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5 things to keep in mind if you’re travelling for business

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Image: Security Intelligence

Business travellers know that they face a unique set of risks when travelling locally or overseas. And it’s unavoidable as statistics show that about 20 percent of employees are either engaged in business travel or longer-term assignments. Air passenger numbers alone are expected to double to eight billion in the next 20 years, and many of those passengers will be corporate employees. Your company has the legal and moral obligation to provide safety and security to employees when they travel on business.

According to research conducted by International SOS, risk management plans today are very often out of step with the needs of the modern workforce. Sally Napper is a Security Specialist at International SOS and Control Risks and says almost half of decision makers expected that travel risks would increase this year.

“Our research revealed that the evolving travel habits of the modern workforce are being overlooked by many organisations. Ensuring policies stay relevant to the needs of a modern workforce helps to keep your people safer and better informed, and also demonstrates the continuing importance of adaptive risk management programmes – and could help win board approval and support for other initiatives,” she says.

There are five crucial elements to keep into consideration when putting together a Travel Risk Management Plan. There are five stages of travel risk management: identifying the risk, preparing the traveller, tracking the traveller, communication and response. Each should be included in any TRM plan.

Risk varies according to location, environment and circumstance

Make sure the risks in each location your travellers visit is visible (not just the life-threatening ones). Just knowing where is a traveller is, doesn’t mean you have a workable plan in place to help when things go wrong. Make it clear to the traveller what those risks are and what measures are being taken in the interests of their safety.

Prepare your travellers before they travel

Make sure they have the latest advice on vaccination requirements. Educate them on potential health risks, and what to do if they do fall ill while away on business.

It is vital that health response plans cover extreme eventualities…

Such as a country closing its borders due to disease outbreak, but also more common risks and challenges, such as traffic accidents and personal theft. Travellers need to know what action to take and the support they will receive in these circumstances.

Having a TRM plan is excellent

But response processes, communication channels and traveller perceptions need to be checked and reviewed regularly. If they don’t work, you could be in real trouble.

Individual Customer Crisis Plans

Your TMC can work with you to review or implement your TRM solution and support your travelling employees with their individual Customer Crisis Plan.

 

Credit: IOL

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Afripreneur

Bordeaux-based Nigerian Wine Consultant creating the French Experience with an African twist

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Bordeaux-based Nigerian Wine Consultant, Chinedu Rita Rosa (Photo: Roger Das)

Most times when you think of a French wine expert, especially in Bordeaux, a strong-willed, driven and passionate Black Woman doesn’t come first to mind.

Chinedu Rita Rosa is making waves in the Bordeaux wine community. As a Nigerian Black Woman in her 40’s, she is a rare and long-overdue sight in the wine industry. Over the past six years, she has built a home in Bordeaux with her two teenage daughters and French husband.

For over 20 years Rosa has been active in the wine industry, though she came into the wine business by chance, as an unofficial adviser to her late husband selecting wines for importation into Nigeria. Originally working as a banker, wine did not become her profession until the passing away of her late husband in 2008 who was a Lebanese businessman.

In 2008 she returned to Nigeria and worked with her late Husband’s Friends in XO Wine Store as a Manager where she was in charge of organizing various wine events, teaching wine appreciation, and increasing the selection of wines from all over France. She did all this with minimal professional experience. She likes to put it into simple terms that anyone could relate to, “ I learnt while drinking on the job!”

With Nigeria being a beer-drinking society it was not an easy sell for wines, when she first started, although it was a delightful process, Rosa mentioned. She witnessed, ChiChi (as she is fondly called by her friends) mentioned. She witnessed, seeing the shift of peoples’ opinions about wine, especially when she found the right wine to pair with a client’s palette. Meeting people and discerning their taste and discovering their wine preference is an art that she is passionate about.

“As the years went by, it became much easier to match wines with clients taste” said Rosa. It was during this time that she also acquired knowledge of wine importation, wholesales, retailing and grassroots marketing strategies due to the distribution network of XO Wine stores.

After her first year, Rosa knew this was a profession that she would like to pursue, she continued studying, tasting and enjoyed experimenting with wine tasting pairings. She turned her wine education into a social circle with clients and friends who were also wine lovers. For her, these were some of the most rewarding best moments of her wine career.

Bordeaux-based Nigerian Wine Consultant, Chinedu Rita Rosa (Photo: Roger Das)

She discovered how African foods reacted to different grape varieties and from different wine regions, not forgetting Champagne. She boosts “ If you haven’t tried eating àsun or suya with red wine, you must; it is not to be missed”

It was important to ensure sure that all her knowledge of wine and the industry was accredited, which led her to Bordeaux, where she learned about the technical side of winemaking, regions, and styles. Chinedu found herself the only black and African student for the entire term of the course. In the first step of her official wine studies, received a certification from the school of wine in Bordeaux “Ecole Du Vin.” She is a true believer that the best wines come from Bordeaux.

