Local is definitely lekker for driving success in Africa
Mike Whitfield, MD of Nissan Group of Africa, gives some insights on the company’s strategy on the continent
Almost four years after Nissan ventured into auto assembly in Nigeria, it fills me with pride when I am asked to comment on our success as an auto company operating in Africa. Especially given that challenges often override opportunities when considering the pros and cons of business expansion on the continent. These are some of the pre-requisites I believe are important to long-term sustainability on the continent. Always a guest However much you are investing in a given country, it’s wise to remember you are always a guest. Legislation, systems, processes and customs are different so it’s important to build up trust with state and industry stakeholders. Get to know who’s who and what they’re responsible for. Never go in with an all-knowing approach. Listen, suggest, discuss but don’t preach. As first movers in Nigeria, we were fortunate to be invited to give input on the new auto policy when it was being developed as part of the government’s strategy to industrialise. This has pos...