Updated: Jan 31, 2022
DRG Outsourcing South African business leaders have no option but to think big and to think beyond serving only domestic clients and customers.
They need to seek ways of growing business interests abroad, to help grow and extend our economy and country’s revenue. We do this in two ways, firstly by building solid business foundations with engaged work environments that result in the creation of successful and sustainable businesses, and secondly by finding new markets for South African products and services.
DRG and BusinessFit are passionate about helping South African business leaders with both building a successful and sustainable business and helping them to identify new markets for their products and services. We have focused initially on building trade routes between South Africa and the United Kingdom and vice versa and opening these doors to new business opportunities with vigour and intent. We have done this through two channels, first by setting up BusinessFit International (BFI) in the United Kingdom, and the second through linkages with the South African Chamber of Commerce in London (SA Chamber).
The three directors of BFI, Charles Henzi, Mike Miller, and David White are seasoned business leaders, and are all part of the SA Chamber Exco team. They contribute through encouraging development of trade channels, and ensuring the process is straightforward enough for all business leaders to understand and engage.
Trading internationally requires support from in country professionals and networks, who can assist in understanding local legislation requirements, cultural expectations and trends, as well as providing introductions to aligned clients and opportunistic networks. It is said that as much as 98% of new business generated in service companies is through direct referrals. Consequently, introducing new business opportunities through trusted and credible partners is critical. This is the work of BFI and the SA Chamber in the United Kingdom.
Being informed and knowing about existing trade opportunities is essential, as without being ‘aware’, alignment with trade opportunities is not possible. The SA Chamber has chapters in all corners of the United Kingdom, and in recent months has set up chapters in Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, and South Africa. As an example of local trade opportunities, John Mulder is the SA Chamber chapter leader in Ireland. On a recent zoom meeting of chapter leaders and Exco members, John shared with us the challenges his organisation (and other Irish organisations) is having in importing raw materials, and some goods and services from the United Kingdom.
These challenges essentially being centered around Brexit, and post Brexit ‘new ways of doing business’. This challenge has opened immediate doors to South African companies to supply the same goods and services into Ireland. Being aware of these opportunities would give business leaders and their teams an opportunity to consider if they are able to export much-needed raw materials, products, and services to Ireland.
South African companies need to be ready or be in the process of preparing to trade effectively with the likes of Ireland and other countries.
DRG and BusinessFit are excited to provide guidance to business leaders through their networks and experiences, through the SA Chamber chapter leaders, and through other SA Chamber members who have experienced value and opportunity from their relationship with SA Chamber networks and professional service providers.
South Africans living abroad still consider themselves as South Africans, and still want to work and socialise with South Africans. This desire creates the perfect opportunity for South Africans in South Africa to build relationships with South Africans abroad, and to work together in a framework of trust and value creation. South Africans are known all over the world for their commitment and ingenuity, as well as getting things done, being hardworking, and entrepreneurially minded. BFI and the SA Chamber are perfectly placed to provide a springboard for South African companies wishing to trade in the United Kingdom, and beyond.
DRG has been trading services internationally for many years and brings into South Africa over R100m in foreign currency each year. With more companies like DRG drawing foreign currency into South Africa, restoring balance and growth within our economy will go a long way. DRG is not the only company trading successfully on the international stage, there are many companies doing such work, and we all need to learn from each of these companies and strive to become part of international networks.
More South Africans and companies are joining the SA Chamber to take advantage of becoming linked to international trade opportunities. Recently our very own KZN business leader and industrialist Moses Tembe joined the SA Chamber’s board of directors, and Mxolisi Miya joined as SA Chamber KZN chapter leader and Exco member serving on the Board Governance and Board Membership committees. The high-level contributors supporting simple trade development, which also includes David White as SA Chamber’s South African country chapter leader, are passionate about growing trade opportunities between South Africa and the United Kingdom, and to share their understandings and networks with all South African business leaders wishing to consider trading abroad.
Equally so, there are many United Kingdom businesses wishing to trade locally in South Africa, which can be daunting for international companies. South Africa has its own uniqueness in meeting local business parameters and compliance expectations. These include adherence to labour laws, legal requirements, and Black Economic Empowerment transformation goals.
The SA Chamber chapters will in time be established across the whole of South Africa, and will include government and nongovernment agencies that support and welcome trade into South Africa, as well as professional service providers such as accountants, banks, legal firms, B-BBEE specialist and advisory companies, HR service providers, etc. These organisations will help to provide a solid foundation of skill and expertise to all international companies wishing to trade or consider trading in South Africa.
The SA Chamber chapters will have a dedicated section within the SA Chamber’s website where SA Chamber members (and companies interested in becoming members) will be able to see trade opportunities that have been identified. This will create the foundation for local South African companies to consider new markets, and to ready themselves for these new trade opportunities.
The simple trade facility aims to increase trade effectiveness between South Africa and the United Kingdom, and to help make international trade for small and medium enterprises easily possible. There will be regular transfers of knowledge to SA Chamber members through online and group meetings, where professional business leaders, strategists, and technical export/import specialists will assist by providing best practice advice on governance reporting requirements, incentive support, and outward-bound trade expectations.
We look forward to expanding the SA Chamber’s membership through attracting local South African companies to join the organisation and assisting business leaders to trade effectively with organisations in the United Kingdom.
South Africa needs business leaders to consider if their businesses could trade effectively in international markets, where final goods are sold. We discourage trading raw materials where South Africa buys back final products. Trading effectively requires business leaders to also consider what is best for the country, rather than what makes business sense at a micro level.
Our current South African economic situation informs us that urgent action must be taken to grow our economy, and we thus encourage business leaders to recognise their role in expanding their business operations through identifying and engaging with new opportunities and markets.
This is best achieved through becoming a member of the SA Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom.