4 trends that are dominating and accelerating business growth in South Africa

(Image: Getty Images)
(Image: Getty Images)

Sustained business growth is crucial for expanding any economy, but this growth shouldn’t come at all costs. By tapping into business growth trends that also focus on more than increasing bottom lines, businesses can look to the future, too. And not just of their profits - but the future of the country in which they’re based.

Here are four trends dominating and accelerating business growth in South Africa.

1. Transformation

Every business needs to consider the role they play in the transformation - and this is an imperative of South Africa, given the country’s history.

According to Herman de Kock, Executive Head: Sales & Service Planning & Management at Nedbank Commercial Banking, transformation is not only advanced through ownership.

“A much more progressive approach should be taken with regard to the role of education, value chain inclusion, job creation and the support of small and micro-enterprise,” says de Kock.

2. Climate resilience and sustainability

Climate resilience speaks to what businesses are doing to contribute to sustaining our environment and must work hand in hand with sustainability if a company is to grow.

de Kock believes that sustainability goes much broader than climate resilience.

“Sustainability is about preserving our environment and responsible use of natural resources, but it is about the upliftment of society,” de Kock says. “We have reached, and will continue to do so, the point where incorporating sustainable development goals (SDGs) in any business’s strategy formulation process is not a nice to have, but an imperative.”

These initiatives don’t have to come at the expense of business growth. Instead, says de Kock, they are integral to it. A Nedbank study in partnership with Trace and Save and the WWF in the pasture grazed dairy farming sector, for example, proved that investment in sustainability had a direct positive impact on the profitability of the farming operations

“Over and above the benefit of reliability to supply, investment in alternative energy also now yields very favourable payback periods,” de Kock says. “And recent surveys indicate that the younger generations are more selective about which brands they support based on the brand’s commitment to sustainability.”

3. Digitisation with a twist

The companies that will be successful in the fourth industrial revolution will be those that understand the drivers of value, such as data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digitisation and eCommerce). But, says de Kock, digitisation is not just about organisation efficiencies but also about creating remarkable client experiences.

“Businesses can see eCommerce in its broadest sense by appreciating the importance of linking into ecosystems,” de Kock says. “A key example of this is Nedbank’s super app, Avo.”

“Avo brings customers and businesses together, accurately matching customers’ lifestyle needs to product and service offerings through powerful artificial intelligence, safe and secure payments, and bank-grade security,” says de Kock. “Through Avo B2C, we allow merchants to meet customer needs through extending your selling power into South African homes.”

We are currently in the era of platforms giving the business owner the ability to launch their business into multiple ecosystems. Whether users require home services, shop online for groceries, take-aways or great tech deals, or search for the next family holiday, entertainment options or security solutions, apps like Avo can now offer these.

de Kock says Nedbank will soon launch Avo’s new Business to Business Marketplace, a digital marketplace for businesses to buy from or sell to other businesses.

“It is aimed at sellers and buyers across different sectors and the various parts of the value chain. More than that, though - it is a one-stop platform where companies can grow, protect and run their business supported by Nedbank’s best-in-class financial services,” says de Kock.

4. Supply chain

Securing a reliable supply chain is a critical dynamic to consider in business growth, particularly given recent events on a global scale.

“Just as the world started to see a ray of hope on recovering from the disruptive impact of Covid-19, geopolitical turmoil added another major disruption – adding to the already severe constraints on supply chain,” says de Kock. “The consequence is a trend where stock seems to challenge cash for the crown.”

Nedbank Commercial Banking can assist your business in aligning with these and other trends to realise growth. Talk to your Business Manager or contact us at business@nedbank.co.za for more information and assistance.

This post was sponsored by Nedbank and produced by Adspace Studio.

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