Guinness Nigeria’s state-of-the-art brewing plant uses sorghum grown locally by small-scale farmers, instead of unsustainable barley imported from outside Africa, to brew its beer. (Image: Guinness Nigeria)• Matthew McGuinnessAccenture Media Relations – Sustainability+44 77 400 firstname.lastname@example.orgJustin KeebleAfrica is on a remarkable growth trajectory, with many analysts predicting economic growth to remain above 5% for the foreseeable future. This is to some extent underpinned by a strong rate of demographic expansion. Indeed Nigeria, the host of last week’s World Economic Forum on Africa, is expected to surpass the USA in population size by 2050.But all this growth is set in a rather different ecological context to that of the 19th and 20th century economic growth spurts of Europe, the Americas, Japan and China. Resource-rich Africa’s growing economies are facing expansion after the global commodity price spikes of the last decade wiped out the price falls of the whole of last century. Meanwhile, the world is now trying to wean itself off fossil fuels, while many economies in Africa still rely heavily on coal. So to anyone interested in sustainable development, Africa’s next steps are fascinating.Perhaps it isn’t surprising, in this context, that African CEOs overwhelmingly outnumber their peers from other regions in seeing global sustainability challenges as “very important” to the immediate success of their companies. According to last year’s UN Global Compact and Accenture CEO study on sustainability, in which 1 000 global CEOs took part, nearly three quarters of African CEOs cited sustainability as a major factor – as opposed to under a third from Europe.Innovation on the groundIt is easy to assume that this commitment to sustainable business is more rhetorical than real. But if we look at the situation on the ground in Africa we can actually see where innovative companies are adapting their business models to cater for and even benefit from adaptation to sustainability challenges.A good example is Guinness Nigeria, owned by UK brewer Diageo. The 2007 hike in malting barley prices hit Guinness Nigeria’s business hard. Barley generally has to be imported to Africa as it doesn’t survive well in the harsher climatic conditions. However, the long-term response was to build an Africa-specific business model around sorghum, a much hardier grain which needs much less water to thrive. The company has invested US$250 000 (R2.6-million), working with local governments to train smallholder farmers and secure a sustainable local supply. By 2012 sorghum accounted for 70% of Guinness Nigeria’s grain volume, cutting costs and reducing the risks of poor harvests. This model has since been adopted in all Diageo’s African operations and is playing a central role in securing the sustainability of the company’s operations across the continent.Cellphones for solar powerAnother good example is Kenya based M-Kopa Solar which brings together innovative finance, mobile technology and renewable energy to provide low-income homes with electric lighting. Underlying this innovation is the rapidly growing Kenyan economy, which despite strong growth still lacks investment in energy infrastructure, leading to frequent power shortages. As a result, an estimated 3-million Kenyan homes – or 80% of the population – live off-grid and spend an average of KSh70 (US$0.80) daily on kerosene to light their homes. Kerosene burned in houses for illumination is a major contributor to air pollution and is harmful to health.M-Kopa Solar’s customers buy a solar home system on a mobile payment plan, with an initial deposit, followed by 360 small daily payments. M-Kopa teamed up with Safaricom, operators of the hugely successful M-Pesa mobile money programme, to deliver a technology mix which enables the same cellphones charged by the panels to be used to pay for the electricity generated. Consumers benefit not just from cheaper and cleaner lighting, but have also reported an increase in monthly incomes by as much as 50% from the extended workday.Measuring the full impact of sustainable modelsA final example might be Actis Capital, the former investment wing of the UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation with US$4.6-billion (R46.6-billion) in funds under management, exclusively for investment in emerging markets like Africa. Actis has developed an Energy Impact Model and a measurement tool with the aim of measuring the impact of an energy project well beyond just its financial return. Actis systematically measures its investment’s impact on people, wider communities, infrastructure, environment and governance. The model pinpoints where action is required and then tracks performance over the whole life of the investment. This means that environmental, social and governance issues are fully integrated into all of Actis’s investment decisions in Africa.The key to these success stories is that they have responded to specific sustainability challenges by adapting their businesses models. My question is how we administer the same shove to organisations with fewer immediate challenges, such as those in more developed economies. In the end, supply chain risk will be a global problem so the faster all businesses can lock in resilience the better for global as well as African prosperity.Justin Keeble is the managing director of Europe, Africa and Latin America at Accenture Sustainability Services. This article was originally published on the World Economic Forum blog.
Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting bernard lunn Tags:#Gritty Entrepreneurs#NYT#start#StartUp 101 A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.“It ain’t over till the fat lady sings” means that nothing happens until you get the signature on the contract. That is when the money gets wired. Deals often get derailed. They drift, and then nothing happens. Or a competitor comes in and snatches the prize from you. That is why a “closer,” someone who can seal the deal, is so prized.For enterprise systems, closing is a core competency. For Web ventures, you may need the skill less. But when you do need it (to raise money or win over a big strategic partner), you really need it. And you cannot delegate negotiating and closing. You can get advisors, but as the entrepreneur/CEO, you have to make the big calls. So, in this chapter we aim to distill a few libraries’ worth of books on negotiating and closing into a few points for the busy entrepreneur.Four Points on Negotiation and ClosingTwo ears, one mouth,Wait until you hear them scream,Use tension to your advantage,Imagine the press conference.Deals are deals. The deal could be securing an enterprise-wide contract for your software, raising a Series A VC round, selling your venture, or doing a big partnership deal. We tend to use the language of “buyer” and “seller” when discussing these four points, but they can apply to any kind of deal.Two Ears, One MouthThis is the simplest and most important sales lesson: listen. It also means keep quiet. No golden oratory, no gift of the gab, no persuasive speeches. Just listen to what the customer wants and let them reveal their needs and negotiating position. Then work out how to present what you have to meet those needs. Or decide that they are not the one to focus on and move on to a better a prospect.Silence is very awkward socially. We are all brought up to fill these awkward moments with some type of conversation. Good negotiators use silence to great advantage.Let’s say you have just proposed a valuation to your investor. The investor looks at you with a blank stare. Time ticks by and you think the deal has gone south. You start to think, “Oh no, we blew it and started too high.” More time ticks by. You could stammer something about it “all being negotiable, of course” or just keep silent and wait for him to say something. It is, after all, his turn to speak, and he will probably say something.When someone agrees with you, shut up. When the contract is about to be signed, shut up, or talk about the weather. You can derail a good deal by raising more issues than need to be raised.It is a simple mantra: you have two ears and only one mouth. Use them accordingly. If in doubt, shut up!Wait Until You Hear Them ScreamWhen I managed a six-person sales team selling financial trading systems on Wall Street, there was one guy who was consistently the best performer. He was also, by all other visible metrics, the worst salesperson. His presentations were rambling and verged on incoherent. His writing style would have given my old English teacher apoplexy. He was consistently abrupt, almost rude, to all concerned. He came in late, left early, and took long, expensive lunches.I was really interested to find out what he was doing right. I do not believe that luck is a consistent reason for success. He must have been doing something really, really well, because everything visible he was doing was being done very badly.I discovered that the thing he was doing right was qualifying his prospects with great care and discipline. We all know we should do that, but very few salespeople do it well at all. We think sales is all about hard work, persistence, determination, and all those other good Protestant work ethics. So, we drive relentlessly on, calling each prospect for the umpteenth time.This guy on my team waited until he could see that a customer’s need was real and urgent. He waited till he could hear them scream. He then looked for an indicator that we had an edge in the deal, some unfair advantage.His laziness was a bit of an act. In reality, he was a tireless networker. That is what all those long, expensive lunches were about. However, he worked to create a sense of equality among, and respect for, his customers. Salespeople are usually all too ready to get on their knees for that all-powerful buyer or investor with the big budget or fund. The buyer won’t respect that salesperson and will ignore five of their calls, assured he will find another seller.Yes, it is a bit of a power game. The game is easy to play if you work for its most powerful player. But it is hardest to play when times are tough and you are behind in your revenue targets, or when your venture is running out of cash.One way of checking for urgency is to see how much effort the prospect is putting into your relationship. You have to be able to see some equality of effort. Calling five times before the prospect returns your call is not equality. If you send reams of information and give multiple presentations, but the prospect won’t fill in a detailed requirements questionnaire, that is not