an omnichannel environment, driven digitally and I had experience of integration work, and a lot of experience from a digital product perspective.” In September 2017, Zimnat tasked Chirokote with looking at the current technological infrastructure, focussing on its J U LY 2 0 1 8

hardware and connectivity ahead of transforming the business over the following three to five years. “I took a good look at the IT space and recommended a strategy of how to structure and take the business from bricks and mortar to a fully digital environment. “The first area we looked at was the legacy technology, which was not at the level where the business needed to be. We put in place plans to modernise the


TECHNOLOGY

“The other challenge was that we wanted to reach out to customers who don’t live in the big cities, in areas that are virtually impossible to reach in a bricksand-mortar approach” — Tendayi Chirokote, Chief Digital Officer

81

technology and came up with a strategy of

digitise the work environment

how to continually modernise it over a period

itself, because it’s difficult for you

of three to five years.”

to expect somebody who oper-

The second stage of Chirokote’s work at

ates in a traditional work

Zimnat was to change the internal culture.

environment to deliver a digital

“How do we transform the culture of the busi-

experience to a customer.”

ness so that people start moving from a

Chirokote and his team started

bricks-and -mortar type environment, to staff

looking at ways of introducing

who were able to operate in a digital environ-

digital to Zimnat’s communica-

ment? So, we looked at the people and said to

tions internally to move from the

ourselves: ‘How do we train? How do we start

manual analogue to more digital

engaging the team?’ We did this before we

systems such as email communi-

started looking at our customers. We needed

cation, intranet-based messaging.

to start introducing technology internally to

The CEO, Mustafa Sachak, started a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Z I M N AT

a blog to maximise exposure to digital

tal learning platform. This has been so

communication. Changing communi-

valuable for our day-to-day operations

cations internally was really important

in the business especially when you

and a number of features were intro-

start to alter the culture of a company.”

duced that fully utilised the expertise of

With any change comes glitches

the workforce. “Every Friday, we would

and risk and there was some limited

all share global trends in terms of

resistance to the internal changes to

the insurance sector or learning. Our

workplace culture and protocol. “Staff

HR department introduced a digital

started to raise the question: ‘Will I lose

platform where people could share

my job to the machine?’” Chirokote

a growing knowledge base through

explains. “So, the challenge was to try

our courses. Now, instead of using

and give them confidence. ‘We want

physical manuals they could actually

you to move away from processing and

download information as part of a digi-

number crunching, as we actually need

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TECHNOLOGY

you to analyse our growing data and for making decisions on how we can improve the business.’” To reach more mass markets Chirokote’s team analysed how Zimnat handled its distribution chain as there were obvious limits to a purely bricks-and-mortar approach when you’re aiming to reach mass market business. “We wanted to see if the products needed to change shape. Would they continue to be the same products while in a mass market environment? “Instead of the staff sitting back and waiting for the rollout of this

“We wanted to see if the products needed to change shape. Would they continue to be the same products while in a mass market environment?” — Tendayi Chirokote, Chief Digital Officer

83

big monster we identified some small ways in which people could actually see some of these digital processes in place. One of the projects we introduced was analytical. We pulled data from all the different systems, created dashboards around it and put some geographical context to the data. This encouraged people to spend more time analysing the paying behaviour, trends and distribution of customers. This relaxed the working environment, as staff a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Z I M N AT

were now looking at what the data actually meant.” Obviously with increased harvesting and analysis of data comes issues of cybersecurity. Chirokote introduced a number of preventative measures. “The first thing we did was to call in PricewaterhouseCoopers, who did a security audit of our processes, systems, firewalls; the complete architecture. This took two to three months during which they 84

assessed the entire landscape. This outsider’s view of security was essential as it highlighted the

data and put in some standards around the

level we needed to be operating

password policies and internet usage to

at in terms of security.

secure a community where people were start-

“PwC gave us some level of

ing to exchange and move data. The email

comfort that we could actually

platform was also upgraded from an open-

start delving into the data issues

source model to Gmail, so we were essentially

once we had attended to the

outsourcing to an organisation that already

high-risk areas. We updated all

had security structures in place.”

