Today, Africa is teeming with investment opportunities and business growth, and even during this time of global economic uncertainty, it remains a thriving and growing economy – and a region that CEOs simply cannot afford to ignore.
Louise Robinson, MD of CG Consulting, says that business leaders are bullish about Africa, and are looking for ways to network and do business on the continent. “CEOs have an opportunity to pursue new business opportunities in Africa, especially when you look at the surge of technological advances that are transforming industries across the board.”
However, the business environment in Africa has become more complex and challenging over the years. “African CEOs share many of the same concerns as their global counterparts, and have added challenges, such as regional instability, fiscal deficit, and high unemployment.”
According to Robinson, despite these challenges, businesses cannot afford to ignore Africa. “Quick urbanisation, increasing disposable income and changing demographics are giving rise to growth opportunities for savvy businesses. Moreover, technological advancements are presenting opportunities for tech businesses to get a foot in the door,” she says.
“Africa is on the brink of a digital revolution. More and more companies are embracing technology and using ICTs to disrupt their industries and challenge current business models. They are starting to look at technology as the fastest and best route to meeting customer expectations, and build and sustain strong relationships with them.”
She says businesses looking to move into the region are actively looking for partners, who they can work with to deliver ICT solutions to customers, but this is easier said than done. “When moving into an unknown region, it is hard to find the right people to work with, to move your business forward. This is where having a good data provider comes in.”
However, she issues a caveat. “Not all data is the same, and, likewise, not all data providers are the same. Too many data providers act unethically, and it is therefore crucial to buy good quality information from a verified and trusted provider. Irrespective of whether you are a small business or massive corporate, detailed information on your target audience is the central to generating leads that will translate into actual sales. The correct information can be used to boost your marketing efforts, ensuring that you reach more of the right people.”
She says CG Consulting has the updated details of the majority of high-end resellers across Africa, including those of the people that are most important – the sales managers and business owners. “Businesses want to ensure they are speaking to the right people when they approach a company with the view of doing business with them. Getting through to the receptionist isn’t going to benefit anyone.”
There are other benefits to be reaped from purchasing quality databases. “Firstly, your business can connect with a wider audience, and carry out multi-channel campaigns, working with their database provider to ensure that all the bases are being covered,” she says.
“A good database provider will have the skills and workforce necessary to keep all the records updated with the most current information possible. After all, accuracy is their primary focus. Next, remember that each and every contact is verified before being added to the list. In turn, each listing is gathered checked for authenticity. The database provider has his or her reputation to think about, and will ensure that no inaccurate data slips through the cracks.”
Professional database service providers will have a team made up of various skills. There will be data miners, researchers and employees who verify details over the phone. In this way, for each part of the chain there is an individual whose role is to minimise any chance of errors or mistakes happening, ensuring the end data is of the very highest quality, she concludes.