Sometimes our paths take us to places least expected! In less than a week I am heading off to India to explore business opportunities.
I have been working with an amazing client, serving a wonderful purpose in the world and in this particular case, our path has lead to investigating options in India.
While some of the world appears to be shrinking back into a protectionist mindset, resulting in tit for tat trade war tariffs that one can only assume will ultimately hurt both parties, Africa is looking ahead to opportunities to trade freely across the continent. Africans, including South Africans, seem to embrace the opportunities this will bring. No-one believes this will be without challenge but what is clear is that trade across borders can be beneficial to all but it may require a change in mindset and a change in business model.
An example which stood out to me is the South African company with expertise, business acumen and an eye for global opportunities who trades in design, after sales service and guaranteed quality but understands this may mean letting go of other parts of the supply chain that it once held dear and even considered a competitive advantage. The reality is, the business model of “designed in South Africa”, means that they are able to offer an incredible range of equipment, with unparalleled manufacturing capacity and are able to focus on what it is really good at: design, marketing and after sales service!
Given our unemployment in Africa, the question of jobs is always one that we need to face into but the reality is that, in an economy like South Africa, what we really need are better paying jobs – ones that will boost our economy and breed a new generation of entrepreneurial engineers and business minded people. South Africa has one of the greatest gaps between rich and poor and we need to create work that is both meaningful and rewarding.
Viva free trade, viva!