the software updating systems to

The implementation of any new measures

current versions because that

can often cause temporary shifts in process

was a big vulnerability that we

times. Chirokote and his team witnessed

had. Then we updated our poli-

a slight drop in efficiency. “The tightening of

cies which related to a

the environment was now creating slowness

bricks-and-mortar environment.

in terms of productivity. They felt it was inhib-

We looked at the interchange of

iting the way they worked. We strengthened

J U LY 2 0 1 8


TECHNOLOGY

“Our agents have said that whatever leads come through Facebook are experiencing a 90% closing rate” — Tendayi Chirokote, Chief Digital Officer

85

the password system for exam-

for this by introducing efficiencies.

ple and because people tended

“The digital transformation is currently nine

to forget their passwords, there

months old and so the effect on the bottom

was a lot of sharing, which was

line has not been observed just yet, although

now prohibited.

Zimnat’s reach has improved greatly. The dig-

“With regards to workflow, there

ital marketing side has really come up very

had to be checks and balances in

well, where we are probably reaching out to

place and you couldn’t start and

between 3-400,000 people in the last three

complete a process all by yourself.

months. In terms of leads, 10% of those are

So, all of a sudden you had to wait

leads we can actually chase. Our agents have

for another person to approve

said that whatever leads come through Face-

your work and the team generally

book are experiencing a 90% closing rate.

felt that this whole security busi-

It’s different from when you just knocked on

ness was making things slower.

a door. They now know that 90% of the leads

But the idea was to compensate

generated from the digital channel are likely to a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Z I M N AT

close, which is a massive positive for the business. “My role at the moment is preparing the technical space to be ready for the full speed digital, which probably won’t be for another 12 months.” Traditionally, Africa has experienced major problems with connectivity and geography proved a problem for Zimnat. “Connectivity has always been a problem here,” Chirokote says. 86

“The cost of data, for which I can actually put to a physical product, is very expensive. You have to ask

and made sure that the digital side was fully

yourself how you can keep costs

employed into the insurance space.”

down for your customers. “But if you keep that cost down,

The millennials are the emerging target for many insurers but for many, as well as those

it reduces the business. So, we

older customers, there is a palpable distrust of

needed to come up with an opti-

insurers after the global economic collapse in

mum solution which wasn’t too

2008 which saw some companies defaulting

expensive. The other challenge

on their responsibilities.

was that we wanted to reach out

“I think the challenge for insurance compa-

to customers who didn’t live in

nies is to create a trust between them and the

the big cities, in areas that are

clients,” Chirokote continues. “Making an

virtually impossible to reach in

insurance sale is very difficult when there is no

a bricks-and-mortar approach.

trust. Because of the uncertainty politically in

We looked at other channels

the country, people would rather hold back

such as the mobile business

and see if things change before committing

J U LY 2 0 1 8


TECHNOLOGY

“Millennials don’t feel that they are ever going to die! I think they are more risksavvy however and take a lot of chances” — Tendayi Chirokote, Chief Digital Officer

87

and so that has presented a chal-

using insurance as protector of that purchase.

lenge where our penetration rate in

Millennials don’t feel that they are ever going

insurance is down to less than 5%.

to die! I think they are more risk-savvy how-

“But we’re sticking to that

ever and take a lot of chances. I can see a

challenge and coming up with

situation where insurance would make sense

products which speak to the wal-

if you combined it to a saving or investment

let of all the potential customers.

scheme, or to a product that helps someone

Millennials have a different way of

acquire an asset.

thinking, even as far as insurance

“So, insurance has to be more relevant to

is concerned, so from an insur-

the lives of these people rather than waiting for

ance business perspective, the

the risk of death, or a company accident or

insurance space has to be ready,

whatever. I think that’s the direction our prod-

not to sell insurance necessarily,

ucts need to take going into the future.”

but to sell a product that’s relevant to a young person, while a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


DHL

88

DHL Global Forwarding sets the supply chain standard in Ghana J U LY 2 0 1 8


S U P P LY C H A I N

89

Recently granted both ISO 9001:2015 & 14001:2015 certification, Serigne Ndanck Mbaye discusses how DHL Global Forwarding continues to unlock key opportunities to enhance its supply chain across Ghana WRITTEN BY CATHERINE STURMAN PRODUCED BY JUSTIN BRAND

