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DA VINCI BUSINESS INNOVATION AWARDS

TT100 Call fro entry

The Da Vinci TT100 Business Innovation Awards Programme is South Africa’s foremost business Awards programme. TT100 has been recognising innovation and technological prowess in South African companies for more than 25 years. In going forward it is focused on identifying true managerial leaders who through innovation, tenacity and a belief in people, have been able to take their organisations to new levels of competitiveness. The programme seeks to identify role models within the management of innovation and technology domains who have demonstrated their excellence in co-creating new workplace realities.

DA VINCI BUSINESS INNOVATION AWARDS

TT100 Call fro entry

The Da Vinci TT100 Business Innovation Awards Programme is South Africa’s foremost business Awards programme. TT100 has been recognising innovation and technological prowess in South African companies for more than 25 years. In going forward it is focused on identifying true managerial leaders who through innovation, tenacity and a belief in people, have been able to take their organisations to new levels of competitiveness. The programme seeks to identify role models within the management of innovation and technology domains who have demonstrated their excellence in co-creating new workplace realities.

KENYA AIRWAYS WINS AFRICA LEADING AIRLINE AWARD

Mbuvi

Kenya Airways was last night named Africa's Leading Airline 2016 at the World Travel Awards gala ceremony held in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Kenya Airways beat other nominees including Egypt Air, Royal Air Maroc, South African Airways and Tunisair to win the coveted trophy voted by customers. The airline also bagged Africa's leading airline in the Business class for the fourth consecutive year.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Mbuvi Ngunze said, "We are honoured and delighted to accept these very prestigious awards. These awards reaffirm the trust reposed by our guests who are at the heart of everything we do at Kenya Airways and confirms our undeterred commitment to customer satisfaction,"

"We will continue to listen to our customers and respond to their needs, with a firm commitment to providing improved connectivity, and quality service". Mbuvi added.

The awards comes barely a week after Kenya Airways Simba Lounge and Pride Lounge at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport were rated the second best after Taipei, in Taiwan by SkyTeam passengers in a recent survey.

Kenya Airways recently announced several flight scheduling changes to boost operations and facilitate better connectivity within Africa and Europe including Amsterdam. The changes are also aimed at enhancing fleet utilization to achieve lower cost of the fleet.

Acknowledged across the globe as the hallmark of industry excellence, World Travel Awards serves to recognize, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry within each key geographical region.

7 SIMPLE STEPS TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE SATISFACTION

customer-service-retail

If you're in the business of selling products and services, a content and loyal customer is gold. However, as technology-enhanced, real-time communication grows, a dissatisfied customer is a ticking time-bomb that can do significant damage to your reputation.

Leading integrated business solutions provider, Nashua, recently completed a comprehensive customer service survey to find out just how it measures up in the eyes of their customers. The results revealed interesting insights, as well as an impressive score of 77%. Drawing on their own knowledge and feedback from customers, Nashua has identified seven key steps to improving customer service:

1. Choose the right medium

It's vital to know when to use technology-based services and when to rely on human interaction. An online form or automated response might work for a customer who's looking for efficiency and a quick-fix, but someone who's desperately seeking consolation, advice or assistance won't react well to a machine. Train service agents to know when which form of service is most appropriate.

2. Streamline consultancy

Working with one consultant is invaluable for customers. One point of contact simplifies exchange, makes problem solving efficient and decreases frustration levels. This system also allows consultants to build strong and lasting relationships with clients.

3. Reward valuable customers

Tailored services for long-standing clients, as well as new and existing 'big spenders' is a useful value-add – whether it's additional or personalised services or exclusive benefits. This can result in significant growth and investment from the customer's side.

4. Listen well

'Customer service' often drums up images of sub-par call centres, but valuable support can be offered in so many ways. Social media, if used properly, can be a powerful tool in gaining insights from customers to improve service. Feedback is never diluted and happens in real-time, which is a huge asset, if managed properly.

5. Specialised support

Effective communication is the first tenant of great customer service. This means if your customer service support team isn't speaking the same language as your customers – literally and figuratively – you'll never be offering the best service possible. Make sure your support team is tailored according to region, accents and even vernacular, to ensure a fruitful exchange.

6. First-time fix

As far as possible, make sure customers' issues are resolved the very first time they complain, so clients experience the least downtime and maximise efficiency. First Time Fix (FTF) is a sure-fire way to get repeat business.

