Bassim Haidar at Davos’ World Economic Forum: Western world should change the approach towards Africa
Our founder and CEO, Bassim Haidar spent a very productive time in another World Economic Forum, held in Davos, Switzerland during the previous week, once again sharing his deep knowledge and experience on all things Fintech.
The meeting brought together more than 3,000 leaders from business, government, civil society, academia, arts and culture, and media, as well as the foremost experts and young leaders from all over the world. Convening under the theme, “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, the purpose of the meeting was to identify new models for peace, inclusiveness and sustainability to suit a world where further global integration is inevitable and where existing models of global governance struggle to foster concerted action among the world’s powers.
During WEF 2019, Bassim Haidar gave several interviews to top-tier media both TV and online, such as Fox Business, DW or Business Insider. As a businessman who knows how things work in emerging markets, Mr. Haidar shared his views about the key role that access to technology can play in these regions and of course what it takes to do business.
According to Bassim Haidar, the secret of success for doing business in African countries is individualized knowledge of the market and localized engagement. During his interview to DW he emphasized on the need of any western company to physically come and understand local rules as well as the culture in Africa. He also warned European and all industrialized countries that if they won’t change their approach they will lose to China every time. “You can’t come and apply certain characteristics like a mathematical formula. You need to go there and do your best” he concluded.
On the other hand, in his interview for FOX Business News, Bassim Haidar talked about the key issue of underdeveloped regions: access to technology and efforts to help consumers in emerging markets get smartphones as well as access to mobile financial services. He shared Channel VAS’ great success of lending services, providing loans of up to 200-300 dollars to unbanked population. “It’s working brilliantly with 97% recovery rate” he noted. Pakistan and several countries of Western Africa are those where he sees more growth, while in Latin America the demand is bigger than he expected. “Latin America is extremely hungry, we didn’t expect to be like that and is a huge growth market for us” he added. For him it is extremely significant that governments in these regions now recognize the importance of those services and are more open to investments in order to get people to digital highways.
Best opportunities are in the East
At his interview to Business Insider, Bassim Haidar expressed his opinion that doing business in the East is a far more intriguing option than the West. Look what's happening in the US and Europe," Mr. Haidar said. "Everything is becoming fragmented, and new alliances are being created. World power is shifting to the East." Besides China, he expects India to leapfrog the UK and France in terms of gross domestic product, making it the world's third-largest economy. He's also quite fond of Nigeria, while he sees major opportunities in Pakistan and Ethiopia. According to him, openness for business is the through line connecting these countries. It's a new attitude, and one he said “reflects vast growth potential in these emerging nations”.
But the time in Davos was productively spent with important meetings, as Bassim Haidar had the opportunity to join the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, to a business breakfast and exchange ideas on several important topics.
He also found the time for a relaxed talk with important public figures like the famous artist and social entrepreneur will.i.am during one of the evening events of World Economic Forum.
With Channel VAS constantly expanding to new territories, attracting more investors and bringing new and innovative services that will disrupt the way people in emerging markets can be banked, 2019 looks like it’s going to be the brightest year yet for the company.
Main Photo: Copyright by World Economic Forum / Mattias Nutt
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