Even as speculations run abound about the capacity of the planet to feed itself a few years from now and stories from responsible quarters questioning the sufficiency of fresh water over the next 20 years, we are blessed to live on a highly gifted yet unexploited part of the world.
This continent, for long tagged as the Dark Continent, owns almost 60% of the world’s untitled arable land and huge tracts of fresh water. With a population now almost equal to that of India and projections suggesting that the working class would be largest in the world within 17 years, we are actually in the most opportune part of the world on the cusp of transformation pending the right operators and risk takers. Adequate sunlight and virgin soil coupled with the available land and water suggests huge non-extractive opportunities on a land where consumer-facing opportunity is only on the up.
Invariably the challenge facing investors and risk takers wanting to participate in the African opportunity is the assessment of real opportunity size as well as the capacity to convert the visible chance into real money. A few businesses and some corporate citizens have over time managed to succeed in different ways to establish their footprint across the continent. They have proved that with the right ideas and effective efforts it is possible to tame the African opportunity. Having said this, it would be wise to remember that this is a continent with 52 countries and each is a different animal with completely different opportunity set. It would be impossible to generalize any solution set which would be universally applicable on the continent. The rules of engagement would be dependent on the nature of the opportunity, the country it is housed in and various factors very specific to the country, region and the business.
But that’s where the value of experience and insight steps in. With about 20 years of managing businesses across the continent and having lived in 5 different countries in Africa where businesses were spotted, plans developed from the drawing board stage, teams recruited, trained and retained to build a well-structured, amply resourced and globally recognized business, M.D. Ramesh is one of the most experienced to discuss what is it that investors need to succeed on this continent.
In the months to come, Ramesh will discuss a wide range of topics from considerations while choosing business to participate in Africa, to skill sets required, low hanging fruits, choosing right partners Just the kind of topics that new and established business are asking themselves and discussing every day. We look forwarding to your participation to make this a vibrant platform to allow Indian business houses and entrepreneurs to take their rightful place in Africa