These days, many people are talking about the African market and the great potential the country offers. Our Project Manager, Siri Alfsen got to experience this first-hand when she took a two-week trip to Kenya and Tanzania with Wakandi, in order to learn more about value chains among the agricultural groups in these countries.
For Siri, the main purpose of the trip was to learn more about the business processes present in the agricultural industry, and to map the transaction flows through different stages in the value chain. It was very important to understand this process, and to compare the processes across the two countries, so that Wakandi is able to adapt their product, CAMS, to suit the process and needs of the market.
“Internally, this allows us to prioritize where we need further development in their product,” says Siri. It does not matter if the product in and of itself is excellent – if it does not fit with the needs and processes of the market, it will be of no value.
Being an enthusiastic coffee drinker, Siri enjoyed visiting the coffee farms and learning about the ‘coffee cherries’. But for her, the main highlight was being able to meet with the local teams, and get more familiar with the culture.
“This trip, and the experiences that I will take back home from this trip, will make me a much better teammate and a better project manager for Wakandi moving forward,” Siri explains.
Because remote work has been so much part of our lives over the last two years, opportunities like this, to physically go and meet with the international teams and have a chance to work alongside them, are not to be missed.
Openness is key!
Keeping an open mind is one of the most important things to remember when experiencing another culture, Siri explained, especially when holding meetings. Every country is different, and this reflects in the way business is conducted as well.
Not making any assumptions, and being willing to ask as many questions as necessary, will open the door to a great experience, and will provide many more opportunities to learn about the new culture.
“It was a good reminder to not make any assumptions, because the culture and the way things are done are completely different to what we are used to,” Siri commented.
Africa is an exciting continent, and the market has huge potential. Wakandi is on the start of a journey to enter and experience this market. Through such trips, where culture and processes are experienced first-hand, Wakandi is hoping to contribute to the growth and opportunities arising in Tanzania and Kenya, specifically through their product CAMS. CAMS will help people to get access to formal services that might not otherwise be an option, and through doing so will contribute to digitizing the informal economy. It is an exciting journey for Akeo to be a part of!