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


DHL

S

ince the 19th century, the logistics industry has undergone significant

transformation. Technology has influenced the way in which we order, transport and store various goods, leading consumers to demand the ability to receive products solely at the click of a button. Since its inception in the late 1960s, DHL, (named after its founders Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn), has undergone rapid global expansion, transforming consumer expectations. With an unfaltering promise to deliver goods 90

anytime, anywhere, the company’s core values – passion, entrepreneurship, excellence and teamwork – fully underpin its customer-centric approach across its operations. With group revenues exceeding €55bn

orating across its business units, from DHL Express and DHL Global

($64.3bn), its entrance into the Ghanaian market

Forwarding (DGF), to deliver inte-

in the 1970s led the company to undertake

grated logistics solutions.

considerable growth. Now spanning over

Working in various roles under

200 countries, DHL Global Forwarding

the company’s extensive portfo-

Ghana (DGF), seated under DHL’s umbrella,

lio, Country Head at DHL DGF

has been central to its cross-trade shipment

and Cluster Head for Ghana, Cote

capabilities.

d’Ivoire and Senegal, Serigne

Providing charter solutions for oversize,

Ndanck Mbaye, explains how he

heavyweight cargo, dangerous goods, per-

has brought the company’s strat-

ishables and valuables, the division delivers

egy to life to boost DGF’s visibility

essential freight services across land, road

and bolster financial revenue.

and ocean to all 10 regions in Ghana, collabJ U LY 2 0 1 8

“I started with DHL Express


S U P P LY C H A I N

“Visibility is key and our vehicles are equipped with tracking devices and drivers with tools which provide real-time visibility on the shipment progress” — Serigne Ndanck Mbaye, DHL DGF and Cluster Head for Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal 91

under several management positions in sev-

this part of the world and has not

eral countries. I’ve been promoted by DGF as

been under focus up until recently.”

the Country Head for our Senegal Company in 2011. It was loss-making at that time, but with

TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITIES

our team we were able to turn around the busi-

To support its considerable growth,

ness within a year and stay profitable, achieving

DGF continues to invest in new

our key targets throughout the years,” he says.

technologies to enhance its

“Within our environment where succession

solutions and remain the global

planning is a reality, it makes sense for me to

logistics leader as part of its core

also grow in terms of responsibility in a bigger

IT renewal roadmap.

market and sub-cluster. There are many

“Automation is part of the game

untapped opportunities that we are focusing

and throughout the years DGF

on in the region, particularly with commodities

has introduced state-of-the-art

and perishables which need our expertise in

technologies,” explains Mbaye. a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


“Distribution is a key element across

now undertaken in real-time through

the company’s international supply

our ESP solution via GPRS data trans-

chain. We have a manager in charge of

fer. Increased visibility, where we can

not only quality and HSE requirements,

see action happening in the field, as

but also cost and lead time targets.

well as proof of delivery where custom-

Visibility is key and our vehicles are

ers sign on the screen, are all

equipped with tracking devices and

integrated in the reporting and tracking

drivers with tools which provide real-

with the GPS location, which supports

time visibility on the shipment progress.

delivery, pictures, and exception man-

We also have reporting platforms to

agement. Any document related to the

assess performance and develop action

shipment either transport, commercial

platform when required.

and regulatory is also supported by our

“Updating shipment processes are

front-end solution which ultimately

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“There are many untapped opportunities that we are focusing on in the region, particularly with commodities and perishables which need our expertise” — Serigne Ndanck Mbaye, DHL DGF and Cluster Head for Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal

93

eases the life of our customers. We are

pany is not one to rest on its laurels. From

truly at the forefront of digitalisation

a sustainable viewpoint, DGF has also

and logistics innovation,” he continues.

implemented a paperless solution by

“We also have a competitive advan-

installing its electronic document man-

tage through DHL Interactive, which is

agement tool. This has enabled

our front-end tool that offers end-to-end

documents to be dematerialised, as

shipment visibility. Customers can

part of its Go Green Initiative to reduce

access its three functionalities: book-

harmful emissions.

ing online, tracking the shipment process and customised reporting, which is auto-

SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES

mated based on customer requirements.”

