The co-founder and managing partner at international consultancy firm – Konfidants, Michael Kottoh says Ghanaian businesses need to develop professional business partnerships to be able to fully gain from the Made-In-Ghana campaign and boost the patronage of their goods and services.
According to him, the refusal of businesses merging or joining forces with other industry counterparts is likely to pose a major threat, not to the competitiveness of Ghanaian firms but also to the country’s readiness to promote locally produced products.
“Our culture of not being able to form business partnerships that are sustainable and serious to build scaleable big enterprises, I think is the biggest gap to our cultural competitiveness as a country and that is something I think we need to address.”
Michael Kottoh who has been consulting for local and international businesses was speaking on the on-air series of the Citi Business Festival on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday.
The discussion centred on “The Made-in-Ghana” Agenda, How Ghanaian products win on the shelves”.
Mr. Kotthoh said in order to achieve this, “it is important to talk about partnerships”.
“There is a big factor in our culture, and the biggest factor of our culture is our inability to form partnerships. People talk a lot about formalizing our businesses; that is important, but we have too many small one-person businesses that simply cannot in the current environment scale up to be competitive as we want them to be”, he lamented.
Partnerships of rivals
For Mr. Kottoh, the absence of business strategies such as mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships in Ghana are rather worrying.
Citing companies that have dominated global markets, he said such firms did not begin operating as one-person businesses but took time to scale organically to the point of becoming huge companies.
He said, “culturally, we like to build little empires and sit in our comfort zones, but we need to get out from there. For me, it is a cultural problem because we lack what it takes to trust one another and build”.
He thus encouraged Ghanaian entrepreneurs to constantly be in the process of looking for other firms they can partner with in order to build more capability, strength, and growth.
“We have spoken in the past about a partnership of rivals. This is going to be fundamental to our ability to build the capacity of the Ghanaian industry to be competitive to produce Made-In-Ghana products to dominate the local market and foreign export market. Unless we build a partnership with rivals, we are not going to get anywhere. The businesses that compete in Ghana must come and work together.”
About the Citi Business Festival
The Citi Business Festival is an extensive program of business events and on-air activities providing inspiration, business ideas, and information to persons who are starting, building, or growing their businesses.
The virtual business fora are live on Citi TV every Tuesday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
The radio on-air series is themed to correspond with the various virtual forums at 9:20 am every weekday.
It is sponsored by Absa Bank Ghana with support from IT Consortium and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and also powered by Citi FM, Citi TV, and Ghana’s most comprehensive business news website, www.citibusinessnews.com.