Nicolas Goldstein is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Talenteum.Africa. A seasoned business man with extensive experience in technology, outsourcing, and marketing services. Nicolas’s exceptional knowledge of strategic marketing including product positioning, brand plan development, growth hacking and launch excellence within B2B sectors positioned him as a leader in the space. In this interview with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online, he shares how Talenteum is training African talents for the future of work and why Remote working is here for good. Excerpts.
Alaba: How do you see Remote Working in Africa during this global crisis ?
Nicolas: Unfortunately, it takes a pandemic for remote work to become a trend. Corporations all over the world are setting up the logistics for their teams to work remotely. In a global economy under the siege of the Coronarivus (COVID-19) – with more than 200,000 cases worldwide – those who still have doubts about the potential of remote work should reconsider now.
Working remotely is proving increasingly useful today and is steadily earning its place in the Future of Work. We at Talenteum have been working remotely since inception and all companies needs to know how to work with Distributed team.
Alaba: Do you think Remote Work is here to stay?
Nicolas: It is our belief at TALENTEUM, even before the Covid19 crisis erupted that remote working is a device with multiple virtues:
– Economic: telework allows you to extend the spectrum of the job market beyond your regions, and even beyond the borders where your companies are established;
– Social Impact: telework allows talents from foreign countries to access a job, even though their countries of origin do not offer them in their specialties; allowing remote work means allowing people to no longer have to immigrate elsewhere in order to be able to work and live decently. It is also participating in the reestablishment of parity between men and women by allowing women who could not get away from their homes to have a job, done from home;
– Environmental: when we know that transport is responsible for 10% of the global emission of greenhouse gases, we understand that by reducing travel, teleworking has a certain positive environmental impact on the planet;
– Sanitary: the Covid19 crisis has demonstrated this, remote working contributes to limiting the spad of epidemics.
Alaba: What about training Africa to the Future of work ? this is one of your goal.
Nicolas: In this digital era, economies evolve more rapidly and in response, companies and their staff need to adjust quicker. We have observed that regular upskilling is now a must. We have understood that it’s a reality for Africans as well; particularly those who want to work for employers based outside Africa remotely. Despite coming from developing countries – with a more limited range of local training opportunities – than in Europe or North America, African talents have to be proactive in finding ways to increase their competencies.
They need to stand out amongst international competition in order to be hired or get better jobs and earn higher wages. The candidates having skills sets that closely match employers’ needs will be more successful than others. That means keeping an up-to-date knowledge in one’s field, improving or adding to one’s abilities or acquiring the adequate skills in response to a shortage in a particular niche.
Thus, it is a competitive advantage to make upskilling efforts. One becomes more employable. Amongst our talents at Talenteum, we have some very ambitious young Africans who, in addition to their qualifications and professional experience, have taken online courses for specific skills and secured better work as a result.
Alaba: Which sectors will experience more upcoming Skills Shortage and how prepared are African talents?
Nicolas: According to Linkedin Talent Blog, “within the next 12 years, demand for highly skilled workers is going to skyrocket especially across knowledge-intensive industries”. This source indicates that globally, there will be a shortage of 10.7 million workers in the sectors of financial and business services and 4.3 million in the technology, media and telecommunications industries respectively.
African talents need to get ready to be part of the answer to the major talent shortages in the world by 2030. The implementation of “an ecosystem for quality jobs” and “future skills to match” is crucial for “fully leveraging the continent’s demographic dividend”, as “15 to 20 million increasingly well-educated young people are expected to join the African workforce every year for the next three decades” (World Economic Forum in 2017 report “The Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa”).
Nevertheless, “skills mismatch” is one of the factors impeding young Africans in responding to the current and future industry needs (African Development Bank). The unequal access to tertiary education , particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) may be one of the causes. The World Bank in a 2017 study “Sharing Higher Education’s Promise beyond the Few in Sub-Saharan Africa”, asserts that “increasing demand and limited supply of tertiary education … has led to tertiary education being available only to a subset of the youth population”.
According to the World Bank, “[t]o date, tertiary education in SSA region has remained elitist, benefiting students mostly from the most affluent, well-connected families. Coupled with the “brain drain” phenomena that talented tertiary graduates leave SSA regions after they finish education, tertiary education in the region is not equitably producing the human capital that the countries direly need”.