equality of effort. With every call, you want the prospect to do something. If this does not happen, then they are not screaming loud enough, and you should move on to your next opportunity.Make sure you have a live one by waiting for them to scream. Make your prospect do some work before you get too excited.Using Tension to Your AdvantageIf you sell big-ticket deals, you don’t need that many to reach your revenue targets. If you are getting venture capital to power your dreams, you may need to close only one deal for your venture to succeed. But these deals take a long time to close, almost never less than three months and often twelve months or more. By the time you enter the “closing zone,” you and your teammates have expended a lot of time and energy, your company is relying on you to close the deal, and you are starting to think about what you will do once the deal closes.This is an exhilarating, scary, dangerous time. Exhilarating because you are so close to a big “high five” success. Scary because if you lose now when you can almost taste success, the disappointment will be bitter. Dangerous because a smart buyer could easily exploit your intense desire to close the deal and force major concessions out of you.Donald Trump (the real-estate developer), in his book “The Art of the Deal,” talks about guiding the other side to the point that they really want the deal and think it is in the bag. Then he backs off and demands major concessions. Smart buyers everywhere have learned some variation of this tactic.This is when you get a knot in your stomach and may witness table-banging and raised voices. All of this unpleasant stuff is good news. Experienced deal closers recognize these as signs that a deal is closing. The absence of these signs is actually a cause for concern!One thread running through all good negotiations is some sign of real pain from the buyer that leaves you confident you are not leaving too much money on the table. Of course, the buyer knows you will be looking for this and will send signals that you have reached their limit. The skill comes in differentiating between fake pain, as in “This is well above our budget, and my boss will kill me if I agree,” and the real thing. The buyer will also be looking for the same signs from you.Losing your temper is usually not good. It implies a lack of control and usually signals fear and weakness rather than strength. However, sometimes it can be very effective. Negotiators use many tactics to simulate table-banging without killing the deal. You can use the old good cop/bad cop routine, or the “My intransigent boss will never agree to this” line, or you could use a stalking horse to lay down a negotiating line.Your tactic will depend on the specifics of the sale, but the one constant is that when your stomach gets in a knot, you have probably entered the closing zone, and that is good. We were engineered for fight or flight for a reason!Imagine the Press ConferenceEarly on in a big complex sale, take time for a bit of day-dreaming. Imagine the press conference in which the CEO or partner of the company you are selling to announces the project to the press.Perhaps you think day-dreaming is rather self-indulgent. Perhaps this is some variant of the old “think positive” reinforcement.Actually, this is a very practical, strategic selling tool.Complex sales are… well, complex. As if you were in the middle of a chess game, your brain can hurt and you may not see the forest for the trees. You are probably juggling internal politics, resource constraints, pressure from partners, competitive moves, and customer politics… and that’s before you’ve had lunch!You need a way to stay focused on what really matters. You need to know the single over-riding motivation of your decision-maker. This is the story your decision-maker will tell at the press conference when the deal is done. He will say why his great initiative will have a big effect on one of his company’s key strategic objectives and why he was smart enough to select the one vendor that was ideal for the project.Unless you know this story, you will be shooting in the dark.To cut your way through the complexity of enterprise sales, you need to simplify. Select the person who is the key decision-maker. Understand what is important to him. Find the one big reason why he wants to do this project. Select the one reason why he will announce that your company is the right vendor.In long sales cycles, take time to imagine the press conference. Use this to get clarity on the key “ones”: one decision-maker, one business driver, and one vendor selection driver. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…
New Sports Minister Ajay Maken is in danger of contracting foot-in-mouth disease.The day Maken assumed charge, he got a mouthful from BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain after he claimed the latter made it to the NDA Cabinet only because he was a Muslim.The next day, Maken claimed that all pending Commonwealth Games payments would be cleared within 10 days, without realising most of the payments were locked up in legal battles in various courts.
Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde on Tuesday stayed away from a crucial meeting of party’s MPs, MLAs and MLCs from Maharashtra, convened by state chief Sudhir Mungantiwar in the wake of the former’s rebellion. Party’s leaders however maintained that he would continue with the party and differences would be sorted out soon.The meeting followed speculation that after failing to get the party leadership to concede to his demands, Munde – the BJP’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha – was on his way to join the Congress.After the meeting, Munde supporters left for his residence in Worli for further discussion over the issue. Leader of Opposition in the assembly Eknath Khadse said he was confident that Munde would not leave the party.Munde’s legislator daughter Pankaja Palve also sought to play down reports of her father breaking away from the BJP. She said there has been no offer to join any other party from anyone.In Delhi, former BJP chief Rajnath Singh said Munde would remain in the party and differences would be sorted out soon.Party spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said central leadership’s talks with Munde were positive. Denying any knowledge that Munde was in talks with the Congress, he said, “Gopinath Munde was in Delhi where he met with senior leaders. Talks are positive and still underway. We will let the press know further developments.”Earlier, a meeting of the BJP top brass at senior leader L.K. Advani’s residence on Monday evening had apparently failed to convince Munde. Sources said the Pune BJP chief’s post, where Gadkari loyalist Vilas Mathkari was appointed over Munde’s candidate Yogesh Gogawale, remains a problem area with both the leaders from Maharashtra refusing to budge.advertisementFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
Microsoft has released a new keyboard called the Universal mobile keyboard and it works with Android, iOS and Windows devices. It is actually quite similar to the recently released Logitech K480 keyboard. The keyboard also has a Bluetooth key, which allows the user to switch between Android, iOS, and Windows modes.The most impressive bit about the keyboard is that it sports dedicated keys for Android and a CMD key for Apple users, so that people can seamlessly use shortcuts found in the three differing ecosystems. Notably, there is no dedicated Windows key.The keyboard also provides a cradle so that one can securely place ones device.Microsoft claims the battery will provide 6 months of usage on a single charge and in 10 minutes one can obtain an entire day’s usage.The keyboard will be available on October for $79.95, but this is a US release date and there is no word when this product will come to India.Clearly, Microsoft is taking CEO Satya Nadella’s platform agnostic “mobile first and cloud first” strategy to heart, where it develops software and hardware for everyone, not just its own ecosystem.
