The days in South Africa were full of business appointments through which elfGROUP had a chance to meet local telecomms companies and town organisations both in Pretoria and Johannesburg. elfGROUP also joined a ministry-level meeting and the Finnish-South African Cyber Security Seminar.

Business delegation trip

The local BBBEE Act was strongly present in dealings between companies in South Africa. BBBEE stands for Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment, and the aim of this act is to ensure that the past racist behaviour in business activities and company ownership would no longer be possible. Because of this legislation, partnering with a local South African company is usually the only possible way for foreign companies to do business in South Africa. Local companies cannot buy directly from individual foreign companies, unless a product or a service is something that is not locally available in South Africa.

Business Finland

Business delegation trip

”It was interesting to notice that over 10,000 kilometres away from Oulu, companies were wrestling with similar problems as here in Finland. When we in Finland are discussing the effects of the EU’s GDPR regulation (General Data Protection Regulation), in South Africa the corresponding POPI (Protection of Personal Information Act) is already fully in use. With some issues, they were ahead of us in South Africa, with some others behind. There are a lot of educational and digitalization projects still at their starting phases in South Africa, whereas here in Finland, for example, healthcare registers and cyber security in general have been developed both by the private and public sector for a long time already.”

The South Africa trip also gave reassurance for elfGROUP for evaluating their exports possibilities. ”This trip gave us reassurance for cyber and software development security exports,” explained Tuomas Tonteri. ”Our industry’s services can be offered and done remotely, for instance, remote hacker testing. All in all, cyber security work can be done regardless the location and distance, cyber security break-ins are the same.”

elfGROUPThere was time for only one spot for sightseeing and that was the huge statue of Nelson Mandela.

Kaiken kaikkiaan Etelä-Afrikan matka oli hyvin järjestetty, myös kaikki logistiikka ja yritystapaamisten buukkaaminen sujuivat moitteettomasti. Valmistelevia kokouksia oli ennen matkaa Helsingissä Katajanokalla ja seurantatapaaminen on vielä toukokuun lopulla. elfGROUP on kevään aikana myös liittynyt Business Finlandin Connectivity from Finland -ohjelmaan.

”Hienoa kuulla, että elfGROUP koki delegaation ohjelman hyväksi ja sai vahvistusta vientitoiminnan aloittamiseksi. Yleisesti ottaen yritysten palaute matkalta oli erittäin positiivista, eikä ihme, sillä delegaatiomatka oli poikkeuksellisen kiireinen ja viikko täynnä hyvälaatuisia tapaamisia. Omista haasteistaan huolimatta Etelä-Afrikka tarjoaa suomalaisille yrityksille hyviä liiketoimintamahdollisuuksia, kunhan mukana on luotettava paikallinen partneri. Business Finland ja Connectivity from Finland -ohjelma tukee suomalaisten yritysten kansainvälistymispyrkimyksiä oman toimistonsa sekä myös Etelä-Afrikasta hankitun paikallisen konsultin avulla”, totesi Business Finlandin Connectivity from Finland -ohjelman ohjelmajohtaja Kimmo Aura.