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It’s time for Africa

NDA China expanded the Nordexx tyre range from PCR only to TBR in late 2013 in cooperation with an African customer, and it was probably the best decision I made since my first day in the office. The continent is already the main source of our turnover and maintaining faster growth than any other market.

Not just did we get good and stable business right off the bat, it also opened the door to working with other customers, and now the business has completely overtaken PCR sales. That will most likely turn back around when we launch our new and improved line of PCR later this year, though.

Africa takes a huge effort and a very different approach than most other markets on the planet. You want to do business from the comfort of your office chair in front of your computer? Forget it. You need to get out and get your hands (and shoes!) dirty, and when you have established that all Africans are extremely friendly and want to work with you or for you, you will need to figure out who you trust enough to do serious business. The catch is that you will most likely need to fund the operations due to a complete and utter lack of local funding options that, even if they are there, are so expensive that it kills business from the get-go.

Depending on the scale of the operation, the most commonly successful methods are using consignment stocks, open account credits (insured, of course), or using local sales reps getting paid with pure sales value commission – released only after the client has paid for the deliveries. That makes it possible to reach markets with almost endless potential and retain higher profits than when trying to deal with the established middle men, who are more commonly than not located in Dubai.

What is required is old fashioned canvas sales activities, personally identifying and visiting potential clients in selected areas, maybe starting with one contact in a region and expand from there. Making personal visits and taking the time required to sit and listen to your client’s needs is half the deal done – especially if they trust that you will be there for them anytime they need it.

By Gregers Lindvig

(Full Text in PTA October/November issue)

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