7. Follow up

A customer scorned once is dangerous, a customer scorned twice is fatal – and they will not hesitate to make their plight known. Even after the resolution of an issue, there should always be some kind of follow-up communication to check the problem hasn't returned, and the client is happy. It never goes amiss.

IS YOUR BUSINESS ANCHORED ON PROMISE OF TOMORROW OR WEIGHED DOWN BY CHALLENGES OF TODAY?

todaytomorrow

If it has your ears and your eyes, then it has your attention. If it has your attention then it has your heart and if it has your heart it will surely have your voice, says MD of 2one2 Business Consulting; personal development coach and a professional speaker Quinton Douman.

Currently, South Africans are being inundated with a barrage of negative messaging from a wide variety of sources and platforms, from news outlets to social media posts.

Anger, insecurity and fear breed anger, insecurity and fear. These three emotions are toxic to your success on any level and can destroy all the hard work that you have put into improving your life or your business; they push you into making defensive decisions rather than proactive ones, spreading the negativity to employees, contemporaries and even family members.

However, if you choose to be anchored in voices and messaging that inspires hope and confidence, then your internal dialogue will reflect that, providing you with the perspective and emotional freedom from which great decisions can manifest, and making you someone others can turn to for positive reinforcement and inspiration.

You may ask: 'But Quinton, how can we have hope and confidence in our country and economy at a time like this?'

My answer to you is - how can we not?

This is one of those times in which an overflow of hope, love and confidence are imperative. And it is in times like this when we need to become selective about the voices we expose ourselves to so as not to be influenced by those whose aspirations and intentions are not in line with our own, or be seduced into repeating and reinforcing them.

Start by implementing a no compromise strategy regarding your consumption of information. Don't read everything in your newsfeed; you need to become highly selective about who you listen to and who you spend your time with.

Find your anchor; this is a good time to go back to the roots of your business - the reason you started it in the first place.

Revisit your strengths and talents - the things you are absolutely great at - and, if you know that what you are good at still has the power to solve problems in society or your business, then use it as your anchor and don't quit.

Reawaken the core values of your business. Walt Disney believed with his whole heart that one could assert one's will on the world. He believed that anything was possible, and his belief in possibility was his highest value, serving as a wonderful anchor in his decision-making.

Quiet periods and lower revenue are to be expected all over, so plan for it; use the time wisely to invest in your personal development as a leader, learn and study more, and encourage your people to do the same. Use the time to solidify your team, engage in activities that will enhance the commitment of everyone to the overall vision of your business, so that when the season changes - and it will change - you will be ready, better equipped and perfectly positioned to win.

There's a lot going on in Mzansi right now; our currency is weak, racism is prevalent and, and increased news sources which consistently publish articles that sow seeds of division and anger in the name of profit, it is easy to feel discouraged - but now is the time to be grounded and anchored in the belief that we will weather this storm and will come out victorious... Nomakanjani!

 

 

UN ANNOUNCES FIRST EVER PANEL ON WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the first-ever High-Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment to provide thought leadership and mobilize concrete actions aimed at closing economic gender gaps that persist around the world.The Panel will provide recommendations for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to improve economic outcomes for women and promote women's leadership in driving sustainable and inclusive, environmentally sensitive economic growth. It will provide recommendations for key actions that can be taken by governments, the private sector, the UN system and other stakeholders, as well as policy directives needed to achieve the new targets and indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals which call for the economic empowerment of women. The panel is backed by the United Kingdom, the World Bank Group and UN Women.

"The empowerment of the world's women is a global imperative," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "Yet despite important progress in promoting gender equality, there remains an urgent need to address structural barriers to women's economic empowerment and full inclusion in economic activity. If the world is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need a quantum leap in women's economic empowerment."

The Co-Chairs of the Panel are Luis Guillermo Solis, President of Costa Rica, and Simona Scarpaleggia, CEO of IKEA Switzerland. They will be joined by the leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, UN Women and a diverse range of eminent gender and equality actors, economics experts, academics, trade union leaders, business and government representatives from all regions. The Panel will be supported by an independent Secretariat, hosted by UN Women with backing from the UK Government.

UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening, a founding member of the Panel, welcomed its launch. She said: "I am hugely proud to be a part of this Panel. Investing in girls and women isn't just about basic human rights, it's about fully unlocking the potential of half the world's population. The UK is already at the forefront of this effort. At the Department for International Development I have put improving the lives of girls and women at the very heart of our work and Britain is successfully leading the fight against FGM and child marriage, as well as getting girls into school and women into jobs. Strong economies need the contribution of everyone—including women—and this panel will spearhead a movement to put women's economic empowerment on the global agenda like never before."

Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President, also a founding member of the Panel, stated: "The World Bank Group is strongly committed to gender equality, which is integral to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Our new Gender Equality Strategy puts a much sharper focus on economic empowerment." He added: "No society, community or economy can achieve its full potential—or meet the escalating challenges of the 21st century—until all its people can achieve theirs. We are pleased to partner with the UK's Department for International Development and the United Nations in convening this important panel, whose work will accelerate progress towards the goals we share."

The High-Level Panel will help tackle gender gaps in economic opportunities and outcomes which persist around the world, building on the growing evidence and recognition by governments and the private sector that women's economic empowerment has a multiplier effect and boosts whole economies. Research shows that women invest their income back into their families and communities, including in health and education. McKinsey Global Institute estimates that if women in every country were to play an identical role to men in markets, as much as US$28 trillion would be added to the global economy by 2025.

Yet women continue to earn less, have fewer assets, bear the burden of unpaid work and care and be largely concentrated in vulnerable and low-paying activities. Women spend more than twice as much time on unpaid care and domestic work as men and women on average are paid 24 per cent less than men globally for the same work. Moreover, 75 per cent of women's employment in developing regions is informal and unprotected. These gaps constrain women's rights and hinder economic growth and productivity. Significantly scaled up actions and political will are required to ensure that governments, development organizations and others invest in the economic empowerment of women for the benefit of whole societies.

The High-Level Panel will have its inaugural meeting during the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in March 2016. A series of regional consultative meetings will also take place, and the Panel's first report with action-oriented recommendations will be issued in September 2016.

KFC's AFRICAN EXPANSION

During January, 'CNN 'Marketplace Africa' is airing a series of episodes featuring four of the biggest global brands in Africa.

Each week, the programme will focus on operations of a brand on the ground, to show how it deals with infrastructural and logistical challenges that exist on the continent, and how it positions its brand to appeal to African consumers.

'Marketplace Africa' will also have FaceTime interviews with CEOs from each company to discuss how their strategy for Africa ties into the overall global strategy.

Kick-starting the month is one of the world's largest fast food chains, Kentucky Fried Chicken.

With nearly 20,000 restaurants worldwide and more than 1,000 locations on the continent, KFC has the biggest presence of any fast food chain in Africa. Most of the restaurants on the continent are found in South Africa but the brand is continuing to expand in other countries in Africa.

To discover what lies behind KFC's success, Samuel Burke interviews Roger Eaton CEO of KFC for the FaceTime element of the programme, and Eleni Giokos reports from Nigeria to see how the brand is building a presence beyond South Africa.

There are over 700 KFC locations in South Africa, which is about 80 per cent of its restaurants in Africa.

This success is no surprise to Eaton, who believes the KFC model is its strength, telling 'Marketplace Africa': "I think it just comes back to the fantastic taste of the food. We have this incredible recipe. The food tastes absolutely fantastic. I think that's why it works everywhere we go and Africa's no different."

Continued expansion of KFC across Africa is the proposed aim and business plan, as Eaton tells 'Marketplace Africa': "We're slowly moving north. So we've been quite strong in the surrounding countries, so when you look at our performance in Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, all of the close-in countries, we've had experience. As we go a little further, Angola, we've been able to go back into Zimbabwe, that's helping, but now you see us push back in Ghana and Nigeria, and much further North, Uganda. That's been the growth story and we're very confident."

Eaton describes what he sees as the most important challenges KFC faces in expanding across Africa, telling 'Marketplace Africa': "I think the first most important question is can we access the products we need to meet the standards we have. I think that's absolutely critical. I think the second thing is how we make the food affordable to the consumer in those countries."

Listening to the consumer is key to Eaton, who tells Burke: "Whatever the consumer are saying we need to do, we're focused on working towards getting exactly whatever it is they want."

One recent consumer shift which Eaton comments on is an increased interest in food content. He sees this as a positive thing for KFC telling 'Marketplace Africa': "One of the big things that's not understood about KFC, surprisingly, is how much work we've put into getting fresh chicken into our stores and hand-breading it, and the amount of work that we do around that is what's generating the taste."