ILLA, an African asset-light FMCG Logistics Company Raises $2M Investment Round
ILLA Team (Image: Supplied)
Cairo-based FMCG Logistics company ILLA secures a $2M investment round to boost its growth in the market and diversify its offering to the FMCG value chain. The round was co-led by Watheeq Financial Services and Golden Palm Investments. The round saw participation from Loftyinc Capital Management, Kepple Africa Fund, Cubit Ventures, AUC Angels, Oqal Angel Network and FLat6Labs Cairo doubling down on its investment in ILLA for the third time
Founded in 2019 by Mahmoud Elzomor, Alaa Jarkas, Ahmed Sakr, and Hossam Saraya, and shortly joined by a well versed management team with Mohamed Emera as Director of Growth, Mohamed Kamal as CFO, and Khaled Elzomor as Commercial Director ILLA aims to optimize post-production supply chain activities for FMCG brands, starting with middle-mile delivery services, being the most fragmented part of the value chain.
By focusing exclusively on the FMCG market, ILLA was able to capture the business and trust of over 65 clients in its portfolio, with household names to the likes of Coca-Cola, P&G, Danone, Nestle, Juhayna, and Pepsico.
Since 2019, ILLA has been delivering on its core promise of moving goods with efficiency on behalf of FMCG brands, spanning over 5,000,000 KM and completing over 250,000
transactions, across 27 governorates in Egypt leveraging its tech platform to power delivery
Before ILLA, FMCG brands had to rely on a variety of owned and outsourced assets to manage their delivery operations, and that adds to the pain of a fragmented logistics cycle, which gave way to the value offering of ILLA to those brands; a streamlined value chain with visibility, control and growth potential for each individual brand, with ILLA acting as an asset-light logistics company, leveraging its tech platform and operational intelligence to deliver an unparalleled experience to FMCG brands.
“ILLA will use the funds to fuel its expansion and growth in Egypt and disrupt the traditional route to-market for FMCG companies and SMEs, while building more around its tech platform to deliver more value to its clients and drivers alike”, says Mahmoud ElZomor, Co-Founder and CEO of ILLA
“Mahmoud and the team are tailor-made for ILLA, bringing decades of diversified experience to help drive efficiency into the $15 trillion global FMCG market. With the onset of covid, the global supply chain management industry is suitable for modernization, and ILLA is uniquely positioned as an end-to-end execution platform. In addition, ILLA’s smart logistics solutions also play a crucial role in providing a full stack of operational solutions that will disrupt the sector, and will change the behavior for all stakeholders within the FMCG market,” said Khaled Zaidan of Watheeq Financial Services.
“Middle-mile logistics is one of the most underinvested segments of the global supply chain market. ILLA has identified this massive opportunity in MENA and is offering a full-stack B2B supply chain management platform enabling FMCG brands to reach retailers directly at the lowest cost per case. Mahmoud and team are utilizing the trucking logistics shared economy and tech automation to innovate within a large and fast-growing market.” – AJ Okereke, Partner, Golden Palm
Africa’s CEOs to empower youth for the digital age at the All4Youth Regional Alliance flagship event
All4Youth Regional Alliance Senior leaders (Image: All4Youth SSA)
We aim to support 1 million young people to find work and plan their transition to the digital economy between now and 2022 through a flagship event of All4Youth Regional Alliance, “CEO & Youth Connect”. A collaborative intervention led by various multinational companies dedicated to reduce youth unemployment across Sub-Saharan Africa. Senior leaders from the alliance will meet on November 8, 2021, to discuss skills of the future required in their organizations as well as share programs, training, and initiatives designed to prepare youth for the digital era.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an economic crisis, forcing tens of millions of people out of work. As economies continue with the reopening journey, some jobs may not come back, yet we continue to see a rise in the number of youth joining the job market. “We have therefore put the best of our resources to support this recovery, including using data to understand the most in-demand roles, supporting with skilling and reskilling needs for job seekers and job creators. Partnerships such as this will play a critical role and will support us to scale us to more youth and increase the impact across the African continent” noted Ghada Khalifa, Director for Microsoft Philanthropies for Middle East and Africa.
