How banks can help South African businesses embrace transformation for business growth

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Transformation is a necessary process for businesses in South Africa, and banks and financial institutions can play an essential role in this regard. But effective transformation is about more than surface-level changes, says Herman de Kock, Nedbank Commercial Bank's Executive Head: Sales & Service Planning & Management.

"The first step towards embracing transformation is to understand its definition in its broader sense," says de Kock. "A transformed business is one that demonstrates equitable and unbiased employment, reflects through its evolution of ownership equitable and unbiased demographic representation aligned to the community within which it operates, and contributes through its operations and trade to the upliftment of society through procurement programs, education programs, skills development programs and environmental conservation programs."

Finally, says de Kock, a transformed business should also demonstrate an agile operating and business model that capitalises on the critical value and profit drivers of the fourth industrial revolution.

de Kock believes understanding this definition of transformation not only neutralises anxiety regarding this concept but also empowers the decision-making process and planning of a business's transformation journey.

"Another key aspect to remember is the robustness required in any transformation program. It cannot be, and should not be regulated as, a one-dimensional objective," he says.

Instead, de Kock believes a values-based, sustainable transformation program should incorporate the entire value chain.

"For instance, it is not only about the transfer of ownership, but also investment in the skills development, training, monitoring and mentoring to ensure a sustainable production process and then securing access to an offset point for the produced goods at sustainable profits," says de Kock.

In many cases, the successful implementation of a transformation program cannot be done by one organisation, but rather through key partnerships. This allows different entities to use their core business as an area of expertise to ensure that the sum of the parts comes together in a successful transformation program.

Although banks can assist in this process, de Kock says they need to focus on their core business - providing innovative and sustainable funding solutions and transactional banking solutions.

"Banks also need to understand the imperative of effective partnerships to ensure that the full definition of transformation comes to fruition. The latter also obliges banks to augment the capital provided to business with the right and comprehensive program," says de Kock.

To this end, de Kock says that Nedbank takes a bigger picture banking approach that goes beyond banking and can assist businesses with transformation objectives.

"Through this approach, the transformation programs that Nedbank Commercial Banking embarked on build towards unlocking the full definition of transformation as provided. This allows for bespoke solutions relevant to the industries in which the different programs are aimed," de Kock says.

Talk to your Business Manager or contact us at business@nedbank.co.za for more information and assistance. Nedbank Commercial Banking has a range of innovative solutions to assist businesses with these trends.

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

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