Your African market entry; opportunities, challenges, and the solution
Emerging markets present the greatest opportunity to speed up growth in productivity and support all-embracing economic prosperity. They have contributed over half of the global growth at some point during the time of the Great Recession and then showed a broad-based slowdown due to many known and still unknown elements of their domestic policies and idiosyncratic factors.

Africa is on the move

Individually Sub-Saharan Africa has had fitful and uneven economic growth with an average GDP growth rate of over 5 % until the market was recently hit by the impact of the sharp decline in crude oil price. Regional Economic Outlook 2015 of International Monetary Fund forecasts Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic expansion will be at 4.5 % in 2015, a lower end of range registered in recent years, which will be resilient at 5% in 2016, and expecting further growth in the future.

According to the annual African Economic Outlook report jointly prepared by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the United Nations Development Program; East Africa is turbocharging the economic expansion of the entire continent. East Africa has an expected growth rate of 5.6% for the current year, and with an average growth rate of 5%, Western Africa demonstrates an impressive comeback from the Ebola epidemic. All the recent market studies and trends indicate African economies will spring up as the world's fastest-growing regions in this quinquennium.

When you step into a largely untapped market

Africa has a population of 1.1 billion and has abundant natural resources such as diamonds, salt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, iron, gold, cobalt, and petroleum. Even if the continent has an impressive growth rate, natural resources, and workforce, most American & European multinational companies have been slow to enter the African market due to the little or no recognition of its growth. As a result, though enterprises of Europe have a decade-long business relationship with Africa, over 90% of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the African market are from Asian multinational companies of Indian and Chinese origin. India anticipates the rise of their bilateral trade with African economies to USD 200 billion by 2020, while according to Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China their business partnership with African economies is expected to be worth USD 400 billion by the end of this decade.

Despite historically being considered only as a player in natural resource commodity, studies identify Africa’s growing consumer demand as a catalyst for foreign direct investment. It is estimated, by 2030 largely populous African countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa could spend about USD 2 trillion on consumer goods, which will be about 3% of global consumption. American & European multinational companies look for entering the largely untapped market of Africa are advised to equip themselves to meet the challenges of the unique market, as what works in other parts of the world may not work in Africa.

Meeting challenges with ePROMIS ERP software

The Sub-Saharan market is not homogeneous; rates of economic growth, availability of skilled workforce, regulatory approaches, market conditions, culture vary across the region. With our experience & presence in Asian and African markets for over three decades, we identify major business challenges faced by an MNC upon their African market entry are Social challenges, Country risks, Workforce Management, Cross-cultural risks, Currency risk, and Global trade compliance issues. Employing cutting-edge technology for business management is a common trend in the business world. “How Business Technology can help new investors in emerging markets like African economies?” is a question that is frequently asked in international business conferences, and the answer we have for that is ePROMIS ERP software. ERP, which is the abbreviation for Enterprise Resource Planning, is a highly integrated and complex system which have become a core technology in many businesses for the past two decades. In general, ERP software solutions are designed to collaborate all departments and functionalities across an organization for attaining comprehensive management and resource optimization. Meanwhile, the ability of ERP software systems to help organizations meet the challenges varies with the quality of technology used.

By many recent case studies, the implemented ERP software systems do not always bring the planned result in a highly unpredictable marketplace, and still many ERP software implementations of major players fail to achieve desired results in Africa. The reason for the failure of many major and tier 1 ERP software in Africa is identified as the rigidity of ERP software systems, even though all of them are advertised customizable solutions. Not all so-called global best practices in business work well globally; the one who enters into an emerging market like Africa should partner with an ERP software that can be customized according to the unique market conditions, rather than taking an ERP software system which is designed for a developed market. It’s been recommended by most of the market scholars that the newcomers should carry a customizable ERP software solution while entering into a new market. But it’s been also recommended that, while selecting a customized solution, care should be taken that the vendor has a good track record of successful ERP software implementations. If the supplier is not one with a long history and an excellent track record, there is a chance that they might cease its operations any time due to various reasons. This can lead to a loss of revenue and operational roadblocks.

Not only flexibility and the ability to customize but also responsiveness and adaptability are to be considered while selecting your ERP software suite. With our experience working in developing as well as developed economies, our solutions are designed to perform dynamically to meet the unique challenges an organization faces now, and are capable of adapting to changing market conditions and growing business challenges. ePROMIS completed hundreds and thousands of software implementations in African and Asian companies and enjoyed an exceptional customer retention rate of 95%. ePROMIS’ business solutions are available on cloud, web-based, and on-premise architecture, the major features of the system include built-in Business Intelligence, Global Trade Compliance, Anywhere-anytime access, Multilingual user interface, Multi-currency accounting, and Regulatory compliance.

With corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas, USA and having regional offices spanning the globe, ePROMIS has established a reputation for exceptional value, excellent business relations, and steadfast reliabilities. For more information, including the latest news, blogs, and corporate resources visit ePROMIS Media Center. Follow ePROMIS on Twitter @ePROMISGlobal, and watch videos on the official YouTube Channel.