To understand the overarching factors at play in shaping today’s and tomorrow’s business and consumer landscape, it is important to understand the broader macroeconomic environment while detecting emerging signals of change. Understanding how these elements may combine to alter the consumer, retail and business environment can give companies a more informed and considered base to make decisions about the future.
In Africa there are drivers of change that will be vital for organizations to understand moving forward. Explosive population growth is forecast to continue and a youthful demographic is a very attractive to businesses who view an expanding young consumer base as the perfect next step to find growth.
A chorus of commentators believe that improving the often non-existent or poor infrastructure is key to unlocking and stimulating consumption growth in emerging African markets. This investment is happening yet questions around whether this will be widespread lead many to predict that infrastructure will centre on large urban environments and opportunities to anticipate the city emergence abound.
These are just a few examples of the broader change agents at play and factors like legislation, trade agreements and evolving consumer attitudes are just some of the factors that companies should consider when formulating growth strategies.
There are a myriad of examples of companies and industries that have been blindsided by change they didn’t see coming. Conversely, there are a growing number of examples of organizations reaping the rewards of future-driven thinking. Innovations in research and analytics in recent years have brought about new capabilities to leverage tools like big data modelling, consumer groups and customized research to give greater direction and feedback loops to guide business and investment decisions. Such approaches are not about prediction nor do they guarantee success, but they do lay the foundations for more thorough and rigorous decisions to mitigate risk and unlock future growth.
For deeper insights on what the future might hold for business, download the What's Next Starts Now whitepaper or infographic for summary or view webinar playback for local insights from our other regions - Middle East, Asia Pacific, East Europe and Latin America.