Whilst the business promotes partner-

Additionally, housing a fully scalable

ships with local companies which are

warehouse management system, as well

trained in data management, tools and

as an app to track shipments, the com-

logistics, DGF also outsources a numa f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


DHL

ber of its services, such as haulage. Although it retains a fleet for specific needs, local selected and trained companies are routinely harnessed to support local communities. To give back to local communities, DHL GF Ghana since 2011, supports Operation Smile, which conducts medical programmes across Ghana in cities including Accra, Cape Coast, Tamale, and Tema for children and adults born with cleft lips. The Partnership started in 2011 with DGF Ghana giving free logistics solutions from 94

Accra (capital city) to the various medical stations in the country). In 2018 for the first time DGF Ghana took a trip down to Ho Regional Hospital to interact with the Operation Smile

“We invest in our eLearning

Team, Volunteers and Parents to further

platform with mandatory compli-

understand how DHL’s support is improving

ance courses, as well as many

lives and adding value.

more recommended courses for

There were more than 250 patients from all

the personal development of

over Ghana for screening for the surgeries.

employees. We also develop

Furthermore, internally, DGF seeks to

regional programmes, such as

improve existing processes to drive quality of

Build your Skills, Women to the

service. Its Employee Opinion Survey (EOS)

Top, and our leadership pro-

initiative, as well as its Employee Net Pro-

grammes, TELP, TEC LP and

moter Scores (ENPS) are essential in hearing

much more,” observes Mbaye.

the voice of employees, developing key

“All these courses count for just

action plans and enhancing active leadership

10% of the training and develop-

and engagement at the company.

ment of staff. We believe that our

J U LY 2 0 1 8


S U P P LY C H A I N

FACT

DGF was recently granted both ISO 9001:2015 & 14001:2015 certification DHL has undergone rapid global expansion, transforming consumer expectations. DHL’s core values — passion, entrepreneurship, excellence and team work, fully underpin its customer-centric approach

people learn more through on the job assignments and projects, and 70% on day to day activities, as DHL is a continuous working environment. This is a company where performance and behaviours are recognised and rewarded.” With globally dedicated teams in a number of different industry sectors, DGF seeks to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of integrated, end-to-end products and solutions geared to meet the needs of its customers. “There are still opportunities where we are already providing logistics solutions where we can still grow our market share,” notes Mbaye. “We are an international company that houses a global network with local expertise. We are fully compliant, deliver on our prom-

Group revenues exceed €55bn

ises, and have essential programmes which

DHL entered the Ghanaian market in the 1970s, and now spans over 200 countries

consistently improving with our innovation

help us give back to communities. We are centre and most importantly, we are truly customer-centric.”

DGF delivers essential freight services across land, road and ocean to all 10 regions in Ghana

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

95


MTN SUDAN

96

MTN SUDAN: PROVIDING LEADING MOBILE AND INTERNET SERVICES IN AFRICA MTN Sudan continues to enrich the lives of its customers through innovative service solutions WRITTEN BY

DALE BENTON

J U LY 2 0 1 8

PRODUCED BY

ARRON RAMPLING


S U P P LY C H A I N

97

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MTN SUDAN

98

P

art of the wider MTN Group, MTN

pany that sponsored the 2010

Sudan is the African arm of the lead-

FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

ing provider of communication

But what is it that separates

services, cellular network access and busi-

MTN Sudan from other providers

ness solutions. The company brings together

of communication services? A

more than 230 million subscribers across its

commitment to innovation and a

operators all around the world in Africa, Mid-

continuous drive to enrich the

dle East and Europe.

lives of its customers.

It is the MTN Sudan arm that has taken the

“We are determined to lead the

spotlight over recent years, becoming the first

delivery of a Brave New World in

African telecom company ranked amongst the

the daily mobile communication

top 100 global brands according to Millward-

usage of our customers by inno-

Brown Brandz in 2013. The company also can

vating our friendly used services

boast at being the one and only African com-

and through our consistent provi-

J U LY 2 0 1 8


S U P P LY C H A I N

developing innovative and attractive packages and services that create a far greater customer experience. In today’s world of social media, communications service providers have to be able to allow their customers to access the biggest communication tools in the world in Twitter and Facebook. To this end, MTN has a Facebook Zero initiative. This initiative sees MTN prepaid subscribers being given exclusive access to Facebook through their mobile phones. Better yet, it is entirely free of charge. sion to make MTN customers lives a whole lot

Facebook Zero is a “light-weight,

brighter,” the company promises in its strate-

text based” version of Facebook

gic vision.

