My top 3 recommendations to do business in Africa and the Middle East

– Understanding business culture

  • This is the most important prerequisite to doing business in the region.  Knowing the business and overall culture will help entrepreneurs:
    • Avoid embarrassment for either themselves or their clients
    • Understand if their products are suited for the market
    • Understand how business should be done (stakeholders, regulations, pre-requisites, partnerships,…)

– Finding the right partner

  • In many cases, entrepreneurs willing to enter these markets need to set partnerships with local companies. In which case it is very important to:
    • Perform a due-diligence on their future partner
    • Understand the country business laws ( in some countries in the Middle-East for example, if a foreign company enters in a partnership with a local company, the contract cannot be canceled)
    • Make sure their partner has the proper relationships and know-how  to help them get the business

– Keeping a direct relationship with their client

  • Even if the entrepreneur has a partner in country (distributor, integrator, agent,…), they need to have a direct relationship with their client. It will help them understand the market potential, measure their partner’s involvement and keep the relationship with their client in case they decide to part ways.

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