Classified as a leader in the various industries it operates in, driven by a local and loyal management plan, having shown continued growth in retail markets and with further growth prospects into neighbouring Angola, its no wonder Cymot is viewed positively in the Stimulus private equity stable. Excited to catch up with the ambitious retailer, Cymot Managing Director Axel Theissen this week spoke about progress in Angola.
Home to approximately 21.4 million people, Angola has been identified as the next frontier of growth for this nimble employer of 500. As one of only a handful Namibian companies investing in Angola, Theissen explained the rationale. “Our business philosophy is to perpetually build up a branch and or market and as such CYMOT Angola has steadily increased its product offering.” Confidence in the Angolan market can surely be attributed to a country that registered growth rates in excess of 20% in 2005 and 2007.
The retailer first opened a branch in Lobito in 2012. The success in Lobito prompted the board look at other opportunities. Theissen explains, “Future expansion of CYMOT Angola will ideally be funded from the established Angolan operations. During 2012 we opened a retail outlet located at the Shoprite Shopping Centre in Lobito. Although the Cymot Group also has business interests in South Africa, and other African markets have been explored, at current our focus will be on the Angolan operations.”
According to Theissen, Angola was an obvious choice. “In Namibia CYMOT has over the years build up a very strong market presence and we have therefore looked at opportunities which present themselves in neighbouring countries. Angola was an obvious choice since Namibia has the logistical advantage.”
While oil exporting countries may have to contend with declining oil prices, Angola is on a spending spree to the tune of US$10 billion, all of which will be directed towards infrastructural projects.
Not shying away from the logistical challenges of doing business in Angola, Theissen said, “cross border challenges are just one of the many obstacles in doing business in Angola. As the transport of products by road is both costly in terms of actual transport costs as well as time, this has a direct effect on the landed cost of products in Angola.”