[Interview] Byron Mudhune, Co-Founder, MafAfrique
Byron Mudhune is the co-founder and chairman of MafAfrique, an advisory and fund management group with operations in Africa and Eurasia.
It advises African enterprises, nurturing their growth and delivering strong returns to its investors and partners
Kindly introduce MafAfrique International
MafAfrique is an advisory and fund management group whose aim is to advice, strategy operational and access to finance, African enterprises, nurturing their growth and delivering strong returns to its investors and partners.
We believe global trade and its operating environment is rapidly changing therefore our approach is to understand this dynamics and their impact on African businesses, tackling challenges and capturing the commercial opportunities they offer in a sustainable way through deploying technology, creativity , strategy development and access to finance expertise. .
In which countries does it operate?
We strategically operate across three continents – Africa and Eurasia. In Africa we operate from Kenya and Zimbabwe, and in Eurasia, we operate from Romania, the intersection of Europe and Asia.
Who are your clients?
Mainly entrepreneurs operating from Eastern and Southern Africa countries, those that want to reinvent themselves, transform their business model and scale up their enterprises across Africa in a profitable and sustainable way.
What are some of the company’s portfolio of investments in Africa?
Our advisory and investments are mainly spread across mining, energy and integrated agribusiness sectors , our priority intervention areas in Africa.
What can you say about the targets, plans and ambitions of the company in 2019?
MafAfrique wants to continue to serve African entrepreneurs. We have worked with several enterprises in the past, we want to make sure that we see them fully scaled up, operating across different African countries.
How has the market responded to your services? Why do you think that is so?
The market has been quite responsive, we initially expected to have a hard time influencing owners of enterprises as we operate a hybrid system which is a blend of development finance, strategy development, private equity and investment banking. I think the success is largely due to our hybrid system – some call it an ‘outsourced strategy department’.
Secondly, we work directly with owners of the enterprises, not always C-level management so that has also helped. Thirdly, we jointly develop the business idea through market research, partner with others and build and sustain the idea collaboratively.
Having worked extensively across Africa in strategy and business transformation, the need for such approach is clearly evident. Overall we are very happy with how we have been received so far and look forward to more.
What is the latest news from MafAfrique International?
We are increasingly witnessing Africa being at the forefront of technological innovations.
Technology has been key to many of Africa’s most exciting developments in recent years and will continue to remain the key to bridge some of the gaps faced by the Africa’s youth in general, integrate the informal sector into formal sector and create a transformative society that can embrace the fourth industrial revolution.
In 2019 and beyond, we shall be keen to collaborate with entrepreneurs, creating technology based investment solutions key to solving Africa’s challenges in three ways;
• Digital technologies bringing down the costs of doing business by making value chains more efficient, creating regional and globally scalable business platforms.
• Digital technologies that allow informal sector players to integrate into the formal sector creating new opportunities and avenues for growth and expansion.
• Digital technologies directed towards industries that have the highest potential to leapfrog the continent’s vast barriers to industrialization, creating industries that are lean, productive and globally competitive.
What do you consider the biggest threat in your line of business?
Ideally an organization strategy for that matter, will determine how it relates to the outside world – how it makes the most of opportunities, responds to change, and faces up to threats: opportunities to innovate, improvise and improve.
Most companies in Africa, operate in an industry whose environment is highly unpredictable and they have little control over it, so to excel they have to shape their industries to work to their advantage. With little or sometimes no Government support in terms of creating the enabling environment for such enterprises to excel and thrive, it’s a leap of faith. Governments must simply do more.
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