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Monday, 12 January 2015 22:53

Rwanda: Diaspora Team Launches Business Knowledge Exchange Platform

By James Karuhanga

KIGALI, January 12, 2015 (The New Times) -- The Diaspora community has launched a firm that will provide local businesses, other companies as well as public entities with "the best business solutions."

The firm, Uniglobe Business Solutions, launched on Tuesday is a brain child of four academics, and offers diverse consultancy services, capacity building, project development and management, recruitment, market research, and financial advisory services.

The firm was founded by among others, Dr Egide Karuranga, Associate professor of International Business and Human Resource management at Laval University, Canada, who was recently elected as manager of the newly registered Global Diaspora Investment Fund (GDIF).

Karuranga said the firm will provide logistical support for local companies planning to invest abroad as well as foreign companies wishing to invest in Rwanda.

Speaking about current trends in the global economy, Dr Karuranga urged businesses to "think globally and act locally."

The firm also has training modules such as finance for non-financial managers, customer relations management, and talent management, among others.

Gisele Baganizi, a Canada-based adult learning expert, pointed out that "the current trend is moving away from the term 'human resources' toward the term 'talent management."

"The world's leading organisations are struggling to keep up with the emerging multi-generational, borderless, technology-savvy workforce. We are seeing organisations take steps to better understand their present and future talent needs, and talent management is the investment that will pay dividends," Baganizi said.

The objectives of the firm's talent management module, she noted, include learning how to improve employee retention, and recognising performance management and ways to review talent.

Pointing to specific cases and elaborating on market needs, Prof. Bideri Ishumeri Nyamulinda, another co-founder emphasised the importance of digital marketing.

"President Obama's campaign strategy is a living testimony of how companies can benefit from digital marketing. He used e-marketing to win the 2008 election. With the youth dominating the world, social media has become an important marketing medium for businesses," Prof. Nyamulinda said, while introducing a training module that will include elements of the digital marketing process and alternative marketing tools.

Dr Papias Musafiri, Principal of the College of Business and Economics, welcomed the new firm, saying it will help bridge the skills gap.

Dr Musafiri said: "Universities provide general knowledge but it is entities like Uniglobe Business Solutions that provide the much needed specific skills."

Dr Musafiri noted that businesses quite often fail to appreciate "the value of capital injected in training" and how it "positively contributes toward the growth of organisations."

"During your trainings, you must emphasise this value proposition. Many people don't understand the change today," Dr Musafiri said.

He also noted that the new firm needs to "come up with several innovative approaches."

When Marc Rugenera, the CEO of Radiant Insurance Company, raised a concern of high costs for the services, Dr Karuranga explained that "cost is not an issue as long as we share it."

"We have a different philosophy and costs can be brought down because there is a critical mass."

The firm has generic training modules prepared to solve clients' skills gap but customised training will also be developed after carrying out a training needs assessment.



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