Monday, September 25, 2006


We have moved !

Emerging markets are becoming so hot.
We have lot of partners and customers asking for a broader coverage of this phenomenon. Have a look for example on the September 16th 2006 edition of The Economist: 19 page special report on the emerging world economy.
Therefore, we have expanded our coverage to deal with Investment opportunities, Social changes and challenges, Operational business issues and any topic that you'd like to discuss on....

Do want you want on your business but if you are looking for sustainable growth (that is business for!), look at the emerging markets

So Rafeno & Co goes to the Emerging World


Monday, July 24, 2006


Emerging market is "trendy"

No new post within almost 1 month: unforgivable!!!

However, life and business must go on. Today, it's up to one of the best economics magazine (Business Week) to pinpoint "emerging market" we have done since a long time ago...

Look at Business Week this week!

One point: those guys are coming, they wanna grab everything, Be afraid for your customers!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


People respect !

I'm just back from the last GSM West-Africa conference, held in Dakar last week.
While the boom within african telecom market is still active, I've noticed also a new trend: chinese and indian high-tech companies are progressing strongly there as well.
After the success of big guys like ZTE and Huawei in less than 3 years, right now, it's time for software editors from India to challenge traditional european companies on this market.
So why africans decision makers do prefer dealing with Huawei rather than Alcatel and Siemens? What the indians like Bharti or Lifetree do propose more and better than Swapcom or Comverse?
Technically, nothing special I guess.
Better deals conditions (price, loans, support, services) for sure.
But everyone I talked to mentionned that these guys do "consider" african people as business partners more than the western companies used to do. In my long carreer, I have witnessed many times european and american companies selling "anything" to african companies just because they wanna sell, not the others need it.....

Do not forget that in many countries where people relationships are as important as the quality of your products/services, people consideration is key....Do not forget it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Third World "renaissance"

The "Third World" as a political force is dead for sure. 1955 Bandung Conference spirit has gone (hoping this won't be for ever). In today's race for fast growing areas, developing countries are becoming the battlefield for larger corporations.
While big irons from the "West" like Vodafone and FT/orange seem to be in a "Pause" mode of expansion, new actors from the "South" are leading the way by investing into the "South" as well...
...last move: China Mobile/CCMC (the world largest mobile operator) has taken over Millicom, a "Third World" telco present in Africa (7 operations), Asia (5 operations), Latina America (5 operations) with almost 9 million users.
Adding 9 millions customers to its 262 million domestic one is not a big deal to CCMC but those 17 countries are all in a trend to post double digit growth for the next 5 coming years....and this is Value Generator for CCMC.....

Are you witnessing a "Bandung 2" spirit?

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Hot (of) Africa !

After Madacom (Madagascar), Mobitel (Sudan), Celtel has just taken over 65% of VMobile (Nigeria) for more than 1Billion-USD.

Nigeria, the most populated african country (132 million inhabitants) with a mobile penetration rate under 10%, is considered as the hotest place in this region.

Thanks to an agressive acquisition plan, Celtel is now operating in 15 countries in Africa and is competing head-to-head with these big irons (but declining?) such as Orange International in this fast growing market.....

More and more african multi-countries operators such as Celtel, MTN and Vodacom are leading the way in this region.

This region is definitively HOT ...
... and keep tuned because while I'm writing this bill, the chinese just get into this land also !

Monday, May 29, 2006


Looking for a 3 digits growth rate area?

Yeah!!! and where you may wonder...

In 2005, developing countries have posted 950 million mobile users representing 47,5% of the total market share; and they will surely leapfrog our/your advanced economies regions.
Among those "developing countries", Africa is clearly the best kept secret: 1000% growth from 1998 to 2003 with 100 million users today....
Again, skepticals are saying that africans people could not post high ARPUs. That for sure if you compare it with the european or american ones........but africans do spend huge part of their revenue in mobile communications (some says more than 40%)
And they do spend it in lot of innovative services that even here in Europe we haven't even thought about.......

Just keep tuned or jump in with us....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Madagascar: Show me the MAP !

On May 18th, I attended a "Madagascar roadshow" organised by UBIFrance for "selling" to investors Madagascar as the right place to bet on for the couple coming years.

With an ambitious plan, called M.A.P. (Madagascar Action Plan), the current government, backed by local business leaders and corporates want to put this country in a position to post 2 digits growth rate by 2010 and achieve the US
Millenium Challenge Account program objective

So what a poor country (GNI per capita: 300USD) could bring to IT and telecom market:
1) a fairly well trained and IT oriented young people
2) a very competitive cost of labor compared to India, Mauritius and North-Africa
3) An untapped business destination where there is still for sure "a premium for first movers"

Few guys have noticed the spot early enough and have setup very profitable businesses over there. Look for example at A.I.S (630 engineers and operators based out Tana for large scale GIS (Geographical Information System) and "Google print" like projects.

So if you are considering setting-up overseas operation in BPO, call-centers, software development areas, look at Mada...

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