Mobile. All customers have to do is

“Customers are at the heart of what we do,

send a message to a designated

we guarantee to deliver the change for good.”

number provided by MTN Sudan

The way in which MTN Sudan achieves this

and they will be granted access to

is key. The company has invested heavily in

the social media platform, enabling

expanding its MTN network to cover more

customers to connect with their

than 500 regions across Sudan and in doing

friends and families at the touch of

so, the responsibility to keep the customers at

a button and on the go.

the heart of the matter expands with it. MTN encourages loyalty and strives for cus-

It is but one example of how the company works extremely hard to

tomer retention through the provision of the

do more than provide a simple ser-

highest quality services and continuously

vice to customer. a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

99


Powering digital customer interactions to transform customer experiences

Digital Content and Streaming Services

A2P Business Messaging Platform

Create compelling customer experience across mobile and digital touchpoints.

Value-added messaging to improve A2P monetization and operational efficiencies.

Video streaming Mobile games (HTML5) Voice services

Managed enterprise messaging layer Intelligent messaging routing Advanced micro-services

Working in partnership with MTN to deliver services across more than 20 countries in The Middle East and Africa.

For more information email: mea.sales@imimobile.com

imimobile.com


S U P P LY C H A I N

Click here to watch one of our lastest videos ‘MTN 4G’

101

Another key trend emerging in the world of communications is the rollout of 4G and 5G. While the maturity of communications and technology in Africa highlights that it is not quite there with regards to 5G, there is one perk for customers of MTN Sudan seeking a 4G connection. In the state of Khartoum, MTN Sudan provides customers with the MTN Start 4G internet service. This enables a “wonderful internet” experience for customers using their existing contract/SIM card setup. Much like its Facebook Zero initiative, customers simply dial a number and are presented with a choice of many packages that range from 1GB of data right up to 100GB of 4G data. But as the company continuously states, its goal is to a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MTN SUDAN

lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to its customers and make their lives a whole lot brighter. One way in which it delivers on this, is through gifting. For a population of around 40 million people, MTN Sudan recognises that while most of its customer base continues to access its services it cannot forget about those that don’t. As a means of attracting more customers, and connecting them with the existing customer base, MTN Sudan has an incentivised offer of the MTN Freebie. Designed to “make someone’s day”, MTN Freebie allows prepaid customers the oppor102

tunity to invite their friends and family into the MTN Sudan family through gift internet bundles. But of course, the customer of MTN Sudan is not only the people in the street and in their homes. The company also offers communication and internet packages for business and enterprise customers. MTN Sudan provides a number of packages specifically tailored to business customers, whether they be small or medium enterprise, designed to maintain the effectiveness and efficiency of their work performance. As the market continues to grow and the telecommunications network becomes more stable and more mature, MTN Sudan is finely poised to lead the front on adopting and implementing technologies and solutions to J U LY 2 0 1 8


S U P P LY C H A I N

2005 Year founded

Operating in 23 countries in Africa, Middle East and Europe

103

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MTN SUDAN

104

continue to provide the greatest level of

of companies in the region that collabo-

service it can to its customer base.

rated on this pilot scheme, including

This is exemplified by the launching of Mobile Cash a few years ago. Cashless

EBS and the Central Bank of Sudan. While cashless payments are but one

payments are huge across the Western

example of technology innovation that

markets, but in areas like North Africa,

MTN Sudan is investing in, the future will

there is still a lag with regards to adopt-

continue to be defined by this techno-

ing this technology solution.

logical growth.

MTN Sudan successfully piloted a

Speaking at the successful conclu-

Mobile Cash solution as a means of

sion of the pilot scheme, Mr. Malik

highlighting this innovative solution to

Melamo MD, MTN-Sudan noted that the

the citizens of Sudan. In Sub-Saharan

scheme represented everything the

MTN Sudan was part of a conglomerate

company stands for as well as opening

J U LY 2 0 1 8


S U P P LY C H A I N

105

the market’s eyes to the opportunity of Sudan’s market. “The chances for the success of this project in Sudan are very high for the availability of a strong infrastructure of communication, besides that, Sudan is a promising healthy market for such mega-project which represents the top-notch payment and financial transactions system across the globe,” “MTN-Sudan is striving to deliver the highest quality of services and best solutions to its customers based on its vision and core commitment to lead the delivery of a new bold digital world to make their lives a whole lot brighter.”

