Managing Director and Head of Global Banking at HSBC Egypt Helmy Ghazy (r), BEBA Chairman Khaled Nosseir (center), and CEO of Vodafone Egypt Alexandre Froment-Curtil – Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Aziz
The British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) held on Wednesday the preparatory session of the Door knock Mission to the United Kingdom which will take place by the end of November.
Executive Director of BEBA Nadia Lamloum – Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Salam
“We have to clarify that Egypt is the key of Africa for its free trade agreements in the continent like COMESA,” Executive Director of BEBA Nadia Lamloum said. Managing Director and Head of Global Banking at HSBC Egypt Helmy Ghazy said that the delegation will highlight the fall in inflation rates, and budget deficit.
Managing Director and Head of Global Banking at HSBC Egypt Helmy Ghazy – Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Salam
Ghazy revealed that “investors always ask about currency” and that BEBA representatives “will tell them it has been available since floatation.” Ghazy stated that 40-50 percent of recent FDI in Egypt are British.
“We will emphasize opportunities in the sectors of infrastructure, education, health, and financial services, BEBA Chairman Khaled Nosseir stated saying that the association may hold the Door Knock Mission more than once per year. He added that one of the mission’s goals is “attempting to put Egypt on the investment map for British SMEs.”
BEBA Chairman Khaled Nosseir – Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Salam
“We succeeded in dispelling misconceptions about the investment environment in Egypt,” Nosseir said uncovering that a number of British investors closed partnership deals with the Egyptian side last year.
However, some Egyptian investors don’t reveal their deals with British partners so we do not always have cut clear figures on recent investment inflows from the United Kingdom, Nosseir added. The BEBA chairman also underlined that there are British investors who partnered up with Egyptian counterparts and penetrated Gulf markets, Nosseir said.
Brexit is considered an opportunity for Egypt whose agricultural goods can substitute European ones, Nosseir explained saying that there are currently British investments in the sectors of telecommunication and energy. The size of British investments in Egypt is $5.6 billion.
“British tourism is almost back to its previous rates to all destinations in Egypt except for Sharm El Sheikh,” Nosseir stated saying that there are over 40 flights to the country per week. As for diplomatic support, Nosseir said that “the British ambassador in Egypt is very enthusiastic to cooperate.”
The session was attended by CEO of Vodafone Egypt Alexandre Froment-Curtil who said his company has been working in Egypt for 20 years investing LE45 billion ($2.5 billion) and employing 15,000. “When talking with British investors in Egypt or Britain, we tell them our story,” the Vodafone Egypt CEO said.
CEO of Vodafone Egypt Alexandre Froment-Curtil – Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Salam
The return on investment in Egypt is very good, Froment-Curtil stated. “The Egyptian market is not saturated,” he added. Talking about the telecommunication sector as an example, Froment-Curtil said, “fifty percent of mobile phone users do not use mobile internet. Household internet is not dominant either.”
“We invest in human capital and not just infrastructure. We employed 1,000 this year, and put LE4.5 billion to renovate the network,” the Vodafone Egypt CEO stated.
“HSBC is the largest foreign bank in Egypt…We are among the banks capable of funding mega projects. We partially fund Siemens plants whose cost is €6 billion” Ghazy said. As for future plans, he commented revealing, “We will focus on internet banking and programs for SMEs.”
The mission will include Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr; Minister of Finance Mohamed Moeit; Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed; Deputy Minister of Housing for National Projects Khaled Abbas; Chairman of the General Authority for Investments (GAFI) Mohsen Adel; Chairman of Egyptian Exchange (EGX) Mohamed Farid.
– EGYPT TODAY
Talabat expands outsourcing services in Egypt through regional customer service center in Cairo
talabat Egypt Managing Director, Hadeer Shalaby (Image: Supplied)
Talabat, one of the leading food and grocery delivery apps in Egypt and the Middle East, has announced the expansion of its outsourcing services in Egypt with a regional customer service center located in Cairo. This expansion comes in tandem with the company’s one-year anniversary since rebranding and will allow talabat to enhance its cutting-edge services to its seven current markets. These include Egypt, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq while providing services in three primary languages: Arabic, English and Kurdish.
The expansion of its outsourcing services comes in light of talabat’s role as one of the driving technology companies that supports the Egypt 2030 Vision and Digital Egypt plan. talabat also aims to provide a direct and permanent channel of communication between them and all customers through various mediums.
“Egypt was our first choice to establish talabat’s regional service center given its large pool of young talents with mastery of different languages and eagerness to build their capacities as we train our employees on the latest and best technologies. Additionally, the presence of a solid infrastructure allows Egypt to manage the largest workload possible, as being positioned in the middle of the world offers a decent time lag that gives good access to most global communications lines,” said Hadeer Shalaby, Managing Director of talabat Egypt.
The center controls all operations related to our business’ ecosystem which is constituted primarily by employees, customers and partners. The center’s role begins with restaurants by creating their tailor-made and data-driven menus, onboarding them onto our application, raising their awareness of our provided services and handling their requests and complaints. On the customers front, we support dealing with all inquiries and requests through multiple channels that include chat rooms, e-mail, and phone calls; to provide a unique ordering experience characterized by professionalism and ease,” said Usama Nabil, Senior Director Operations SSC.
Shalaby explained that a hybrid model is being implemented for the regional service center that allows customer operations management at the headquarters and outsourcing. Employees are coached to manage customer inquiries, emails as well as all the services provided by talabat. This is rolled out in a way that keeps pace with the Egyptian government’s efforts in enhancing the capacity building of young cadres within the field of communication and information technology. Currently, talabat has 2,000 employees in the center and sees that number to reach 3,000 during peak seasons such as the month of Ramadan.
