TechVisions and Trends Impacting Business in Africa to Year 2020

Frost & Sullivan Share Technologies and Innovations Reshaping Careers and Industry at GIL 2012: Africa

Top CEOs and executives from various industries, gathered in the city of Cape Town today at Frost & Sullivan’s second annual Growth, Innovation and Leadership (GIL) event, held at the Table Bay hotel. Visionary innovators and industry leaders united to share best practices, engage in discussions around new trends reshaping the future of business, and inspire new ideas for rethinking and strengthening company growth strategies.

Dorman Followwill, Partner & Director for Frost & Sullivan EIA, set the stage by emphasising the importance of innovation as part of a company’s strategy for growth, and it being an essential part of benchmarking companies within industry.

The presentation on “TechVisions: Top 50 Technologies and Innovations Re-shaping the World” captured the audience’s attention as Hendrik Malan, Operations Director for Frost & Sullivan Africa, touched on Machine-To-Machine (M2M) communication technology and how the application is now spreading to industries like healthcare, utilities and even education.

“We are fast moving to a situation where we’ll have more devices than people; an estimated 50 billion devices in total by 2020”, said Malan “This makes increased levels of automation for data assembly and interpretation critical to operate these devices effectively”.

Phil Howarth, Partner for Frost & Sullivan Africa, elaborated on Mega Trends changing the way in which we do business in the future. He highlighted one of his favourite trends, “Innovation to Zero” where global leaders strive for a world with zero pollution, zero crime and zero disease. Volvo was cited as an example of innovating to zero with their zero accident vision to be implemented by the year 2020.

“No matter what your career function, Mega Trends need to be a cornerstone of long term strategic thinking within a business” enforced Howarth. “In R&D, they should influence budgets and technology focus; in marketing, they should influence customer strategy”.

Howarth then went on to introduce Marvin Benjamin, City Account Manger of Siemens Africa, who spoke about their successful urban development strategy. Prior to October 2011, Siemens was divided into 3 key sectors – Industry, Energy and Healthcare.  Recognising urbanisation as a key trend, they formed their ‘Infrastructure and City’ division, which integrated the key competencies from their existing businesses to target cities as a single customer segment. This new division already has a turnover of $17 billion and 80,000 employees.

Sunil Joshi, CEO for event sponsor, Neotel, spoke on “Telecommunications as a Mega Trend in Africa”. He presented four major Mega Trends critical to the success of African telecommunication’s businesses: Infrastructure, Urbanisation, Connecting the Unconnected and Regional Integration. Leading telecommunications companies, like Neotel, are implementing these Mega Trends focusing on infrastructure investments, namely fibre, and connecting people and businesses.

Pontsho Maruping, Group Executive of Industrial Sectors of event sponsor Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), highlighted that technological innovations are required to achieve socio-economic benefits for South Africa to enable the country to become globally competitive.

Other organisations represented at GIL 2012: Africa included environmental organisation World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Open Africa, SA Women in Engineering, Exxaro, Mxit, Adcock, Siemens, BT Global Services, Eskom, Telkom, Sanofi, MTN, Engen, Chevron and many more.

VP for Growth Innovation and Leadership at Frost & Sullivan, Brian Denker, closed the day off by stating that “GIL 2012: Africa has empowered us to be champions of growth for our companies, made us better best practice implementers within our functional areas and prepared us to explore the Mind, Body and Soul of Growth, Innovation and Leadership at next year’s GIL 2013: Africa event”.

To guarantee your spot at the next prestigious GIL 2013: Africa event, please email Samantha James at [email protected].

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TechVisions and Trends Impacting Business in Africa to Year 2020