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


LY T A R C H I T E C T U R E

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THE AGENDA SETTER OF SOUTH AFRICAN ARCHITECTURE GUY STEENEKAMP, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT LYT ARCHITECTURE, OUTLINES HIS AND THE COMPANY’S VISION TO BUILD OUT INTO A GLOBAL INFLUENCER IN DESIGN THINKING AND POLICY WRITTEN BY

TOM WADLOW PRODUCED BY

STUART IRVING

J U LY 2 0 1 8


CONSTRUCTION

107

PWC HEAD OFFICE Photo: Tristan McLaren a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


LY T A R C H I T E C T U R E

YEAR THAT LYT ARCHITECTURE BEGAN OPERATING UNDER ITS CURRENT NAME

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CONSTRUCTION

L

YT Architecture and its team are optimists. Despite operating in a South African construction industry, which has borne the brunt of

recent structural economic stagnation, the firm continues to deliver standout design and see its innovations come to fruition. “With the new government in, things are definitely looking better,” Steenekamp says. “At the end of the day, the industry is driven almost as much by sentiment than it is by technical factors and sentiment is definitely on the up. We’re looking forward to seeing greater growth.” LYT Architecture went through a rebranding exercise in 2012, adopting its current name having previously operated as TPS.P. “We’ve gone from strength to strength,” adds Steenekamp, who involves himself heavily in the day-to-day architecture work as the firm’s principal designer. “I think we’ve had wide market acceptance here in South Africa and created a strategy to start expanding globally, but those things take time.” Indeed, though the majority of LYT’s work is carried out in its native country, the company does have businesses in Nigeria, Dubai and the UK. However, for Steenekamp and LYT, becoming a global influencer of design ideas and best practice better defines growth than physical geographic presence. “People are starting to understand why the intellectual property in the design of a building pays,” he says, “and we want our clients to see how this enhances their asset – it’s not something you can see and touch, like brick or concrete.”

OLD MUTUAL Photo: Tristan McLaren

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

109


LY T A R C H I T E C T U R E

PWC Head office, picture: Tristan McLaren


CONSTRUCTION

“People are starting to understand why the intellectual property in the design of a building pays, and we want our clients to see how this enhances their asset – it’s not something you can see and touch, like brick or concrete” — Guy Steenekamp, Managing Director, LYT Architecture 111

“To define Architecture – take a beautiful building complete – then take the identical site next door

carve itself a leading position in the South African market. First is the company’s partnership

and replicate all the components

approach to work with clients. “It’s really our

of the completed building on it in

willingness to take on shared risk,”

a random pile. The two sites are

Steenekamp reveals. “We also have a com-

identical in intrinsic value,

mercial mindset, in the sense of we get what

componentry, mass and chemical

our clients are trying to do.

composition, yet the one is a home and the other is a pile of rubble. “The difference between them is architecture.”

“A lot of people misunderstand what commercial architecture is; they think that it’s somehow qualitatively impaired. In some cases this may be true, but to think that is to misunderstand its essence. Commercial

BUILT ON FOUR USPS

architecture is simply the design of buildings

Steenekamp points to four key

that form an asset class. Like any asset,

facets that have allowed LYT to

there’s a bottom line involved. Our buildings a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


LY T A R C H I T E C T U R E

Carlos, Modeller

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J U LY 2 0 1 8


CONSTRUCTION

need to be efficient and make money, but

LYT’s non-hierarchical struc-

they also have to look good, offer value and

ture also facilitates hands-on

amenity and be sustainable. In most cases

mentorship from the director

this presents a far more formidable chal-

level right the way down the

lenge to the designer.”

company, with a team-based

The second is an unwavering can-do

mentality meaning Steenekamp’s

attitude. “However difficult or onerous

door and everyone else’s are

the deadlines are, we will find a way to make it happen,” Steenekamp contin-

always open. But how does LYT find the

ues. “Yes, we manage the client’s

country’s best design and archi-

expectations, but it’s never no.”

tecture talent to begin with?

