Opinion

Global competitiveness and the youth

Competition and competitiveness is evolving. Companies, including and most importantly, the massive corporates and MNCs must ensure that they think global, act local and act fast. To that same effect, firms must be able to ensure that their global ambitions in targeted international markets are successful by bridging the gap between their firms (products/services, assets/resources, and competencies/capabilities) and the local industries in the international markets that they establish a presence within.Firms without international goals may find their domestic markets under threat from foreign competition.

However, global competitiveness isn’t exceptional to companies alone. In an increasingly globalised world, with an increasingly globalised talent pool, exacerbated by COVID-19 and its impact on remote work, individuals, young intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs need to begin developing global capabilities and competences that can empower them to compete in a global market where recruiters and employers are no longer limited to talent within national or regional boundaries.

For many of the African students who opt to go overseas for their tertiary education, there is a strong understanding and appreciation of the importance of being competitive on a global scale, as competing to enter the leading universities in foreign countries often involves having to perform well above standard in a foreign syllabus; stand out against the domestic students by leveraging certain competencies and capabilities that go beyond the exam room. 

However, for most of the other students in the world, African or not, who don’t go overseas for their tertiary education, this global competitiveness and its importance is often overlooked for domestic career ambitions. However, even such ambitions are now put at risk by globalisation, as with firms looking out for international business, they seek talent with international experiences that can contribute meaningfully to their multinational operations.

Most major corporations followed the traditional stage internationalisation  model, where they started their operations in the domestic market, and then a gradual, stage-by-stage internationalisation process followed, depending mainly on the gradual acquisition of knowledge of international markets. 

However, recently due to the digital revolution, we see a new generation of multi-nationals emerging, which are called international entrepreneurs. These do not follow the stage model and enter many markets simultaneously. They are individuals or companies that invest and operate in other countries without a home base. IE is to some extent, the “product” of an era of globalization, in which technologies and trade liberalization paved the way to faster and earlier internationalization of firms. 

Confidence and competence in a globalised world are thus critical for the youth to thrive and be highly competitive in their careers ahead. Confidence being the ability to deal with global competition in international business and gain a competitive advantage; competence being international exposure that can build a firm’s competitive advantage in global strategy.

Thabiso Molai is the Co-Founder and CEO of Premium Consulting, which is a young, globally focussed quasi-probono Management Consulting firm, working to createan international network of aspirant student (undergraduate) and professional (post-graduate) Management Consultants, providing innovative and high-quality support and solutions for Tech-Startups, SMEs and Not-For-Profits. 

The firm is another such new generation company, with plans underway for the implementation of an international entrepreneurship strategy, seeking to cater to, and create impact for global clients, through their ‘elected fee model’, whereby they empower their clients to ‘elect’ their own fee.

Thabiso says Premium Consulting was established together with his Co-Founder Adam N.T. Molai out of their desire to create impact for their international student peers across the globe, by providing opportunities that will develop their professional skills and graduate qualities; whilst contributing to the development of their global experiences through consulting projects for clients across the globe that Premium Consulting intends to cater to, and create impact for.

In today’s age of globalisation, having a global network, and global experiences is an important aspect of being competitive, and Premium Consulting seeks to empower their student consultants to that effect through their international projects.

Premium Consulting provides services in Strategy, Marketing, Business Transformation, Not-For-Profit Fundraising, and considering the lack of resources and time that Startups, SMEs and NFPs usually face, Premium Consulting also provides Operational Support to clients who seek it. 

Premium Consulting thereby delivers an end-to-end service by assisting clients with the implementation of recommendations, creating a sense of accountability to deliver actionable solutions to clients.

Thabiso Molai (20) is a young Zimbabwean student and entrepreneur who is the CEO & Founder of Premium Consulting, and student of the combined bachelor’s degree in Commerce (Management) and Laws (LLB) at The University of Sydney in Australia.

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