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Pop Up Bongo Saviour for SMEs (3) [analysis] (allAfrica.com)

Continued from yesterday

WHILE doing her research on soap making, Hellen came across a Malaysian lady who not only had a company that specialised in natural handmade bath and body products, but also trained people in the art.

She contacted the 14-year skin care product-making veteran and arranged to fly to Malaysia to be taught by her. She learnt how to make soap, hair shampoo and conditioner. In addition, the lady gave her pointers on running a business.

Hellen, who is now a certified organic skin care formulator, constantly works to expand her skills through research and taking online classes.

By so doing, Hellen has been able to teach herself how to make other bath and body care products. She knows that she has to stay on top of her game to not only meet her clients demands but also be able to grow her brand and initially launched in June 2014, it primarily made soaps.

According to her, clients made her want to create another line, which include lotions, body butters, scrubs, shampoos and conditioners.

Upon her return from Malaysia, Hellen’s father gave her a small structure in the backyard of their house for her to use for production purposes.

She invested her savings in transforming the space into a suitable soap making plant. However, Hellen was informed by the authorities that the plant was not up to the standard so she had to demolish it and in the process lost the mazuma that she invested in it.

“It broke my heart then. It really broke me – I didn’t know if I could get up from that,” she says. She was later able to bounce back from that initial setback, thanks to her parents’ support and generosity, she secured a godown that she transformed into a desirable working space. This time the authorities approved it.

Before leaving Malaysia, Hellen had ordered inventory for her company to be shipped to Tanzania through an agent. She had also bought raw materials to use in her initial soap production from Kariakoo – one of Tanzania’s biggest markets.

She used these to start her business and fill the customers’ orders she already had as she waited for her shipment to arrive.

Then the agent messed up and she lost her entire inventory order. Failure to deliver on her business commitment set Nuya’s Essence back several months.

“It took a toll on the business and our clients,” she notes. Hellen’s can-do attitude and persistence, coupled with the constant positive feedback from her clients prevented her from giving up.

“I am meant to do this. I had to go on no matter what,” she says. It is after the incident with the agent that she decided to relocate her product-making facility to Zanzibar.

She has found it to be a more conducive business environment. This is especially in terms of its efficient port as well as ease of access to some of the herbs and oils that she uses in her products.

Inspired by Africa, Inspired by Nature Nuya’s Essence is committed to ensuring that its clients enjoy the full benefits of its products which are a hundred per cent natural.

“No preservatives, no fillers,” says Hellen, who takes time to educate clients on the health and environmental importance of using natural products. Creating Nuya’s Essence skin care products is a multistep process.

Hellen first decides what she wants to achieve with each product, and finds the oils and herbs that will help her do that. The production process at Nuya’s Essence is primarily carried out by Hellen and her production assistant whom she trained. The two make everything by hand on a daily basis.

The company also has 8 part-time employees – two of whom are family – that work both on site and remotely. They include 3 assistants who help Hellen when she showcases products at farmers’ markets and other events; a graphic designer; an operations assistant; and a lawyer. Hellen’s sister is the startup’s accountant.

Her mother, who encouraged the siblings to use natural oils from an early age, helps with the making of Nuya’s Essence coconut oil and manages the company’s Dar es Salaam distribution. Being a startup makes it difficult to hire full-time employees due to limited funds.

“You want to save and reinvest all the money in the business,” she says. “So you hire people when you need them.” Hellen says that 75 per cent of the raw materials that are used in the production of Nuya’s Essence products sourced from all over Africa come from Tanzania.

This is aptly captured by the brand’s slogan “Inspired by Africa, Inspired by Nature.” Transforming the skin care industry Hellen says that the skin care industry is saturated with manufactured products that contain chemicals.

Nuya’s Essence is breaking through this with its hand-made products as people are looking to move to natural products. Hellen sells the brand’s products at Oysterbay Shopping Center Farmers’ Market and Garden Market, where she also gets the opportunity to network with potential vendors.

Partnerships with vendors are important for companies like Nuya’s Essence particularly for expanding market reach and distribution purposes.

This fact is not lost on Hellen who currently collaborates with several vendors who stock her products. These are Kijani Organics, Slipway, L’appetitie Gallery and jumia.co.tz.

Not constrained by borders, Hellen has also partnered with Kung’ara Kenya, a Nairobi-based boutique that sells her products, and she continues to seek new vendor partnerships.


A three-day art exhibition titled, ‘Blended Echoes’ will begin at the Opera Galleria, Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) on Wednesday.

Organised by the Malaysian Business and Professional Circle (MBC), the exhibition is being held under the patronage of the Embassy of Malaysia in Oman, stated a press release. Mind Inspire Solutions has been appointed as the event organiser, while the exhibition is being curated by Ibrahim Gailani.