Bruno Olierhoek, Chairman and Managing Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region emphasized the importance of senior leaders taking keen interests in the development and ultimate successes of the youth. “We are driven by our inspiring purpose that is so relevant in our East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) and we want to do good by addressing societal challenges such as climate change, sustainability and youth unemployment. To help contribute to these major challenges, we realize the need to work in an ecosystem which is entrenched around long-term thinking, with immediate actions. Through our involvement in different programmes supporting the youth in Employment & Employability, Entrepreneurship and Agri-preneurship we are committed to continuously define projects that are fully integrated in our value chain for them to be viable over the long term and be able to make a real meaningful impact for the community and us.”
“The youth of today are the builders and leaders of tomorrow. As Adcorp we know that enabling agility, focus and skill in the youth of today is the key to unlocking their potential for tomorrow ‘’ highlighted Dr John Wentzel, Chief Executive Officer, Adcorp Group.
In the last two years, alliance partners have reached over 150,000 young people, empowered over 3000 young people through employability and mentorship programmes. Giving high potential young talent access to a network of high performing industry professionals that accelerate opportunities, career and personal development goals.
We encourage young people to register for the upcoming event to click here and learn more about in-demand skills, insights to future of work and opportunities alliance partners have available for youth.
Fawry Invest in Sudanese Classifieds and Marketplace Platform alsoug, Marking First Overseas Venture
Fawry CEO Eng. Ashraf Sabry (Image: Supplied)
Fawry establishes strategic partnership with Sudanese consumer platform with an eye to scaling up technology platform beyond Egypt.
Fawry (the “Company”, FWRY.CA on the Egyptian Exchange), Egypt’s leading provider of e- payments solutions and digital banking services, announced today that it has finalized an investment in alsoug.com, Sudan’s largest online classifieds platform and marketplace, to help build out alsoug’s new fintech platform, Cashi. Fawry has acquired a strategic minority stake in the alsoug.com/Cashi holding company, marking the Company’s first venture capital investment outside of its Egyptian home market. The investment comes as part of Sudan’s first announced venture capital funding round.
Fawry played a leading role in ensuring the success of the USD 5m round, with the Company’s presence catalyzing involvement from other strategic Western VC players. As a strategic investor in alsoug, Fawry intends to leverage its long track record with white label technology solutions to help the platform expand in scale, enhancing the platform’s merchant acquisition operation, refining its go-to-market approach, and providing valuable insights that inform high-level strategy across all segments of the business.
Founded in 2016 by a world-class team of technology entrepreneurs, alsoug is now Sudan’s leading consumer internet platform and its largest digital marketplace. Alsoug is one of Sudan’s most downloaded apps on the Google Play app store with two million downloads and is a platform where sellers can list everything from real estate and cars to services and commodities.
Despite the political and economic headwinds experienced by Sudan as it goes through a transformative political transition, the platform has grown rapidly since 2016, reflecting alsoug’s highly skilled team of in-house developers, comprehensive coverage by its on-the-ground teams, as well as Sudan’s promising economic fundamentals. Moving forward, and building on the strategic partnership with Fawry, alsoug will significantly expand its service offering by building a new payments network capable of serving customers across Sudan, one of the largest countries on the African continent.
“We’re delighted to be kicking off our partnership with alsoug, one of Sudan’s most exciting prospects and a Sudanese leader in tech innovation. This is our first investment foray outside of Egypt in our thirteen years of operation, and we’re confident that our story with alsoug and Cashi will be a special one. Fawry’s investment in alsoug delivers on our plans to venture into underserved international markets by leveraging our technology and teaming up with strong local players. This investment will provide us the opportunity to strategically expand our footprint into Africa and transfer the experience we’ve gained in the dynamic Egyptian market to neighboring Sudan, an economy with major potential across several sectors and with a significant pool of entrepreneurial talent. Meanwhile, Fawry’s strategic partnership with alsoug leaves it ideally placed to help guide the platform’s rollout of a countrywide payments system, a feat which Fawry has already managed through a scalable, robust, and best-in-class technology platform.” said: Fawry CEO Eng. Ashraf Sabry
“This investment marks a significant milestone not just for alsoug, but for the nascent tech space in Sudan as a whole, which has until today been essentially shut out of the global capital markets. I hope this investment is the first of many and that the huge potential of the tech sector in Sudan is fully realized in the coming years. We are looking forward to working with Fawry, and our new strategic shareholders, to continue our expansion from the classifieds and marketplace space into payments. We will build a payments platform that will deliver financial inclusion to all Sudanese.” said Alsoug co-founder and CEO Tarneem (Nina) Saeed