Another African adventure! (Elie Al Kara)

It’s not just Daniele, Elvin, Moto & Sara who are in Africa – one of our other colleagues, Elie, is spending his summer in Africa working for a Private Equity fund.  Find out more about his adventure below!

Nick.

Hello readers… this is Elie writing to you from Ibadan, Nigeria.

I just want to share with you an exciting and challenging experience that I am currently living on my company engagement project.

I am working with a local PE fund in Nigeria: my job is to work with one of their portfolio companies that they acquired at the beginning of this year in the FMCG sector, and identify opportunities to increase profitability by 25-40%: increase the top line through extra revenues or reducing their cost structure. I had a previous experience working on due diligence for PE firms but never on post-acquisition projects, but Once I got the assignment I immediately remembered one of our professors (Benoit Leleux) who was always saying: the PE world is different from any other world: they want the results “yesterday”…

This is not the only challenge you would face in a developing country such as Nigeria (actually PE firms function more or less in the same way everywhere); but also add on top pf that the lack of security, lack of infrastructure, poverty, corruption, you name it: you will live it, feel it, and actually do it:

Can you imaging giving 10$ to the customs at the airport just for them to stamp your passport while you have a valid visa!, or bribe the police at a checkpoint or else they will take you to the station, and I believe you don’t want that to happen!).

Anyway, it’s been a great experience so far, and I am looking forward to the next 10 days before I head back to Lausanne hoping that we could come up with a plan to reach the end goal.

Elie