It will have on show over 40 works of art by established and emerging artists from Oman and Malaysia. Some of the artists from Oman include Safiya al Bahlani, Abdul Majed Karoh, Abdul Kareem al Maimani, Dr Mona al Baiti, Maryam al Wahaibi and Abdullah al Busaidi.

The Malaysian line-up includes Amin Shahab, Sivarajah Natarajan, Nizar Kamarul Ariffin, Christine Das, Philip Wong and Poojitha Menon. On Wednesday night, the exhibition will be officiated by Janab al Sayyida Mayya bint Hamoud al Said. Amin Shahab, an award-winning Malaysian artist will be giving a live demonstration by sketching famous buildings of Muscat in his 1km ‘Canvas Painting of the World’.

The exhibition will be open for public on Thursday and Friday from 10am to 10pm. The release stated that H E Umardin Hj Abdul Mutalib, Ambassador of Malaysia to Oman believes that the event is both an acknowledgement and a celebration of the diplomatic and cultural ties between Malaysia and Oman.

On the sidelines are special promotions for visitors which include special flight rates to Malaysia on Qatar Airways, special discounts for holiday packages by Majan Travel, weekend getaway for four at the Best Western Premier Hotel Muscat and special Eid al Adha promotions by Ford and Lincoln. Prizes can be won by simply dropping business cards or submitting details. The winners will be announced on Friday.

BCDA, UK firm team up for Clark health project (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is teaming up with UK-based firm M Health Ltd. (MHL) for the development of a 160-hectare health project in Clark Green City.

In a statement, BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova said the state-run agency inked an agreement with MHL to assure a healthy living environment and self-sufficient community in Clark Green City.

Under the memorandum of understanding, Casanova said MHL is tasked to conduct a pre-investment feasibility study, business plan and conceptual plan for the 160-hectare area within a period of 12 months, extendable for another 12 months.

“MHL has the expertise, capabilities and commitment to cooperate with BCDA to jointly undertake the development of a 160-hectare healthy living community that offers a sustainable and self-sufficient community that has a balanced residential, commercial, and leisure facilities, as well as one that acknowledges that social health is the foundation for physical well-being,” Casanova said.

BCDA will assign development and leasehold rights to MHL for 50 years, renewable for another 50 years.

The partnership will also establish a framework that will serve as guide for the incorporation of a joint venture company with BCDA holding a 45 percent stake and MHL a majority 55 percent share.

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“Clark Green City is an exciting development for us as it is the city of the 22nd century. This memorandum of understanding is an important first step and the beginning of journey,” MHL chief executive officer Simon Lovegrove said.

MHL is involved in managing healthcare projects and services and has already delivered 150 healthcare projects over the past 30 years in more than 50 countries including the British Virgin Islands, Malaysia, Indonesia and Central Europe.

Feedback versus feed forward (The Nation (Pakistan))

Pakistan is suffering from an overload of feedback and a drought of feed forward. We seem to know all about the problems but have no clue about solutions. Baboos, Qazis and Khakis give sermons when out of office but do very little while on the job. No one is willing to risk perks, powers and promotions – the country and its institutions do not matter. On the Khakis side there is some loyalty to the institution mainly due to camaraderie. Most politicians have double standards, once out of power, everything is criticized but when in the government there seems to be no problem, ‘Sab theek hae’. Ayub Khan the first dictator could not believe that the people wanted him out with chants of ‘Ayub Kutta (Dog) hai hai’.

The Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) on the basis of which government promotions take place have become irrelevant in the civilian sector. Either the exercise is not carried out or it does not reflect true performance. Almost everyone gets good to excellent evaluation with no reformation or improvement plan.

There was a time that the Planning Commission was manned by high caliber policy makers. The five years development plans were carefully developed and then implemented and monitored through several instruments like: PC-1, PC-2, PC-3, PC-4 etc. It is believed that South Korea developed by using some of our plans. Malaysia under Dr. Mahathir Muhammed developed. He announced vision 2020 under which

Malaysia would aim to become a fully developed country in 30 years. In his approach there was both feedback and feed forward. As an elected technocrat he selected professionals to lead the effort. In order to deliver he reformed the entire administrative set up.

For customer orientation all ministers, departments and autonomous organization were required to build ISO-9000 based quality managements systems (QMS) and attained certification. This step proved to be a major step forward. As the country lacked a scientific base he opted for licensed based manufacturing with transfer of technology (TOT). Compared to Pakistan’s exports of $10B, Malaysia’s is ten times higher. He created technology based organizations like SIRIM (Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia), several Technology Parks, Incubator Centres, and Technology Venture Capital Funds. In order to bring transparency and openness he opted for a paperless government. He identified and then removed all the colonial obstacles to growth paving the way for a developed country. In the financial crisis of late nineties he refused to accept the IMF bailout package and under his approach of feed forward he came up with his own plan.

