6 years ago

Western Cape Business 2017 edition

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  • Agriculture
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The 2017 edition of Western Cape Business is the 10th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the Western Cape province. The Western Cape has numerous promising investment and business opportunities and this issue includes contributions from Alan Winde (Minister of Economic Opportunities for the Western Cape Government), interviews with Ryan Ravens (CEO of Accelerate Cape Town), Arifa Parkar (Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum CEO), Wesgro CEO Tim Harris and Lance Greyling (Invest Cape Town) as well as contributions from various business leaders. In addition, you will also find comprehensive features on all the key sectors in the Western Cape.

INTERVIEW Renewed focus

INTERVIEW Renewed focus on improved customer experience Provincial Head Retail and Business Banking Standard Bank Western Cape, Eben Klopper, explains what the bank is doing to provide the innovation and service that matter most to customers. Eben Klopper What is Standard Bank’s purpose in South Africa? As a personal and business bank in South Africa, our purpose is to improve lives and fulfil aspirations across the African continent. We believe that we can achieve this through our vision, which is to radically redefine client experience by understanding and delivering what matters to our customers. BIOGRAPHY Eben Klopper, the newly appointed Provincial Head Retail and Business Banking for the Western Cape, is a seasoned banking professional. Having started on the bottom rung of the ladder at Standard Bank in 1990, his progress in the organisation has seen him fulfi l a variety of business and commercial banking roles in four South African provinces. Prior to his promotion to Regional Head he was the Executive: Head Channel Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Specialised Sales. What is your footprint beyond South Africa? Standard Bank Group prides itself on being a global bank with African roots. The largest African bank by assets and earnings, it operates in 20 countries on the African continent, including South Africa, as well as in other selected emerging markets. The Group’s aim is to grow their presence selectively in high potential markets in Africa and in other emerging markets, either organically or, where appropriate, by acquisitions. In your new role of Provincial Head Retail and Business Banking, what is your strategy regarding Standard Bank’s business in the region? As a team, our priorities include greater emphasis on customer experience. We intend to make sure that every customer feels like a VIP; we will do this by raising our game and getting to know what matters most to them. One of the ways in which we will improve customer experience is through our digital solutions, as these assist customers by freeing up their time. Something else that will directly impact customers is our goal of decentralising decision-making so that decisions are made as close as possible to the “frontline”. We want to increase our market share in all customer segments and to build specialist capabilities to serve our small enterprise (SE), commercial and business banking clients. WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017 114

INTERVIEW What will some of the key focus areas be? Foreign exchange: In the Western Cape we will be driving our foreign exchange (FX) and international banking capabilities. Standard Bank is relentless in providing support to our businesses with a view to improving liquidity and driving growth across the African continent. Companies active in the international market, be it in trade or the provision of services, may find a Customer Foreign Currency account a useful mechanism for managing the flows of foreign currency receipts and payments. It is suitable for businesses with a high import and export turnover, including large volumes of shipments of relatively small values. The Western Cape presents many international trade and foreign exchange opportunities, which can be offered and facilitated by our FX specialists. They are fully integrated in our Business Banking Business Centres to support our Standard Bank and non-Standard Bank client base. “OUR RESEARCH INDICATES THAT TWO OUT OF EVERY 10 BUSINESS CLIENTS ARE KEEN TO EXPAND TO THE REST OF AFRICA.” A game changer, in forex capabilities, is Standard Bank’s strategic partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. While Standard Bank already conducts 2.1-million forex trades each year, the bank’s partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China provides a unique ability to deal Renminbi competitively. Resident Africa advisor: Our research indicates that two out of every 10 business clients are keen to expand to the rest of Africa and we have appointed someone with valuable Africa experience to act as a resident advisor to businesses in the province. Our expert will be able to make recommendations on doing business in any of the 20 African countries in which Standard Bank has a presence. During 2016, in support of our focus on the rest of Africa, we led two successful trade delegations – one to East Africa and one to West Africa. This was a first for us and the initiative was very well received. Commercial property finance: Another key focus is commercial property finance. I have been actively involved in this area over the past few years and it has been a successful market for the bank, but there are additional opportunities to explore in the Western Cape. A business’s premises are integral to their trading operation and it is important that businesses secure tenure as well as create equity in their investment. Standard Bank understands the importance of supporting its customers in all aspects of their business growth, including where customers are diversifying from their main business interests to invest in commercial rental properties. The Western Cape commercial property finance market has continued to show strong growth, outperforming many of its peers in the country, which further supports the bank’s focus on the industry going forward. Have the needs of and demands from your key business clients changed in the past few years or do the challenges they experience essentially remain the same? Economic growth has been muted and so the landscape has definitely changed. For this 115 WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017

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