When David Sand, founder of incentive solutions company Uwin Iwin, started to expand his business into Africa and India, he knew he’d have to draw on some of the entrepreneurial flair that got him through the first phases of start-up.
“The key driver for our international expansion came when clients asked us to follow them into Africa and provide a similar service. It’s been incredibly exciting but also challenging. We had to relearn some of our early entrepreneurial skills and remember to be highly energetic and resourceful in solving problems,” he says.
Today Uwin Iwin has a footprint that extends from southern Africa to West and East Africa, India and Brazil. These international offices serve as key outlets for lead generation and operations, while leveraging the company’s existing South African infrastructure for service provision into foreign territories.
There have been a number of key factors in getting a global expansion right. Here’s what Sand has learnt, in his own words:
The right people are key and we made some of our earliest mistakes when bringing in new people from diverse cultures. It’s great to be able to bring people to South Africa to train them and immerse them is our company culture, but this is not always possible in ramping up quickly.
We have been very impressed with the skills and tenacity of our teams in Africa, enjoying the spirit of starting something new and seeing the tremendous opportunity this creates for themselves.
2. Technology and systems:
For our business it was critical that our processes and technology systems were in an easily exportable format.
3. Legal knowledge:
We have partnered with good legal counsel and advisors who know the local laws and landscape well. This is a very important part of establishing an offshore operation.
In a nutshell
Uwin Iwin provides end-to-end incentive solutions for businesses that help them drive performance, loyalty and the delivery of business results among employees.
Solutions include performance improvement incentives; reward and recognition programmes; communication campaigns; travel incentives; prize fulfilment; and conferences, meetings and events.