Understanding cultural dynamics is a form of currency in itself and an essential tool to global trade. Modifying product offerings around cultural norms and preferences is amongst the founding pillars of the marketing industry. The terrain becomes that much intricate when there are multiple stakeholder bodies and interests; across a geopolitically sensitive context.

Such was the case when our firm was invited to rethink a market entry strategy during an attempt by two Joint Venture partners, namely a Middle East based tech-firm and a local JSE-listed corporate entity, to access the local terrain and roll out the much needed technology during the region’s worst drought in decades. The tech solution: which has done well in ten other countries, most of them first world countries had secured enough proof of concept and footing as an industry leader in climatic solutions through software as a service, still needed to understand local dynamics and secure proof of concept that is specific to the target localities.

Amidst a revolutionary shift in the political dynamics of the locality, spanning 283 sub-political geo-segments, ahead of elections our firm had to swiftly scope a relational model with decision makers despite uncertainties to embody a holistic strategy to roll out the technology: which was needed to address Southern Africa’s drought situation. 14 million people were about to be added to dire poverty, being on the path of the drought.

The strategic map as embodied in the detailed synopsis we created was well received by decision makers and resonated with the JV partners’ needs, challenges and available opportunities as it weighed the situation from a socio-economic impact perspective, political context, climate dynamics and budgetary restraints. Resulting in a clear path outlined as per investment appetite required from both parties to align themselves to the region’s known best practices when it comes to rolling out scalable projects of this nature and magnitude.