South Sudan – questions to ask prior to entry
I recently visited South Sudan as part of a Public Private Partnership project. For any private partnership, alliance or investment, entering an unknown country with limited or no experience can be a daunting undertaking. For example, in South Sudan the infrastructure is weak and there are less than 200km of paved road in the country. But, even after considering all of the challenges, emerging markets such as South Sudan hold enormous potential. An entry done in the right way, can be rewarding . Here are some questions to consider prior to entry, either through an investment, partnership or an alliance:
- Who are the partners that we would be working with?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- Are there certain areas that we could support them and are there areas that they are more capable and we could learn from them?
- What do we know about their management and the supervision on the ground?
- Where the areas that we would need to strengthen?
- What are the current capability gaps in the organization/operation?
- Which areas of capability building are a priority?
- What is the current culture in the organization/operation?
- How does this differ from our current organizational culture?
- What is the current security situation?
- Where are the no-go areas?
- What are the infrastructure challenges?
- How long will it take to import goods in the country?
- Are there any regulatory issues we need to be aware of?
- How will this impact the supply chain?
- Could we align with the organization/operation?
- Which areas need attention?
- How much visibility is there in the existing supply chain?
- What technology is in place to help to create visibility?
- What is the state of the current facilities?
- Do we understand the investment required to get the facility up to standard?
- What software are they using?
- Would we have any integration challenges?
- How aligned are our processes?
- Do we understand the cost to serve and total cost?
- Do we understand the investment that is required?
- Where could we improve efficiency in the supply chain?
- Which areas are of highest priority?
- How flexible is the supply chain system?
- How quickly can the organization/operation respond to changes?
- How long would it take to become fully operational?
- What are the guarantees that we have?
- What challenges and risks will we encounter?
- How do we plan to mitigate the risk?
- How will we maintain or improve quality standards?
- Do we trust the organization/operation?
- What can we do to create a trust relationship?