By contrast Pakistan has experienced two visions both developed by PML-N regimes and by the same person. There was vision 2010 that consisted mainly of newspaper advertisements and did not have the opposition buy-in and was wrapped up when the government fell. Musharraf then imposed his seven point agenda the hallmark of which were NRB (National Reconstruction Bureau), NAB (National Accountability Bureau), NCHD (National Commission for Human Development) all three proved to be major disasters.

Now PML-N has come out with vision 2025, which has defined several enablers in addition to a lot of feedback. That includes: Shared Vision, Political Stability, Peace and Security, Rule of Law and Social Justice. Looks like a fairy tale with no feed forward. Today there was news that the administrative machinery needs a major overhaul another good feedback. If Malaysia can govern through a certified ISI-9000 QMS why has Pakistan not adopted this approach?

After 69 years of independence the colonial obstacles to growth are still there. There used to 32 government inspectors now two more have been added (Environment, Civil Defense) taking the total to 34 inspections. What business can survive such abuse? That is why the country has the fastest growing in formal sector and a shrinking formal sector. This year even the exports have experienced decline. There is feedback after feedback but no feed forward.

My father, the Pakistan Movement worker and entrepreneur, used the word ‘excelsior’. In the days of communication through telegram it was his telegraphic address as well. People of his generation had lofty ideals and wanted to excel in their fields. The same fighting spirit was then embedded into our generation. In 1995 Pakistan had won five world championships (Hockey, Cricket, Squash, Snooker, and Yachting), today we have none. The forward-looking Air Marshal Nur Khan contributed in excelling in first three of these games. As Air Chief he built Squash Courts, in his capacity as President Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) he built not one but two world class teams that played the finals of the first world cup held in Lahore. He was then asked to head the Pakistan Cricket Board (BCCP then) where he succeeding in producing world champions.

Over the years we have piled up a lot of feedback and related stories to tell. In order to survive we need to have feed forward. Every policy and vision must have an action plan not a wish list or identification of enablers as in the vision 2025. There is a famous saying in USA; ‘test of rubber is when it hits the road’. It is time to risk implementation otherwise we will be made to surrender without a fight; it should be a wake-up call.

Magdalene Lee named General Manager of FleishmanHillard in Malaysia (PR Newswire)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Sept. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — FleishmanHillard has appointed Magdalene Lee as General Manager of FleishmanHillard’s Malaysia office. An award-winning marketing and communications professional, Lee brings significant integrated communications expertise to the agency.

“Magdalene is a progressive thinker who understands the power of integration and brings an open mind and fresh creativity to every client challenge,” said Lynne Anne Davis, FleishmanHillard president of Asia Pacific. “Her rich skillset across disciplines makes her a multi-talented leader equipped to set the agency on a path of continued growth and innovation in Malaysia. We are excited to welcome her to the team.”

Lee is known best for her work across fast-moving consumer goods, finance, automotive and hospitality sectors. She possesses deep local-market knowledge and expertise in social media management, crisis and issues communications, brand marketing and reputation management campaigns.  In her new leadership role for FleishmanHillard’s Kuala Lumpur operations, she will be focused on building its track record for highly effective, fully integrated campaigns combining public relations, brand marketing, social and digital across media platforms.

“We’ve enjoyed great success in Kuala Lumpur thanks to active clients in the consumer, automotive and technology sectors,” added Davis.  ” Kuala Lumpur is an extremely important market in our Southeast Asia proposition which continues to expand in capability and opportunities as these dynamic economies unfold.”

Lee has won numerous regional and local awards for agency leadership, creativity and growth. She joins FleishmanHillard from ARC Worldwide, a division of Leo Burnett. Her background includes in-house, agency and business development roles. 

She succeeds Chomaine Chai who is moving back to her home country, Singapore, after nearly four years at the helm of FleishmanHillard in Malaysia. 

Lee holds a Master of Arts degree in public relations and marketing from Manchester Metropolitan University and an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in English and media and communications from the University of Wolverhampton.

About FleishmanHillard

FleishmanHillard is the world’s most complete global communications firm, specializing in public relations, public affairs, marketing, paid media, and transmedia and social content. FleishmanHillard delivers on The Power of True, reflecting the firm’s high values, and unique ability to guide clients through a world demanding unprecedented authenticity and transparency. FleishmanHillard was named PRWeek’s 2014 Global Agency of the Year, “Standout Agency” on Advertising Age’s 2013 A-List; NAFE’s “Top 50 Companies for Executive Women” for 2010-2015; and among PRWeek’s 2013 “Best Places to Work.” The firm’s award-winning work is widely heralded, including at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. FleishmanHillard is part of the DAS Group of Companies, and has 88 offices in 30 countries, plus affiliates in 43 countries. Visit us at www.fleishmanhillard.com.  

