In any industry there are cycles of expansion and growth, and cycles of contraction and consolidation. In the Business Acceleration industry – in which Fetola finds itself – there has been in recent times, a period of rapid expansion in response to the BB-BEE codes and surrounding legislation. As a result, there are now more than 330 players in the arena. This is a very high density for a country of our size, compared to approximately 150 players in India, with a population 25 times higher than ours.
It’s not surprising therefore, that as the economy slows rapidly and the available funding for BB-BEE code-driven activities such as enterprise and supplier development dwindles, that this industry is beginning to consolidate.
We are seeing the industry moving from many small players to a few larger and more professional organisations. As this process unfolds, people look for ways to collaborate rather than compete in the market, and the ability to choose like-minded and value-adding partners becomes key to their success.
Knowing when to partner, with whom to collaborate, and how to manage these new relationships is critical. This is also where the skill of the start-up entrepreneur needs to evolve into the skill to manage a growing business with a network of partners.
This pattern will be seen in other industries too, providing excellent fodder for learning and growing as leaders, and no doubt, a few headaches too.
Two great posts in this issue focus on partnerships, and are well worth a read or listen if you too are facing a period of consolidation in your industry. Exciting times ahead!
CEO and Founder of Fetola