Across so many industries and areas, Africa is booming. Africa’s unmatched returns, growth and opportunity are the impetus for an increasing number of foreign companies to enter this last frontier market. However, unlike doing business in the Western world, success in Africa is grounded in networking and knowledge. You can’t Google answers here.
At AIA we match our client’s needs with our local understanding to provide them with the local know-how, insights, connections and operational ability to be successful in East Africa. We work with multinationals, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and investors from across the globe. AIA specializes in Tanzania based projects, but has worked throughout East and Southern Africa and is currently working on a host of projects throughout the East Africa region, most notably in Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.
AIA helps to flatten the very steep learning curve foreign companies face when first entering East Africa. Unlike doing business in the Western world, success in Africa is grounded in networking and knowledge.
AIA helps established international companies enter the East African market and become operational and profitable as quickly and smoothly as possible. Doing business in Africa can be a daunting undertaking for a multitude of reasons: unclear market conditions and dynamics, predatory governments and tenuous geopolitical situations, red tape and complex bureaucracy, lack of local connections and relationships, not to mention language and cultural differences.
Despite tremendous macro-economic growth and significant opportunity for new entrants, businesses are challenged by an opaque operating environment, high entry costs and the likelihood of facing many months of expenditures and uncertainties.
It doesn’t need to be that hard! AIA’s market entry consulting is designed to provide impactful insights and analysis to inform all critical decisions of the entry process: from pre-investment, to set up and strategy, to launch and scaling. Our clients have included multi-billion-dollar publicly traded American and European multinationals, tech start-ups, global NGO’s and smaller regional companies looking to expand their footprint.
Background: An international insurance company was interested in becoming an underwriter in Tanzania, but was unclear of the process, cost or timeframe.
Engagement: AIA developed a comprehensive overview on the insurance industry in Tanzania, with a focus on regulations, costs and timelines for becoming an underwriter. In addition to a summary of the written rules and regulations, AIA included a practical overview on what the company could expect when working to launch, as this varied considerably from what was laid out in the written rules.
Results: AIA provided the client with a quick and clear understanding of the steps and capital required to become an underwriter and set realistic expectations and timeframes for the launch.
Background: An instant coffee company wanted to launch its product to take on the Tanzanian market. They wanted to know how their product faired in a blind taste test against the market leader, understand what was important to consumers in terms of price points, branding, and packaging, and narrow in on an ad campaign that resonated with Tanzanian consumers.
Engagement: AIA had a several phase engagement that included a blind taste test pitting the client against the leading competitor, to determine preference, as well as Tanzanian coffee drinkers consumption habits. Secondly, AIA ran several focus groups to determine what was important in the packaging and pricing of instant coffee i.e. what colors, phrases and branding were well received, and what the is balance between cost and quality. Finally, the client had developed several different ad campaigns and taglines, which AIA tested in focus groups to determine what messages and imagery resonated most with the potential consumers.
Results: The client received statistically significant feedback on the taste of their product vs. the market leader, as well as greater understanding on the coffee consumption of Tanzanian’s. The client’s product is considered a high-end coffee, and focus group input on the balance of price and quality helped determine the actual dollar value premium they could place on their product relative to their competitor. Finally, one of the three potential ad campaigns presented to the focus group was received significantly better than the others, and the feedback and input received were the basis of the company’s ad campaign.
Background: An international TV company was exploring the potential to start a TV channel in Tanzania, broadcasting international content dubbed into Swahili. The company’s investment thesis is to capitalize on rising incomes, TV penetration and increased ad spending on TV. Most of the content available in Tanzania is international content dubbed into English, or locally made, and in Swahili. The client wanted to be the first provider of well known international content dubbed into Swahili, but before making an investment decision, needed more information about the market.
Engagement: Over two separate phases, AIA provided key insights that helped the client make an investment decision. AIA provided detailed information on:
Results: Ultimately the client has chosen not to make an investment into Tanzania at this time, but they are keeping it on their radar and revisiting the market yearly. When they do decide to enter the market, they have key intelligence and insights that will help them message effectively to their potential customers, differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a marketing plan based on street level input.
AIA’s provides management consulting to both local businesses and NGO’s. We work with East African business to help them improve across their operational areas, make them more efficient in their core capacities and ultimately to see these improvements lead to increased market share. Additionally we work with international NGO’s to help design, implement and improve the impact of their work by focusing on market based and sustainable solutions.
Background: A family owned manufacturing business that employs over 800 staff and exports to eight countries went through a management change where the younger generation took over managing the factory, and wanted to bring the business processes in line with industry best practices by updating the policies and procedures.
Engagement: The engaged started with AIA conducting a full business process mapping exercise to gain an in-depth understanding of the key processes and their subsequent inputs, outputs, risks and controls, across all operational areas.
Results: AIA created policies based on international industry, legal and regulatory best practices while also addressing local needs, capabilities and requirements. In addition to the business process maps and a risk registrar and management system, AIA created full policies for the following departments: finance and accounting risk management, operations, corporate governance, ICT, human resources, legal and regulatory.
Background: A full program break down and redesign for an international NGO that had a 4-year program to get women involved in the green power industry, which wasn’t meeting KPI’s or on track to be successful.
Engagement: AIA came in and conducted interviews and assessments with key stakeholders to create an understanding as to why the project was failing, then designed a new market based approach and built a business model for small-scale entrepreneurs, which included:
AIA’s deliverables were the basis for the NGO’s program relaunch, with key factors to consider during the roll out, and detailed financial analysis across the product suite to focus the program on the most financially viable products.
AIA worked to:
AIA works with ambitious entrepreneurs across East Africa that are looking to scale their businesses to help them raise the capital they need, whether they are looking for debt, equity, or mezzanine financing.
At AIA, we aim to effectively bridge the gap between foreign investors and local opportunities, to facilitate attractive transactions that develop strong businesses.
We reach out to a few of the most suitable investors we think may be interested, from our database of hundreds of investors from around the world, to include leading private equity funds, impact investors, DFI’s, family offices, and high net worth individuals. We sensitize potential investors to the opportunity and manage the process from first look, through due diligence and deal close. We have worked with investors from around the world to close over $15m in transactions across a multitude of sectors.
We also assist private equity, venture capital and multinational firms that are seeking to expand their global footprint through investments in East Africa. Publications around the world are detailing the flood of money that is interested in investing in the continent. Unlike a few years ago, where only the extractive industries garnered any attention, we now see a variety of industries represented on deal sheets.
For firms that wish to tap into the African market via an acquisition or by an investment into an existing company, AIA can assist in deal sourcing, due diligence, providing local context on the company or opportunity, negotiating or any other step in the process.
Billions of dollars are being raised to invest in Africa, but these investors will have a very difficult time locating targets for acquisition, approaching these firms and then proceeding through the investment phase, without a local partner. Simply put, we bring high quality deals to our Investor clients.
Investment Africa Insight Advisors is always on the hunt for talented, driven professionals. If you think you can bring something unique to the business then please get in touch. Applicants will generally have a strong track record in finance and consultancy and fluency in English, Swahili and perhaps more!
If you would like to introduce yourself, please send your CV and a short cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.