Taking on new territories – The GAPP expands
There are times in any organisation, business or industry when opportunities present themselves. At these junctures it is important to carefully consider all the angles before making a decision, because there is a difference between boldness and recklessness, between vision and short-sightedness. One has to consider the long-term implications for the existing enterprise and whether the new opportunity has longevity.
This was the situation which faced Sentient Publishing almost two years ago upon the first visit to Kenya. The market in Kenya, and East Africa as a whole, is growing rapidly and still has a great deal of potential across all sectors. There is a strong drive to grow and expand the printing, packaging and signage market in this region.
A look at any of the recent reports on the status of the market where current trends come under scrutiny shows that in every sector, Africa is considered a strong growth market in years to come. Africa is seen by many as the great untapped potential. When it comes to tapping this potential there are numerous different theories. In recent years the opinions of how to make the move into Africa have ranged from using South Africa as a stepping stone, to making direct inroads.
International companies look to Africa as the one market where they can increase market share or in some instances even dominate the market. The problem they have is the lack of knowledge and understanding of ‘the African Condition’, the intricacies of doing business in Africa. In a lot of respects it is similar to the difficulties that companies experienced when the markets of the Far East, and in particular Japan, started to open up. There are certain idiosyncrasies involved in doing business in Africa which occur nowhere else.
Based on the potential of these markets along with the opportunity to provide a much-needed source of information, the decision has been made to expand The GAPP into the East African market. Commenting on this move, Vikesh Roopchand, managing director of Sentient Publishing said, ‘I have been genuinely impressed by the vibrancy and drive of the printing, packaging and signage market in East Africa. It is a market which is hungry for growth. The one thing that this market lacks is a viable source of information. All the major players in the supply of equipment to this industry are present but they cannot give a complete overview.
‘The decision to open an East Africa edition of The GAPP is based on the desire to feed the need for information while reporting on the events and happenings in the markets of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is important to stress that this will not be a case of sending the South African GAPP Magazine into these markets but rather, we will be creating a dedicated publication for those markets. It will feature general industry news and information but there will also be specific coverage from those markets.’
The GAPP East Africa will become the source of information for printers, packaging and signage companies on the latest technologies and products available on the international market. It will also offer them the ability to showcase their installations, achievements and accomplishments to the industry in those markets.
The first issue of the magazine, which will be printed in Kenya, will be distributed in Mary this year and will cover all aspects and sectors of the market.