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A Global Startup in Africa

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Born Global firms, a term coined by McKinsey and Associates, are those that provide products or services globally from birth. According to research by McKinsey, Born Global firms see the world as their marketplace from the beginning, not as an expansion to their domestic markets. These firms will often implement their global strategy within two years from inception.

On our show today, Ashifi Gogo, CEO of Sproxil, Inc., shares how Sproxil is a Born Global firm operationalized first in Africa. Gogo indicates that Sproxil’s global strategy was a natural result of the challenge Sproxil was designed to address, counterfeit products.

Sproxil’s initial product to eliminate counterfeit drugs has a global value chain. Many legitimate brand and generic pharmaceuticals are manufactured in India and China, then sold in Africa.

Gogo says that ICT, mobile phones and broadband, has made a significant difference in managing costs, work, and number of visits to Africa. The Sproxil team is able to stay connected regularly with each other and clients in Africa by VOIP and video calls.

Finding trusted local partners who can work well remotely using ICT is actually Gogo’s first tip to other global start-ups. Another tip is to identify backers who understand emerging markets. Backers for firms focusing on developed economies are not the same as for firms focusing on developing markets. <>
And the last tip is just go do it! “There is only so much planning you can do,” says Gogo.

This interview with Ashifi Gogo should not be missed.

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