Driving a seamless ordering experience is the ultimate objective for talabat Egypt. We are working towards that goal daily on all fronts, one of which is through employing top-notch talent that can bring both customers and partners a smooth experience,” Shalaby added. Furthermore, talabat has a solid team of experts specialized in training Human Resources who are always on the lookout for the latest developments in technology and work variables to ensure that the training curricula is always up to date. All new employees are extensively trained for two weeks, followed by another two weeks of cohabitation in the work environment.
ReelFruit Secures $3 Million Series A Funding To Expand Production with New Factory
ReelFruit CEO/Founder; Affiong Williams (Image: Supplied)
ReelFruit, a premium dried fruit company known for its high quality nutritious snacks, today announced a Series A investment of $3M. Alitheia IDF led the round and invested $2M while other investors included Samata Capital and Flying Doctor Healthcare Investment Company. The New Practice advised ReelFruit on the transaction. With the capital, ReelFruit will scale its dried fruit production, develop new products, and increase exports by 10 x to 15 MT in the first year.
Key to its expansion plans, ReelFruit will acquire a new factory in Ogun State to increase its monthly dried fruit production from 6 MT to 30 MT. The factory will hire over 200 people in its first year. With its greater supply of dried fruit, ReelFruit will continue to innovate new products for the local and international markets.
As part of its efforts to secure high quality raw materials, it plans to deepen its existing work with Nigerian fruit farmers. The company will form an agro-extension services program for 250 registered mango and pineapple producers. The program will boost fruit yields and help support a steady supply of high quality raw material for the factory.
To meet strong demand for its dried fruit snacks, ReelFruit will diversify its local and international sales channels. The company will launch an e-commerce channel for direct US sales by 4Q21. ReelFruit will also unlock more B2B opportunities including white-labelling and co-packing to support the national drive toward import substitution. Local buyers will be able to buy dried fruit locally thereby reducing dependence on imports. Reelfruit is already on track to double last year’s revenues by November 2021.
“This investment takes ReelFruit to the next level. We can meet increased demand for our products and tackle one of our biggest challenges – raw material supply. We’re thrilled that this will unleash a greater impact on our value chain by increasing farmer incomes and creating up to 300 decent jobs for Nigerians,” Affiong Williams, ReelFruit CEO/Founder.
“Alitheia IDF is proud to support ReelFruit’s ongoing efforts to boost food production in Nigeria and positively impact communities through deliberate partnerships with local farmers, distributors, and retailers. The investment will strengthen the company to unlock further growth, upskill farmers and improve economic outcomes for thousands of women who play a significant role in the production of ReelFruit’s products,” said Tokunboh Ishmael, Alitheia IDF co-founder.
Wärtsilä signs Concession Agreement to develop, operate and maintain major 120 MW power plant project in Gabon
From left: Nicolas Mathon, Director, Project Development, Africa and Europe, Wärtsilä Energy and Managing Director, Orinko S.A and Akim Daouda, CEO of Sovereign Fund of the Gabonese Republic ©FGIS
Wärtsilä, the technology group and Gabon Power Company (GPC), the subsidiary of the Sovereign Fund of the Gabonese Republic (FGIS) dedicated to energy and water, have on 22 September 2021 signed a Concession Agreement with the Government of Gabon for the development, supply, construction, operation and maintenance of a 120 MW gas power plant. Wärtsilä, jointly leading the project development with GPC, will build the plant under a full Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract and will then operate and maintain the plant under a long-term 15-year Operation and Maintenance (O&M) agreement. The EPC contract and the O&M agreement will be signed in 2022 with Orinko S.A., the joint venture between Wärtsilä and GPC.
The plant will be located at the industrial site of Owendo, close to Libreville, the country’s capital. When commissioned, the plant will supply electricity to Société d’Energie et d’Eau du Gabon (SEEG), the Gabonese utility, under a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement. The project represents one of the largest of its kind in Sub-Sahara Africa and a sizeable energy infrastructure project for Gabon.
“There is currently a structural deficit between the supply capability and the demand for electricity, which is increasing year by year. This project will play an important role in bridging this deficit, and some 600,000 people will ultimately benefit from a more sustainable and economical electricity supply delivered to SEEG. The plant will replace rented generation assets by SEEG and bring significant benefits, in line with Gabon sustainability ambitions,” said Marcelin Massila Akendengue, General Director, Gabon Power Company.
“This is a major and very comprehensive project that will deliver sustainable energy at a competitive price. It highlights many of Wärtsilä’s strengths, including the efficiency and flexibility of our generating sets, our EPC capabilities, our project development skills with insight into the financing arrangements, and our lifecycle support through long-term O&M agreements,” said Nicolas Mathon, Director, Project Development, Africa and Europe, Wärtsilä Energy and Managing Director, Orinko S.A. “The project also emphasises the leadership role that Wärtsilä plays in moving the industry towards a decarbonised future by delivering solutions that enable a transition to renewable energy.”
The project is being developed under a Public Private Partnership framework, with the asset to transfer to the Gabonese authorities at the end of the concession agreement. It has the full support of the government of Gabon, with the Council of Ministers approval received in May 2021, and the Concession Agreement having received approvals by the country’s President, Prime Minister, and the relevant Ministries. When completed, the project will have a major impact on the Gabonese economy.
Wärtsilä’s installed base in West Africa comprises 440 plants with 946 engines producing 4928 MW in 34 countries. In Gabon, Wärtsilä has a long-term presence from projects delivered and contracted with SEEG and private energy intensive companies.
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