A fabulous wine lovers group was established in the spirit of the numerous tastings and to date, it exists in Lagos exclusively for members of the XO Family.

Continuing her wine education journey in Bordeaux was a dream and when she decided to re-marry and move to France there was no second-guessing where she was going to call home. Chinedu says,” Naija women are born Entrepreneurs.”This drove her ambition and she ventured into media marketing, blogging, and vlogging in the wine world of Bordeaux, and she also created a networking community where she is the president of like-minded people and entrepreneurs from all over the world that has settled in Bordeaux. The Bordeaux Business Network has over 1000 members and is a thriving support community for expat entrepreneurs.

In Bordeaux, Chinedu has become known as the black lady who is invited everywhere and also hosts a lot of events (not unlike in Lagos!) due to her professional commitments. She attends most wine and entrepreneurial events in the Bordeaux metropolis and is easily distinguishable as a black businesswoman with a glowing smile.

Does this bother her? She has mixed feelings on the subject, Chinedu takes no issues with being the ONLY anywhere, it is a testament to her African upbringing after all. “‘Naija no dey, carry last,” she says. and Being yourself and standing out is important, but she is driven to encourage other black entrepreneurs and young people to come into this profession, where she believes the possibilities are endless.

Chinedu is a distinguished WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) certification, holder. Her wine knowledge spans the process of winemaking to marketing and exportation. She had envisioned that there would be more people of color in the wine industry with her qualifications that she could connect with on a cultural level but she is still left searching. She hopes that this will start to change soon.

Bordeaux-based Nigerian Wine Consultant, Chinedu Rita Rosa and friends (Photo: Roger Das)

As the founder of VINES BY ROSA, an import and marketing company based in Bordeaux she now collaborates with amazing brands, representing them in African Markets. Some of her most notable representations include: CHATEAU DAUZAC, MARGAUX GRAND CRU CLASSE, HINCH IRISH WHISKEY, NINTH WAVE GIN, LGI WINES. These brands are Winemakers that tailor to the African Market specifically creating labels and even Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne.

Always thinking about the future Chinedu wants to continue to build on her passion, education, and dedication, increasing the quality of wines and spirits being imported into Africa and propelling wine appreciation in the continent. She is on a mission to demystify the art of wine tasting and bring good wine to every table at the right price. In the process of this journey, she hopes to inspire other black men and women to join the wine industry and looks to the day where she is not the, I am almost always the only professional BLACK (Woman) at tasting events and business functions, especially here in Bordeaux. “I want to change that,” she ends.

Taking it one- step at a time to secure long-overdue space for aspiring Black women in the wine industry, through the success of Vines By Rosa, she hopes to inspire more people to take their passion and dreams forward.

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Hospitality & Tourism

Radisson Individuals makes its African debut with hotel signing in Ghana, to open its doors in October 2021

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Image Source: Radisson Hotel Group

Radisson Hotel Group is proud to announce its first Radisson Individuals property in Africa, with the signing of Earl Heights Suites Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals, Accra, Ghana. Due to open by the end of 2021, this new addition places the Group firmly on track to achieving its objective of reaching 150 hotels in operation and under development by 2025.

Located in Dzorwulu, the property is currently undergoing a full renovation and is on schedule to open within this year. Just 5km from Kotoka International Airport (KIA), the main access point by air for domestic and international visitors, the serviced apartment property is conveniently located near shopping malls, restaurants, as well as the University of Ghana, situated north of the district. Also within reach, is the tranquil Legon Botanical Gardens, with its canopy walk, rope courses, canoeing and rich birdlife.

Due to its strategic geographical location, ease of access, and aviation facilities and connections, Accra has become a conference and aviation hub for West Africa. It is also dominated by local and international business activities, making the city one of the most attractive African cities to do business.

The 58-serviced apartments property will comprise of modern studios as well as spacious and elegant one- and two-bedroom suites. Creating a true destination for its guests, the property will offer culinary options in the restaurant, The Society, which will include outdoor seating as well as in the hotel bar. The property will also feature a spa, gym, pool, convenience store, and business centre, providing the perfect base for both business and leisure.

Radisson Individuals is a conversion brand that offers independent hotels and local, regional chains the opportunity to be part of the global Radisson Hotel Group platform, benefit from the Group’s international awareness and experience, with the freedom to maintain their own uniqueness and identity.  Radisson Hotel Group plans to more than double its serviced apartments portfolio within the next 5 years across EMEA. Today, serviced apartments represent around 10% of the Group’s EMEA portfolio with 45 properties and more than 5,400 units in operation and under development.