New Delhi, Sep 26 (PTI) NorthEast United FC players and stakeholders feel the upcoming ISL opening ceremony will be a fitting recognition to the regions passion and contribution to football in India. The home team will kick off the third edition of Indian Super League by taking on Kerala Blasters at the Indira Gandhi Stadium on October 1. The north east region has contributed massively to Indian football and produced excellent talent over the years. Indian football players from the region are delighted that Guwahati will be in the spotlight at it readies to host the opening ceremony of Hero ISL 2016, terming the move as a recognition of the regions passion for the beautiful game. Reminiscing on playing at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, Indias ace striker Jeje Lalpekhua, says, “I still remember playing the first-ever international match at Indira Gandhi Stadium back in 2011. In the last five years football has really grown in the Northeast region in terms of infrastructure and talent, so it is fitting that this years ISL opener is being staged in Guwahati.” Chennaiyin FCs Thoi Singh who hails from Manipur, adds, “Getting the distinction of hosting the first ISL game of the season is a reward for the passion that NorthEast has for the beautiful game. I would have loved to play this fixture but of course will be looking forward to our away game there as the atmosphere in Guwahati is always electrifying.” NorthEast United FC players are as excited and team owner John Abraham believes that hosting the opening ceremony will further boost the sport in the region which in turn would encourage many youngsters from this part of the country to take up the game professionally. NorthEast United FCs homeboy, Seityasen Singh, says, “I feel extremely proud that Guwahati is the venue for this years opening ceremony and I am happy that I shall be able to play on such a huge occasion against a team that also has a huge fan-base like ours. “I am also delighted about the fact that the North-East can now draw the attention of the footballing fraternity towards itself via this event in Guwahati. Ever since the ISL has started, it has drawn the eyes of the entire country towards it. I am hopeful that the opening ceremony shall send out a message to everyone concerned about the importance of this region and highlight the importance that it holds in the annals of Indian footballing history.” NEUFC midfielder Lalrempuia Fanai adds, “I feel excited because as a player it is a once in a life-time opportunity for me to participate in such an event. I have several friends in Guwahati who tell me that they are eagerly looking forward to this event. I believe that the city and the North-East have finally got what they deserved. “As our owner, John Abraham said, all the young kids watching the magnitude of this event shall be inspired and spurred on to participate in the future. It will also draw the eyes of the country towards North East and showcase the potential of the region. A number of celebrities, ISL teams and owners will join the NorthEast team and the fans from the region to make the opening match a memorable one. PTI AH AHadvertisement
Story Highlights Coordinator of the Restorative Justice Unit in the Ministry of Justice, Dr. Kahilah Whyte, says restorative justice continues to play a pivotal role in circumventing conflicts in the Jamaica society. She was speaking at a Restorative Justice Youth Empowerment session, held at the Hilltop Juvenile Correctional Facility in Bamboo, St. Ann, on Tuesday, February 5. Coordinator of the Restorative Justice Unit in the Ministry of Justice, Dr. Kahilah Whyte, says restorative justice continues to play a pivotal role in circumventing conflicts in the Jamaica society.“It [restorative justice] continues to be important in the effort to circumvent what we commonly refer to as jungle justice here in Jamaica. Restorative justice really gives males, women and young people the opportunity to be heard. It allows for the victims to tell their truth [and] for the offender to hear how the crime they have committed has impacted not only the victim but the community at large,” Dr. Whyte said.She was speaking at a Restorative Justice Youth Empowerment session, held at the Hilltop Juvenile Correctional Facility in Bamboo, St. Ann, on Tuesday, February 5.Coordinator of the Restorative Justice Unit in the Ministry of Justice, Dr. Kahilah Whyte, speaking at a Restorative Justice Youth Empowerment Session, at the Hilltop Juvenile Correctional Facility in Bamboo, St. Ann, on Tuesday, February 5. “It [restorative justice] continues to be important in the effort to circumvent what we commonly refer to as jungle justice here in Jamaica. Restorative justice really gives males, women and young people the opportunity to be heard. It allows for the victims to tell their truth [and] for the offender to hear how the crime they have committed has impacted not only the victim but the community at large,” Dr. Whyte said. Dr. Whyte informed that more persons are turning to restorative justice, with 810 conferences held at its 14 centres across the island in 2018. Of the 810 conferences conducted, 691 led to an agreement to resolve the conflict.“Currently, we have an 85 per cent agreement rate, which means that when victims and offenders get together, more often than not they will come up with an agreement. The agreement highlights tenets that they would like to have followed, whether it is restitution, the issue of an apology, doing some community service or giving back after a crime has been committed,” she noted.The session was held as part of activities to mark Restorative Justice Week, which is being observed from Sunday, February 3 to Friday, February 8, under the theme ‘A Restorative Approach to School to Prison Pipeline in Jamaica’.The 30-plus males at the Juvenile facility were educated on the value of restorative justice and how the process can be used to resolve conflicts.