About the DAS Group of Companies

The DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) ( www.omnicomgroup.com), is a global group of marketing services companies. DAS includes over 200 companies in the following marketing disciplines: specialty, PR, healthcare, CRM, events, promotional marketing, branding and research. Operating through a combination of networks and regional organizations, DAS serves international, regional, national and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.

SOURCE FleishmanHillard

2015 China International Fair for Investment and Trade kicks off in Xiamen (China Daily)

Fujian Governor Su Shulin attended and gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2015 China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian province on Sept 8. [Zhu Xingxin/ China Daily]

The 2015 China International Fair for Investment and Trade opened in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian province on Sept 8. Over 50,000 business people from more than 100 countries and regions attended the fair. This year’s fair theme is Belt and Road Initiatives.

Jack Ma (center, in white), the founder and executive chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, attended the opening ceremony of the 2015 China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian province, on Sept 8. [Zhu Xingxin/ China Daily]

Fujian governor Su Shulin (center), Hainan governor Liu Cigui (right) and Xiamen’s vice mayor Ni Chao visited the exhibition center before the opening ceremony of the 2015 China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian province, on Sept 8. [Zhu Xingxin/ China Daily]

Fairgoers look at high-speed train models made by CRRC Corp, China’s largest rail-vehicle manufacturer, at the 2015 China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian province, on Sept 8. [Zhu Xingxin/ China Daily]

Malaysian visitors ask for details on an estate project in the Malaysia exhibition center at the 2015 China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian province on Sept 8. [Zhu Xingxin/ China Daily]

Ontology Systems Enhances Telekom Malaysia's Operations With 1-Net View Single View of the Network System (PR Newswire)

LONDON, September 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

Ontologys Intelligent 360 for Network Operators which supports the creation of a single, up-to-date, end-to-end view linking physical and logical networks, services, and customers, has now entered full active service with the delivery of the second project phase 

Ontology Systems has enhanced the innovation of network operations of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), Malaysia’s No. 1 Converged Communications Services Provider with its Intelligent 360 solution. The deployment of the solution enables TM to have a singular, reconciled view of the entire network, providing a connected visual topology of the core fibre and distribution networks, associated services and customers as a single trustworthy source.  

Benedict Enweani, Ontology CEO commented: We are excited to empower TM in realising its 1NetView to enable a single view of its entire network system. 1-NetView is a visionary and ambitious project. It would be the pride of any operator, and we are deeply grateful to TM for giving us the opportunity to deliver a foundation tool. TMs empowering ethos has made it possible to innovate on a grand scale. Our corporate priority is now to invest in Malaysia as an ASEAN centre of excellence.

We are indeed very happy to see that 1NetView is already gaining traction across wider user groups within TM and ultimately it will enable TMs end customers to experience the benefit of this empowering capability first hand. The innovative system enables rapid determination of fault impacts, simplification of lengthy process and faster correction of conflicting infrastructure data which negatively impacts both operations efficiency and customer satisfaction, Benedict added. 

Giorgio Migliarina, TM Chief Technology and Innovation Officer commented: Our choice of Ontology for 1-NetView was based on the insight that joining up our many sources of network and customer data to obtain a trustworthy, dynamic, end-to-end topology would require innovative technology and a fresh approach.

Ontologys graph-data and semantic modelling technology provides the flexibility needed to deal with our wide range of data sources. It also enables a disciplined, agile approach to solution delivery with weekly progress that includes and enthuses end-users and management. The implementation of 1-NetView will enable us to improve our operational efficiencies by the simplification of processes in provisioning and customer care, thus enhancing customers overall experience with our services. This is in line with our aspirations of ‘Making Life and Business Easier’ for our customers, Giorgio elaborated. 

The second phase only took 12 weeks to incorporate the distribution network. It builds on the 8 week initial deployment of 1-Netview, which enabled fibre core service impact analysis for enterprise customers and services. It is worth noting that both phases were delivered on-time and on-budget through the collaboration.

A final phase of the project, to incorporate access network technologies and services, is now underway. This will complete the end-to-end (E2E) coverage of the solution and is scheduled to complete well before year end.

To read more about Ontology’s product and solutions please visit our resource library http://www.ontology.com/resources.

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About Ontology Systems 

Ontology Systems uses graph-data and semantic modelling to create an end-to-end dynamic view of the network topology and services. This swift, low-risk, flexible approach delivers an up to date picture of difficult and fragmented network, OSS and BSS data.

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in London, UK, Ontology customers include Telenor, T-Mobile, BT, Level 3, Three UK, Vodacom, MBNL, BskyB, Vodafone, Neotel, Internet Solutions and Telkom SA.

For more information, visit http://www.ontology.com or follow @OntologySystems.

Media Contact: Jo Hicks, jo.hicks@ontology.com +44-(0)207-239-4949

SOURCE Ontology Systems