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Combination of digital and in-person engagement is good for business, especially in emerging markets



Retail trading

While the pandemic necessitated a shift to online meetings and virtual engagement, there are just some business fundamentals that need to be done in person, especially in emerging markets where it’s important to see what’s happening on the ground.

For Spear Capital, a private equity investment firm that holds stakes in various companies in Southern Africa, relationships are key.  “With smaller economies, it’s not always possible to just do dashboard due diligence,” says Bryan Turner, a partner at Spear Capital. “To be on the ground is almost a necessity.”

Spear works with fast-growing companies in Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa and Zambia. As we are not always the majority owners, a good working relationship where all partners are aligned is critical,” says Turner. “As useful as financials and other virtual forms of due diligence can be, you get as much a sense of whether a company’s worth investing in by visiting its premises and meeting with its management team face to face,” says Turner.

“In Zimbabwe, for example, it’s not as easy to compile a digital overview. To really gain an insight into what a company does or to gauge the needs of a community, it’s imperative that our team is able to spend quality time meeting with various people,” says Turner. “Being in town creates opportunities to bump into key players from a cross section of sectors; crucial for fostering relationships.”

Another advantage of being on the ground is that it’s possible to visit a company’s premises to gain an accurate overview of the scale of the business and its daily operations. “You are less likely to gain that kind of understanding from a Zoom call. You have to  be there physically,” he adds.

But, this is not to say online meetings and virtual collaborations are not important, says Greg Gatherer, Account Manager at Liferay Africa. “The opposite is true. There is, after all, a reason that remote work is constantly shown to improve productivity. It’s also true that some people collaborate better in virtual environments, where they feel less restricted in sharing their ideas.”

He adds: “There is no way I would be able to connect with people in multiple countries around the continent on a daily basis if I was relying on in-person meetings.”

But Turner and Gatherer agree that the way forward is preferably a hybrid of the two; with virtual meetings to establish and maintain connections and in-person meetings to be approached with purpose.

“On a trip to Kenya at the tail-end of 2021, I was reminded that in-person meetings still have a place and may even be helpful in accelerating digital transformation,” says Gatherer.

Turner concurs, saying: “I can meet with colleagues and investors in Norway and portfolio companies across the SADC region through the course of the day. But it’s also true that you miss out on things when you don’t meet in person whenever possible.

“We believe in this people-focused approach to investment being absolutely key, and being based on the ground in markets often considered unstable or volatile is Spear Capital’s differentiator.”

Spear works with companies that have been built by people with a vested interest in its ongoing success.

“Being in a position to acquire a stake in these companies requires personal engagement and connection,” he concludes, “in addition to the research and preparation we can do online.”


The formula for success: delivering total experience in financial services





Monica Hovsepian, Global Industry Strategist, OpenText


The tumult of the last few years has thrown many challenges at financial services. Geopolitical and social evolutions have met head on with technological upheaval to threaten the previously settled order of the sector.


Luckily, that very same technological upheaval has allowed financial services institutions (FSIs) to innovate. Faced with new competition from fintechs, challenger banks, and big tech, FSIs have transformed the way they deliver products and services to customers over the last decade or so. It would be unthinkable now, for example, for a customer to have to visit a branch with their banking book to pay in or take out money from their accounts.


So much has changed. But change, it seems, is never finished. As younger generations become consumers and employees in their own right, they are bringing their own ideas about how they would like to live, work and engage, and FSIs need to keep evolving to cater for them.


Of course, this has always been the way of things: to some extent, adapting to the changing demands of customers is old hat for FSIs. It’s just that now, the tactics used to do so have evolved. Rather than focusing solely on Customer Experience (CX), FSIs must move to a focus on delivering Total Experience (TX) if they are to rise above the heated competition that continues to drive innovation across the sector. And, by delivering the Total Experience, FSIs also appreciate the benefits of Operational Experience (OX) and efficiencies.


CX + EX + OX= TX: the full formula for FSI success in the digital age


In its simplest terms, TX is the optimisation of both CX and employee experience (EX). To add a bit more colour, it is a recognition of and approach to the idea that only through elevated employee experiences and improved operational efficiency can the best possible customer experience be delivered. Investing more holistically across what matters to the customer delivers stronger returns than focusing on isolated areas.


Or, since this is a formula-driven industry for numbers and formulas, let’s express this idea another way: CX + EX = TX (ROI).