Adding to this is a fun factor which helps to win repeat business – LYT prides itself on providing an enjoyable

“Every hire is hand picked,” Steenekamp states. “For the most part, it’s word

client experience, vital in an industry

of mouth or it’s from a strong

where word of mouth is often the most

referral, either from a client or

powerful mode of marketing around.

from a colleague. Often, we recruit through universities.

CONSTRUCTIVE CULTURE

We’ll go and pick the best stu-

The final factor Steenekamp

dents and employ the ones that

describes is a culture of learning that

have the right cultural fit, which

flows through the structure of LYT.

is vital for us.”

“It’s an open door,” he says. “It’s about mentorship. We give people a lot of freedom to manage their lives, while they have to achieve their due dates and deadlines, of course.”

LYT also operates in the comparative luxury of having a readily available pool of talent to recruit from, unlike many mature markets such as the UK where

a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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LY T A R C H I T E C T U R E

skills shortages present major problems.

tower, does represent a fresh approach to office design in

UPWARDLY MOBILE

Johannesburg. Based in Sand-

Another nuance in South Africa is how con-

ton, the new headquarters is

struction is going against the global grain of

part of a larger precinct which

building increasingly upwards in a bid to

is still under development.

maximise space.

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“It’s corporate office but it

This is largely for two reasons. First, South

does it very differently to most of

Africa is an overwhelmingly car-based society,

the corporate head offices you

with car parks often larger than the building

see here, which are grey glass

they are serving. Second is high interest rates,

boxes,” Steenekamp says.

which creates a need to complete projects

“That’s been a departure and it is

quicker than in other parts of the world where

a highly successful one. The way

building taller, and for longer, is more viable.

the building responds to the

However, LYT’s recent project with Old Mutual, while not comprising a high-rise

TSHWANE HOUSE Phot: Tristan McLaren J U LY 2 0 1 8

streets, articulates public space and complements this with its


CONSTRUCTION

“For the most part, it’s word of mouth or it’s from a strong referral, either from a client or from a colleague. Often, we recruit through universities. We’ll go and pick the best students and employ the ones that have the right cultural fit, which is vital for us” — Guy Steenekamp, Managing Director, LYT Architecture

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grain and scale; it’s quite multifaceted and in some ways quite complex in its form, but it really works at an urban level. “There are four other developable properties in the precinct, and we’ve done designs for all of them. It’s really now the waiting game. Some of them are looking quite close to beginning; others may take a little longer. Again, it’s a function of the economy. It’s a superb site. It’s right near the biggest underground train 116

station in Johannesburg. Two million people a day arrive right there look straight at the site. It’s a fantastic opportunity for hotels, as well as commercial offices, and residences.” Steenekamp also draws on a commercial building designed for accountancy giant PwC. A rare southern hemisphere twisting tower based in the Waterfall district of Johannesburg. PwC’s new country HQ comprises 45,000 sqm of modern offices designed to house 3,500 employees. It is also over 100m in height, a rarity for urban South Africa. “The manJ U LY 2 0 1 8

TSHWANE HOUSE Photo: Tristan McLaren


CONSTRUCTION

tra for most corporates is Fat-Flat and Walk-Up. PwC breaks this paradigm and shows how tall can work. The tower model is also infinitely more robust in taking on a second life of multi-tenancy once the primary lease-holder moves on.” GREEN IS A GIVEN

Sustainability is another value engrained into

OLD MUTUAL Photo: Tristan McLaren

LYT’s work and for Steenekamp, designing a building with green credentials is normal. “That’s mainstream now,” he says. “Maybe 10 years ago it was not, but South Africa is very geared towards the Australian green star system. It’s not even a discussion as to whether we comply to those criteria or not.” Whether it be robustness of design, ease of maintenance, using low carbon materials, sourcing locally or simply making a project economically affordable, LYT strives to deliver sustainable creativity for the widest possible demographic of buyers. And in terms of itself, LYT must grow to ensure its own sustainable future. Steenekamp concludes: “For us growth itself is really not a big deal, but certainly we need to grow to be sustainable. Where we really want to be is in a position of influence, and particularly with respect to policy both domestically and internationally as well.” a f r i c a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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Business Chief Africa - July 2018  
Business Chief Africa - July 2018