Growth requires forethought! (en)

20 février 2020
ITC Nouvelles
The development of a company means making strategic choices! Conquering new markets, securing international partnerships and financing growth are just some of the challenges that can’t be left to chance. At a training and coaching workshop organised in Dakar on 18 and 19 February, the Senegalese start-ups that benefit from the NTF IV programme learnt how to anticipate risks and formalise their growth strategy.
Take the time to analyse

A sustained rhythm of activity and brim-full order book are the key indicators of a company’s success. However, while it can galvanise the director, growth can also lull their vigilance and responsiveness. Organised on behalf of the NTF IV programme, the course “How to manage my growth” encourages digital start-ups to look ahead and plan in a shifting economic environment. “Growth inevitably implies investment. It’s important to measure the extent of growth desired, in relation to available means and resources”, explained Nadine Reichenthal, the coach. “I appeal to reason! Growth objectives need to be realistic. Without extensive knowledge of new markets and client needs, there’s a risk of the company getting off track prematurely”, warned the expert on Ansoff matrices and Business Model Canvas

Programme objectives

Oumar Yam runs OuiCarry, a logistics service that offers Senegalese the possibility of buying online, all over the world, and receiving delivery at home. “In 5 years’ time, we will have created new logistical corridors between Mali, Guinea, Benin, Côte-d’Ivoire and Senegal”, forecast Oumar Yam. In the meantime, whilst waiting to become an undisputed e-logistics player, it’s the moment to think about strategy. “This training course came at the right time. Without well-defined missions or a clear vision, our ambition for export lacked consistency. We were able to benefit from highly customised input, and we are currently developing a targeted and scheduled action plan”, agreed Oumar, for whom the conquest of the West African market also means an adjustment to marketing.

Know the target

Since the training session, the co-founder of Aywajieune, Malick Birane, has been closely looking into his client’s aspirations and honing his value proposition. All over Senegal, Aywajieune provides same day delivery of the catch of the day in a click. The only app of its kind, it counts more than one hundred suppliers and has met with huge success in Dakar. “Before 2020, we would like to multiply local outlets and roll out in the subregion. The course enabled us to confirm a path towards innovation: new features will soon be enhancing our offer”, said Malick, whose discourse has grown bolder when faced with potential investors. “When you start looking to raise capital, the ‘pitch’ quickly becomes a crucial issue. It’s a codified exercise, so it’s better to be ready and know who you’re talking to!” acknowledged the young entrepreneur, for whom the course also provided a valuable opportunity to optimise his argument.

Financed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the NTF IV Senegal project is a support programme for the development of the information technologies and business process outsourcing sectors. The project will assist 80 winning businesses in their international business development. NTF IV Senegal is run by the International Trade Centre (ITC), in collaboration with the Senegalese Agency for Export Promotion (ASEPEX) and the Organisation of information technologies and communication professionals OPTIC in Senegal. In the long-term, the NTF-IV programme should encourage to the development of a favourable economic environment for Senegalese businesses in the IT and BPO sectors.