As the fourth largest sector by percentage of GDP, South Africa’s manufacturing industry is thriving. Propelled by new technological innovation, such as automation and machine learning, new research identifies the sector’s potential to boost the country’s economic development, while highlighting the importance of linking small businesses into the manufacturing sector’s value chain. 
It is therefore no surprise that the entrepreneurial spirit runs high at The Africa Automation Technology Fair (AATF2023) and Future Manufacturing Africa Trade Fair and Summit (FMA2023). Taking place between 9-11 May 2023 at the Johannesburg Expo Centre (Nasrec) South Africa, the events bring together leading public and private stakeholders including multiple successful entrepreneurs and small businesses to mobilise and drive industry development and growth.
But what are the key characteristics of a successful entrepreneur? While some skills and abilities may be naturally present, others are learned and nurtured through careful practice and hard work. Here are three of over 150 world-class suppliers and distributors from across the continent that will be exhibiting at AATF2023 and FMA2023, each demonstrating a vital characteristic that has helped drive their success to date.
The Power of Passion
When a business enjoys what they do, it is easier to stay motivated. This is why having passion is so important as a motivator for entrepreneurial success. At Oculus Operational Innovation, a specialist supplier of complete operational control centre solutions, the passion to deliver integrated visual solutions is evident. Having identified a gap in expertise within the dedicated control room industry, the company has grown from a team of three in the early 2000s to an integrated, multi-discipline, specialized team of twenty, focusing on innovative mission critical control room solutions.
Knowledge is King
A thorough understanding of a niche or industry is another critical element of entrepreneurial success, as it helps a business to stay up to date with new trends and an evolving landscape. For family-run business Powder-Lak, a leading manufacturer of powder coatings in Africa, this knowledge came from its German founder, who has significant industry expertise as well as German technology knowledge, backed by his experience of European business methods and requirements.
Be Customer Centric
Any business owner knows that all the innovation and expertise in the world means nothing without a wiling customer. Companies that put the customer above everything, put themselves on the best path towards success, from understanding consumer needs and attracting their attention, to personalising product solutions that cater for their changing circumstances.
Supplier of industrial automation and networking equipment Allpronix is one such company that strives to lead the industry in advanced technology, quality and affordable instrumentation, while ensuring that they provide their customers with products that are aimed at their specific, unique requirements and business processes.
Philip Woods, Events Director: Business and Technology at RX Africa says: “We are proud toshowcase many of Africa’s most forward-thinking entrepreneurs at The Africa Automation Technology Fair 2023 and Future Manufacturing Africa Trade Fair and Summit, all of whom are tapped into the disruptive future of manufacturing, automation and technology. We look forward to welcoming both visitors and exhibitors alike to the co-located shows and are confident that they will extract great value by exploring latest trends and opportunities, engaging with new buyers from across the continent and beyond, and making lucrative business connections.”
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