"Safety is Key Priority"
ComNet Europe Ltd is considered to be one of the leading companies in the field of Fiber Optic & Ethernet transmission products; with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa fast approaching & still suffering with security issues it provided ComNet with the opportunity of an export boost for their unique, high value transmission systems used for CCTV images in areas such as highways and crowd surveillance.
After a long successful period of business in South Africa over many years, ComNet have supplied products to Durban City & the Water Front as well as working closely with their knowledgeable distributor they sell goods throughout SA going out from the main hub sites of Johannesburg, Cape Town & Durban.
This success in South Africa has been the culmination of many years of hard work since the early 1990’s by Managing Director Steve Clarke who has visited South Africa over 50 times. Mr Clarke has priceless knowledge of the market conditions & challenges facing UK firms who wish to export to Africa’s most prosperous nation.
Mr Clarke firmly believes that knowledge of the local conditions is paramount; this knowledge can be gained through firms planning visits to the country to analyse ongoing problems in the country including social & industrial unrest. Mr Clarke believes this is a key factor after experiencing a pretty close call himself during one of his business trips to the Springbok nation.
“It’s very important to know where you’re going and to have the right contacts especially if you’re going into difficult areas,” he explains. “It’s a fantastic country and the people are very nice but you have to be careful. There are some places you don’t go to on your own.”
One key disadvantage to Western firms is mature trade relationships South Africa has with China & Russia who can be aggressive on price. These relationships came about from the apartheid era in a bid to avoid international trade sanctions.
“Some of the jobs we do have to be taken at quite low in margins because of low cost products coming from the Asian markets,” adds Mr Clarke. “Price is very important and you have to take into account currency fluctuations between the pound and the rand.”
ComNet Europe Ltd. prove that a fusion of constant contact with & analysing of an area as well as up to date local knowledge can payoff in the long term to gain entry into difficult markets.