(from left:) Wolfram Auer, Roland Comploj & Tobias Joseph spoke about various strategies for the African market at the Multilogue. Photo: SI/Mair
During the event “Doing Business in Africa” held in Wolfurt, three companies shared their experience from the African market and subsequently discussed with the participants the factors that are necessary for European businesses to succeed on the African continent. Experts believe that if Africa continues to grow at the current pace, the economic output of the continent will double by 2030.
This would mean that a huge market opens up for many companies. But one must understand that with 54 countries, there will be no homogenous market waiting for entrepreneurs. Every country has its special features, both as regards its business culture and political and legal framework. This is why middle-sized business in particular often shy away from entering the African market.
Despite that, some Austrian companies succeeded in gaining access to the market already some years ago. Three of them presented their success strategies at the corporAID Multilogue. Roland comploj is the chairman of the board of Getzner Textil. He explains that the African market already belongs to the company’s most important export markets.
“Africa’s middle class is growing and with it also its interest in things like textiles and furniture. We know this target group very well and so we can offer exactly what it wants. I’d say that precisely this is the secret of our success.” Thanks to a long professional career, Tobias Joseph, responsible for sales with the company Julius Blum, knows well the challenges of a new market.
“One has to always pay attention to the political situation in the country to know whether or not the right moment has come to introduce a new product. In some parts of Africa, political stability has always been an issue and so it is also difficult to do business there. But markets change constantly. For example, in Botswana and Kenya constant growth has been recorded.
These countries will definitely grow increasingly more interesting also economically in the coming years,” explains Joseph. Wolfram Auer represented the cableway manufacturer DOPPELMAYR during the discussion. He confirmed the market‘s great potential but made also repeatedly clear how important local partners on site were.
“Without such partners, it would be even more difficult to win any position at all. One challenge we face is to gain an opportunity to show what a cableway can achieve. As soon as it will be possible to show pilot projects, things will get much easier.”