Erwan Garnier, Senior Director, Development, Africa, Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We have identified Ghana as a key focus country in our five-year development plan and, Accra as a focus and primary city. The signing of the property, which compliments the Radisson Hotel & Apartments Accra announced last year and scheduled to open in 2023, is also aligned with our current conversion-focused growth strategy, which will remain a priority, especially post-pandemic. We are therefore proud the Radisson Individuals African debut, will be on Ghanaian soil, carving the path for the new brand to continue its expansion across the continent. In proud partnership with Earlbeam Group of Companies, we are thrilled to be contributing to the country’s tourism industry, a key pillar of the national economy.”

Alfred Danso Darkwah, CEO of the hotel’s owning company, Earlbeam Group of Companies, said: “The Earl Heights Suites Hotel partnership is an exciting opportunity – it brings together the union of Radisson Hotel Group and The Earlbeam Group Of Companies, two well-seasoned brands from the hospitality and real estate sector respectively. This will be the first branded apart hotel in Ghana, completely unique, providing each guest a boutique home-away-from home experience. In addition, it delivers partner confidence, guarantee of service standards, and assured safety and security, leaving a positive mark on Ghana’s hospitality sector. We believe this Radisson Individuals hotel will inject much-needed life within the local hospitality industry and pave the way for upcoming projects between Radisson Hotel Group and The Earlbeam Group of Companies.”

Image Source: Radisson Hotel Group

Herewith the link to the renders of the hotel, which is on track to open its doors in October this year Radisson Individuals

Radisson Hotel Group operates to high standards of performance and advocates socially and environmentally sustainable business practices. More than ever, Radisson Hotel Group’s highest priorities remain the health and safety of its guests and employees. The Group partnered with SGS, the world’s leading inspection and certification company, to implement the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol, which ensures the highest hygiene standards and strengthens the Group’s existing rigorous sanitation guidelines. In the run-up to the opening of Earl Heights Suites Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals the hotel will implement the Radisson Hotel Group brand standards including the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol related to safety and security.

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Hospitality & Tourism

VX STUDIO partners GX Associates with plans to become the leading hospitality designers in the MENA region

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Partner of GX Associates Mr. Mohamed Shafeeq (L) and the CEO Of VX Studio/Ayana Holding, Mr. Hamid Kerayechian (R) (Source: Adlink PR)

VX STUDIO signs an exclusive agreement with the leading design and architectural firm in the Maldives – GX Associates ensuring their mutual growth in the MENA region.

GX Associates are based in the Maldives and excel in hospitality and resorts with many stunning and revered resorts under their belt already such as Anantara Dhigu, Anantara Kihavah Villas, The Four Seasons, Hilton Irufushi, Niyama, Naladhu, Aarah and Baros to name just a few. The combination of the two companies guarantees maximum reach to global developers looking to create signature and world class resort and hospitality assets.

VX STUDIO is part of the Ayana Holding group of companies and are renowned for successfully delivering iconic projects both locally and internationally. Their value-driven, developer-led designs continue to turn heads and prove successful from concept to execution. Opaal, the sister company of VX STUDIO will collaborate for exciting interiors utilizing their resort skillsets to provide a unique lifestyle and a one stop shop exclusive service experience.  

During the signing ceremony, CEO of VX Studio/Ayana Holding and the leading force behind the group’s strategic growth, Mr. Hamid Kereychian said “we will be strengthening our position within the market through this partnership with the leading designers based in the Maldives. Their wealth of knowledge in creating world class resorts only adds to our portfolios mutually and ensures we continue to bring the best from around the world and make it available here in the region”.

Ayana Holding focuses on building a network of powerful companies on a global level. With robust financial, operational with strategic experiences and a wide-ranging network, they have the resources, global capacity and know-how to continuously transcend borders, boundaries and benchmarks – resulting in high-growth businesses that disrupt industries and have a meaningful impact in the world. Since inception they have evolved in to one of the most valuable groups of companies with a proven track record of navigating within diverse, transitioning and complex economies, placing them at the forefront of innovation.

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Companies under the Ayana Holding umbrella include VX Studio for Master planning and Architectural Design, Opaal Interiors, Ayana Properties, Atlas Asset Management, Nioum for Building Materials, Manya Décor for Project Management and Turnkey Fit-Out, Detay Living for FF&E and Furniture Procurement, M2L Concepts for Entertainment Concepts, ALTtech for IT Infrastructure, Brand Capital Creative Agency, Performaa Management Consultancy, Xplor for Destination Marketing and Ayana Capital Investment Advisory.

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