Cape Town - City of the future

It has been noted that innovation is no longer an option, but rather a necessity. Companies that are on top of market changes, and are maintaining their competitive advantage, are those organisations creating and adopting innovative business models.

 This was one of the key messages from Frost & Sullivan's GIL 2014: Africa - The Global Community of Growth, Innovation and Leadership annual congress attended by over 220 industry leaders in Cape Town.

Frost & Sullivan Operations Director for Africa, Hendrik Malan, opened the day’s proceedings, and Frost & Sullivan Partner, Dorman Followwill, delivered the keynote address on New Mega Trends capturing the attention of the audience with his presentation. The discussion focused on the new business models that will drive growth. "Companies like Hailo Taxi have leveraged the ‘City as Customer’ Mega Trend. Founded in London in 2011, they have grown their business to over 16 cities, now earning revenues of over $100m per annum,” explained Followwill. “We urge companies to pay as much attention to the biz model innovation as they do to product and service innovation." 

Highlights of the congress included the “360 Degree Industry Insights Panel,” where core developments and future predictions across various industry sectors, such as IT and Telecommunications, Transport and logistics, and Healthcare, were discussed. The Interactive Think Tank on “Convergence: The next Billion $ Opportunity,” presented and facilitated by Hendrik Malan, had the audience identifying key opportunities for industry convergence in Africa and how to capitalise on it. 

Mr Alpesh Patel, CEO and Founder of Mi-Fone Group International, fascinated the audience with his story of how Mi-Fone developed and expanded into Africa, and how they beat Apple to creating and launching the first African black emoticons. 

The CEO panel of ‘Gateway to Africa’ provided valuable insights on South Africa’s future role in channelling investment into the continent from top CEOs, Charles Brewer of DHL Express, Sunil Joshi of Neotel, Gert Schoonbee of T-Systems and Chris Whelan of Accelerate Cape Town. 

Frost & Sullivan’s 2014 Growth Excellence Awards Banquet followed on from the GIL 2014: Africa day event, celebrating superlative achievements amongst 21 companies who deliver excellence in best practices across a broad spectrum of industries. 

Frost & Sullivan Global Commercial Director for Growth Innovation and Leadership, Birgitta Cederstrom, who organised the conference, thanked Frost & Sullivan's partners DHL Express, T-Systems and Neotel for their extraordinary support and sponsorship.

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