20 Apr WARNING: It’s Better to Have a Doctor That Has Performed Heart Surgery Than One That Has Written a Book About Heart Surgery
I read once that if you are going to have heart surgery you are better having a Doctor that has performed heart surgery than a doctor that has written a book on heart surgery – a so called “expert”.
It’s the same in business. You shouldn’t make a crucial business decision based on the comments / opinions of “an expert” sitting in New York, Washington, London or elsewhere.
I find it hard to believe one can become an expert in the economy or business environment of country without having significant experience in the country.
You can do all the research you want from afar in your office and then opine via newsletter, conference call and other means but, in the end, it is difficult to speak to what is actually happening on the ground.
However, there are so many “experts” doing just that. Advising companies on the marketplaces of Africa and whether or not they should consider market entry – and telling many companies not to pursue Africa. In my opinion, many companies are being misinformed by the people they consult and as a result they are missing out on great opportunities.
So where do you get your decision making information? Again, there is nothing better than being on the ground in the marketplace and understanding how things work.
I first came to East Africa 30 years ago, and was the CEO of a $40B Global Company’s operations here for over a decade. I am also a founding member of one of Africa’s premier CEO Roundtables and have spent thirty years understanding how business operates in Sub Sahara Africa.
That said, I could give you all the advice in the world about Africa without you leaving your office. But that would not work. You or someone in your organizations needs to visit the Sub Sahara Africa marketplaces to see what is going on. It is astonishing.
You Know Your Business Better than Anyone. Visit Africa to See What is Happening for Yourself. It Will Be Worth the Investment and You Will Not Regret it. Don’t gamble on advice from people with limited exposure or experience in African markets.