Some International Consulting/Mentoring Assignments
International Trade Centre, Geneva
This consultancy ssignment considered how SMEs could be helped in exporting by utilising the services of international trading houses.
The assignment culminated in a book published by the ITC in 1997, entitled “The SME & The Export Development Company (ISBN: 92-9137-080-0). Research for this involved traveling to and studying the SME export development programmes in a number of countries including Canada, China, Taiwan, Israel, Kenya and South Korea.
World Federation of Trading House Associations, Montreal
Appointed Secretary General of the Federation which was created in Canada in 1997 mainly to encourage collaboration between Trading houses and SMEs. It promoted the relationship through training programmes, codes of conduct, exchange of best practices and creation of cooperative networks.
Also it promoted the interests of members, through advocacy on policy matters at national and international official agencies.
Tata International Ltd. Mumbai
As Vice-President of Tata International assigned to develop exports from small and artisanal units.
This involved helping them to make export-worthy products and extended to exporting by determining requirements in foreign markets, arranging matching supplies through product/packaging development, conducting techno-commercial negotiations, securing export orders, monitoring execution of orders with respect to quality, timely delivery and finally organising the shipments and obtaining payment. Also creating a team for this work.
Africa Management Services Company, Amsterdam & UNDP, Mbabane Swaziland
An assignment for developing and diversifying Swazi SMEs to enable them to export and create employment thus mitigating the problems arising from excessive dependence on South African and foreign owned industries and farms as well as problems arising because of Swazi workers being laid off due to closure of mines in neighbouring countries.
The assignment involved recommending solutions for problems such as lack of management skills, inability to access credit, no marketing infrastructure and weak linkages in supply chains.
International Trade Centre, Geneva
Assigned to produce materials and tools for use in training workshops for small and artisanal units. These included, case studies, slide shows with speakers notes as well as a trainers train guide and workbook. These were designed to teach SMEs how to work with international trading houses to export their products. They also dealt with overcoming problems which sometimes arise between SMEs and trading houses resulting in mistrust. It was shown that both SMEs and trading houses gain from collaboration if it is conducted in a manner which is fair and mutually beneficial.
International Finance Corporation, Washington. & Africa Project Development Facility, Nairobi
The assignment involved determining the institutional arrangements required to promote export of products made by SMEs in Kenya. Many Kenyan SMEs made exportable products but needed help in marketing through appropriate institutions.
The establishment of a modern, and enlightened trading house with long term perspectives and a developmental approach was recommended. A Business Plan for such a trading house was prepared as well as an implementation schedule. This included a Needs Assessment study concerning matters such as the training requirements of the trading house staff.