Talking Business: Retail – an unexploited opportunity in Mozambique

Dominique Lalous, country manager of DHL Mozambique

Dominique Lalous, country manager of DHL Express Mozambique

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How we made it in Africa talks business and investment with Dominique Lalous, country manager of DHL Express Mozambique.

Name one trend impacting the way business is being done in Mozambique.

Trust is a very important aspect of doing business in Mozambique – referrals and word of mouth opens up doors. That’s why service quality is ever so important in order to grow market share.

What is the greatest misconception about operating in Mozambique?

One misconception is that customers in Mozambique don’t expect the same level of service delivery like in a first world country. With all the foreign direct investment flowing into the country, international companies expect the same top class products and services as anywhere else in the world.

Identify Mozambique’s biggest untapped business opportunity.

With an ever growing middle class, and scarce availability of common products, one of the biggest opportunities is definitely retail – any retail from supermarkets to fashion to SME retail.

Describe some of the challenges investors can expect to encounter.

Obtaining work permits for foreigners and foreign visitors is getting increasingly difficult. Other challenges include a shortage of skilled human resources and an infrastructure deficit – primarily roads and electricity.

Which local business person do you admire?

That would be Abdulla Abdul Karim – founder and owner of a company called Gringo Ltd. He’s a great and innovative entrepreneur who propagates clear ethical values.

How do you expect the business environment and economy to change over the coming years?

The oil and gas discoveries in Cabo Delgado will transform the business landscape in Mozambique. This will create an estimated 700,000 additional jobs by 2030, of which about 15,000 directly connected to gas.

Name one tourist attraction visiting business people shouldn’t miss.

One of the landmarks in Maputo is the Polana Hotel, but when travelling up north, the unspoiled magnificent beaches are a must.

[box type=”note”]Meet Dominique Lalous

By what time in the morning do you like to be at your desk? About 7am

How do you relax? Going for long walks on the beach with my dogs, socialising with friends and Skyping with my family in Europe

Best book you’ve ever read? Houtekiet by Gerard Walschap

Top holiday destination? Difficult to choose, as there are so many – Turkey

Favourite quote? “Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.” – Albert Camus[/box]