How to enter Africa´s furniture market

Challenge: How do you identify potential local partners and select the right one in African markets where you have little or no experience and network of your own?

(1) The customer:
BoConcept, a high-end Danish designer and manufacturer of sleek modern design furniture, with an emphasis on fashion and functionality. Established in 1952 the company today has own and franchise shops in about 300 locations around the world. The company appeals to a younger, “hip” urban consumer base.

(2) The challenge:
Whereas the company had a few shops in North Africa and a good presence in the Middle East it had not looked further at Sub Saharan Africa. BoConcept´s management was very aware of the need to assess the opportunities but missed some to advise them and bring the right, vetted franchisee to them.

(3) The journey:
There had been interested parties in Africa contacting BoConcept to inquire about franchise opportunities. But it had been extremely difficult to assess the people and companies behind and to validate the seriousness of the interest. None of the contacts had gone beyond the initial email exchanges.

(4) The discovery:
The interested Kenya based franchisee had previously without luck contacted BoConcept for a dialogue on the franchisee conditions and the opportunities they saw. As often is the case when African businesses contact Western businesses from gmail or other unbranded email addresses it did not pass the initial communication.

Case 1 - BoConcept1

(5) The solution:
A targeted contact directly to BoConcept´s management was made by GrowthAfrica concisely stipulating the Kenya business opportunity and leveraging the company´s Danish/Nordic background. A top-level dialogue was quickly established and key decision makers looped in.

In less than two weeks the validating contact resulted in a road map for the vetting of the first Sub Saharan BoConcept franchisee incl. a trip to BoConcept´s headquarters in Denmark. We developed the required documentation and budgets highlighting the franchisee´s plans and commitment while adhering to BoConcepts templates and formats. Supporting the communication help speeded up the dialogue and ability to reach necessary conclusions saving both time and money.

(6) The result
In 7 months from we contacted BoConcept their first Sub Saharan franchise shop was opened in Nairobi. Subsequently GrowthAfrica has helped BoConcept identify a Nigerian franchisee who opened her first shop in Lagos in 2015.

BoConcept are together with its African franchisees learning from the many – and often to BoConcept new – challenges that the continent holds. Doing business in Africa is a longterm investment and it requires the right and committed local partners.

GrowthAfrica and its Africawide network of incountry partners assists international companies identify, vet and build trust with local partners. We help you with the necessary market insights and understanding of cultural difference. We are your extended local “partner”.

How can we assist your business?
Contact us for a dialogue on how we can help your business in or into Africa.