[Interview] Burak Buyuksarac, CEO, BMS Group, Tanzania
BMS Group, a Tanzanian company, operates different companies across tourism, security, consultancy, trading, and interior design and construction. Its philosophy is to bring together innovation and superior performance to create inspirational, trusted and internationally recognized brands that have a meaningful and lasting impact in Africa.
The CEO Burak Buyuksarac talks about the company’s business model and future plans.
Tell us about your company (inception, services/products, ownership/shareholders, headquarters, etc.)
BMS Group harbours several companies in different industries in Tanzania, East Africa.
BMS Groups’ enterprises/brands are: SkyPalm Travel & Tours, SkyWorks Consultancy, SkyWorks Trading, MLPCARE Tanzania, Sultan Academics, Maasai Watchers Ltd., Fandom Cars, Sparkling Boat and Roundtable Design & Works Ltd.
BMS Group is a young and dynamic diversified group of companies harbouring innovative brands in Tanzania. Characterized by professionalism, integrity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit, BMS Group possesses in-depth knowledge and unrivalled expertise in Africa.
BMS Group’s vision is to become the most exciting Africa based company operating first regionally then globally. It aims to bring together innovation and superior performance to create inspirational, trusted and internationally recognized brands that have a meaningful and lasting impact in Africa.
What industry/industries do you service?
Tourism, Security, Consultancy, Trading, and interior design & construction
Is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the work-from-home trend affecting your operations? How so?
Needles to say it did affect especially our tourism operations. 90% of our clients are inbound, foreign visitors coming to Tanzania, thus during the peak of Covid 19, due to travel restrictions our inbound tour operations were close to zero. However, our local operations continued thanks to our diversified product range such as: event management, car rentals, boat rentals, medical tourism, and education services.
What is your company’s growth strategy for 2022? (New projects, expansion into new markets, new partnerships? etc)
I must extend the strategy time frame from 2022 to 2022-2027, thus a 5-year plan. And that will be simply growth and expansion! Providing more employment for the local talent and more business opportunities for our vendors, service providers and strategic partners.
What are the long-term ambitions you’re aiming for, as an organization? (National? International? If international, what countries and markets?)
Opening branches firstly in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, and then in neighbouring countries starting with Kenya and in Europe after that.
What government policies can be implemented for companies to thrive in Tanzania?
The sitting government’s private sector and investment policies are considerably friendly, especially comparing to the former one. So, I would say Tanzania is on the right track in that context. However, that doesn’t mean that there is no more room for improvement. I believe with the continuous legislation updates; within few years Tanzania will become even a more friendly country for investors and for investment opportunities.
Which 3 African countries do you think will perform best in terms of business in 2022? Why do you think so?
I would say: Rwanda, Kenya and either Ghana or Ethiopia. However, I must emphasise that Tanzania is not far behind from these.
Rwanda: Rwanda having an annual growth of 6% for the last two decades, and it’s one of the fastest-growing economies on the African continent. Additionally, investment friendly statutory structure is a big help.
Kenya: Based on the World Bank data, Kenya is one of the top performers not only in the African continent but around the world when it comes to starting a business. On top of that, the young and fast-growing dynamic population, and already well-established economic structure is also a big plus.
Ghana: The sitting government has encouraged the growth of the private sector tremendously and commodities started featured dominantly in Ghana’s Gross domestic product (GDP). And ever since Ghana started producing oil in 2010, the country has enjoyed a swift economic growth.
Ethiopia: Ethiopia is working hard to become the Africa’s manufacturing hub. The sitting government is enjoying the availability of cheap labour for infrastructure development, and tax incentives to attract more and more investment.
Tanzania: Tanzania enjoys an abundance of natural wealth, which offers tremendous investment opportunities for investors. These include an excellent geographical location (six land locked countries depend on Tanzania ports as their cheapest entry and exit ports); arable land; world renowned tourist attractions (Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro, and the Spice islands of Zanzibar); natural resources; a sizable domestic and sub regional market; a wide local raw materials supply base; abundant and inexpensive skills; assurance of personal safety; warm friendly people and a suitable market policy orientation.
How will Africa develop as a knowledge economy in 2022 and how can companies contribute?
In my opinion, for Africa to develop a knowledge economy, the goals should be mostly based on the education matters;
To ensure higher education matching with the social, cultural, and economic needs of the country,
To provide modern and effective curriculum to be in place so that pupils are readied for the knowledge economy,
To bring new degree programmes of accordance to the high-quality job market,
To develop specialised and categorized education programmes,
To increase the position of higher education institutions as strategic partners to the government in social and economic development,
To strengthen science and facts-based research, innovation, and as well as entrepreneurship,
To increase international cooperation in both private and public sector matters,
Having said that, it wouldn’t be logical to expect the above from the overall continent for one year period only. This is a process which will continue and evolve for years to come. But the important part is to give a start. Whether small baby steps or giant leaps it doesn’t matter, what matters is to be on the track.
Any news or information from your organization you’d like to share?
We were very happy and honoured to be informed by the United Republic of Tanzania Ministry of Home Affairs Tanzania Police Force that our security company Maasai Watchers Limited is the only security company in Tanzania, which is strictly employing Maasai guards and having the “permission to operate a private security company” permit & license from the ministry.
Furthermore, even though our company is still a relatively new company, incorporated in December 2020 only, we are reaching almost 200 employees by January 2022, and we are expecting to reach 500 employees before the end of 2022.