Expansion in Africa's largest economy, Nigeria, provides a great opportunity for the brand. Eaton tells Burke and 'Marketplace Africa': "Massive population, great income levels, very exciting, we got more and more people able to come into our customer base and afford our food."

In Nigeria, KFC – the world's largest fried chicken company – has taken the local approach, listening to the consumer, leading to an improvised dish of jollof rice, a spicy dish native to West Africa. From a KFC restaurant in Lagos, Managing Director Doug Smart tells CNN's Giokos that in Nigeria, jollof rice is just as important as the fried chicken.

Smart tells the programme: "If you take KFC around the world we look at local content. Over here it's jollof rice, in SA it's a maize porridge called pap. In Kenya we've taken a twist on that and we've taken maize porridge, turned them into balls and deep-fried them with the original recipe breading."

Expansion in Nigeria has not come without problems for KFC. The Nigerian economy is expected to show growth of four per cent in 2015, down from six per cent the year before. As this growth slows, demand for KFC has also taken a knock with sales down in Nigeria by fourteen per cent in 2015.

The question of affordability also looms. An average KFC meal in Nigeria costs four times more than in other developed markets.

Thebe Ikafaleng, founder and CEO of Brand Africa, an independent non-profit organisation tells Giokis: and 'Marketplace Africa': "Africa's middle class is growing very fast and high net worth individuals are the second fastest growing in the world. But in a continent where people live on $2 a day, I think a meal that costs more than that for a once off sitting is a bit of a luxury. The challenge for many of these brands is to be able to be affordable."

GROWTH AND VOLATILITY WILL DEFINE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2016

According to global asset manager PineBridge Investments ("PineBridge"), the global economy is likely to experience incremental improvement and a consumer-driven "growth bounce" in 2016 despite market stress and volatility as a result of diverging monetary policy among central banks and the "dark side of QE" holding back intrinsic recovery forces. PineBridge predicts that commodities prices will move higher in the coming year, while the dollar will continue to gain ground against most developed world currencies and US GDP growth will reach 2.7%.

In PineBridge Investments' 2016 Outlook, Chief Economist Markus Schomer explains that extraordinary monetary policy measures have failed to stimulate economic growth and inflation, and are now a growing risk to a sustained recovery following a year of setbacks for the global economy in 2015.

"While the Federal Reserve has started to gradually reduce the emergency monetary policy stimulus, others, especially the European Central Bank (ECB), are still adding to it. Hence, the "dark side of QE" that is holding back the intrinsic recovery forces will continue to dominate the global business cycle in 2016 and beyond, preventing the re-synchronization of business cycles and maintaining the high level of macroeconomic volatility around the world," Schomer said.

PineBridge's Multi-Asset Team provides their top investment picks for 2016, including equities in Japan, Europe, Mexico and India, as well as US value styles and small cap stocks, and lower quality fixed income investments after a year where credit spreads blew out. Other favorites for this year include US high yield, European US-dollar-denominated contingent convertible bonds, liquid alternatives, bank loans and private credit.

Michael Kelly, PineBridge's Global Head of Multi-Asset, cited divergence in the global economy as a key factor, noting that it will stimulate growth in the coming year.

"As we prepare for 2016, a massive divergence in the markets must be resolved. Around the globe, basic industry appears to be in recession while the consumer appears healthy and is gathering steam in major economies like the US and China. Markets seem to have priced in that this divergence will continue. We do not think it can – either the consumer will pull industry up, or industry will pull the consumer down. We think the consumer will have the edge and, as a result, we are entering 2016 positioned for a global growth bounce," Kelly states.

After a year in which the commodity price crash and the perception of a more serious slowdown in China weighed heavily on emerging market fundamentals, with the negative impact of lower commodity prices on industrial output outweighing the positive effects of consumer spending, PineBridge expects the global economy to acclimate to these price levels.

While PineBridge believes that it won't be an easy year for investing in equities due to elevated valuations in stable and visible growth stocks and a lack of discernible catalysts to drive corporate earnings expectations higher, there is some good news.

Anik Sen, PineBridge's Global Head of Equities states that, "We believe 2016 will bring opportunities in long-run themes that play across several industries. In the equity markets, these include automation, media, non-residential construction, the Internet of things, and China's "new" economy."

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