It’s well reported that delivering excellent digital customer experiences is increasingly defining for today’s FSIs. The Financial Brand, for example, reports that banks with customer-centric cultures are 60% more profitable than others. Yet other reports suggest that many customers are dissatisfied with the experience that banks are offering.


So, why is that?


Well, in order to provide the seamless, personalised digital experiences demanded by today’s customer, banks need a 360-degree view of customers, across the entire enterprise, at each stage of their journey. Technology is already in place to enable this, but the discipline of customer lifecycle management is still under-developed in FSIs, resulting in fragmentation of backend systems and disconnects between different employees and business units.


This disconnect then translates into the experiences that FSIs deliver to their consumers, as it leads to frustration for employees as they struggle to locate and manage customer data between siloed systems quickly and easily. It stands to reason that putting CX and EX together is the way forward for banks looking to find the formula for success in the digital age and deliver operational efficiency.


Lifting all boats – how to achieve total experience in FS


As John F. Kennedy once said, ‘the rising tide lifts all boats’. FSIs can adhere to this idea by investing in technology that elevates the experiences of both customers and employees, creating a virtuous cycle of optimisation that will form the foundations for long-term success.


Data can be a friend to FSIs here, rather than a foe. With the sheer amount of it available to businesses in the sector, it can seem daunting to even approach the task of wrangling data into insights and then actioning those insights.


It needn’t be: leveraging the latest innovations in technology can help to integrate key CRM systems to ingest, analyse, manage and distribute the content needed to support all customer-related business processes. Doing so will offer employees a single source of truth to support any customer process or enquiry, thereby improving EX at the same time as optimising the data available to improve CX.


In a world of unpredictable demand and shifting priorities, FSIs that invest in these integrated solutions stand to benefit from real-time, 360-degree view customer information, used to empower employees to provide superior service, deliver optimized customer experiences, enforce governance and risk management and reduce operational costs.


Gartner estimates that, by 2024, organisations providing a total experience will outperform competitors by 25% in satisfaction metrics for both CX and EX. In a game of fine margins like financial services, that’s a level of competitive advantage that you don’t see on offer every day.


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Billner Group Review: Your Reliable Online Trading Platform




Enter the world of currency pairs to drive profit by trading two currencies simultaneously. You need to find different cheapest currencies like USD/JPY Pair, EUR/USD Pair, etc., to get maximum by investing minimum. If you’re a novice currency pair trader, consider Billner Group, the leading online trading platform, to bring down your trading risk and make a profit. The world of Forex is very exciting, and the platform has multiple features to help you thrive in this trading market. So, let’s see how you can master the art of currency pair trading on this platform.

Expert Guidance at Billner Group to Help You Succeed

Currency pair trading involves many unknown risks. Therefore, it’s best to get guidance from the experts. And, Billner Group provides you with exactly that. The platform has many experienced and renowned trading experts to offer you free education and guidance. Their experienced mentors will give you straight-to-the-point videos and webinars to help you start your trading with in-depth knowledge regarding the selection process of the assets available, how much to invest, and when to start and stop trading.

Billner Group offers comprehensive educational resources and expert guidance to fill you with trading knowledge in all the possible ways. You can get help from their experts at every step of your currency pair trading. All these will enable you to start intelligent trading, even if you have had no prior experience. As a result, you can achieve new heights of success on this platform.

Cutting-Edge Technology at Billner Group to Minimize Risks

To make your currency pair trading profitable, Billner Group offers a range of advanced technical analysis tools. The use of these tools, like price charts, indicators, calendars, and more, helps currency pair traders to make informed decisions. You can observe the fluctuations in the currency pair movements with more precision. Their historical price charts and real-time market data will also enable you to identify the potential entry and exit trading points. Using these tools also facilitates the traders to identify the trends and patterns. As a result, they can build their trading strategies and make profits.

Billner Group also ensures instant hedging. Trading on this platform will let you insure and hedge against the adverse fluctuations of the selected asset’s price. They maintain absolute transparency and provide you with all the required tools to be successful in the trading world.

The Bottom Line

If you’re new to the market, proceed by investing in one or two currency pairs. Do your research and learn more about the currency pair trading to find out the best pairs. Billner Group can go a long way to provide you with the needed insight and knowledge. Moreover, their platform is very user-friendly. You need to signup on the platform and open your trading account to start making money. Make full use of their technical analysis tools and experts’ guidance to reduce your chances of loss. So, instead of waiting, invest in currency pair and see how the trading can become a money spinner for you.

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