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Bursting Colors, Vibrant Rhythms And Dazzling Smiles Sell

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In just six years, Timothy Vieira (38), Nuno Traguedo (44) and Odair Peres (32) have created Angola’s number one advertising giant that advertises for major brands including Cuca, Chevrolet and Kraft Foods.

“Angolans connect with rhythm, music, happiness and bright colors. Those ingredients work magic in

drawing Angolan consumers’ attention,” Peres says at Special Edition’s humble headquarters in the Angolan capital, Luanda. But creating the perfect match between an advert and its Angolan audience does not end there.

Special Edition’s biggest clients include Angolan beer brands Cuca, Eka and Nokal; Argentinean chocolate company Arcor; Angolan TV broadcast company Zapp; Suzuki, Chevrolet and Volkswagen; Kraft Foods (owner of Cadbury); the Ministry of the Interior; and South Africa’s Standard Bank.

One of the reasons Vieira, Traguedo and Peres manage to hook such big fish is that competition in Angola is only a fraction of what it would be elsewhere. “If you’d set up the same company in Portugal, it would be one in a million,” Traguedo says. “Here, it’s one in five.”

More importantly, though, the three owners know what works in Angola and what doesn’t. They understand the Angolan psyche and the country’s troubled past. “Culturally and linguistically, Angola is not a united country and its civil war (1975-2002) only ended 10 years ago. For outsiders, that makes it very difficult to understand how Angolan consumers will react,” says Traguedo.

One of Special Edition’s companies, Key Research, conducts research into Angolan consumption habits. With Bon o Bons, big chocolate bonbons in yellow wrappers that cost 20 (US) cents each, they made a surprising discovery. “Bon o Bons here are sold by the millions. We always thought Angolans had a sweet tooth, but they don’t: these chocolates serve as a lunch substitute for people who work far from home,” Peres says. “That makes TV ads unnecessary, because Bon o Bon’s eaters generally don’t own a TV. So we just offered a free T-shirt per two boxes of chocolate at branded Bon o Bon’s selling points.

“But until recently, people would go to the store and ask for a Brazilian Garoto (when they wanted a Bon o Bon), since it was the only brand that existed here during the war. We created a jingle that constantly repeated Bon o Bon’s name. It worked.”

Special Edition’s history started six years ago, after Traguedo sold his first Angolan company, Publibrinde. “I originally returned to Angola with just $500,” he says, “but the sale of Publibrinde left me with some pocket money. Tim and I, together, invested about $100,000 in the creation of our first advertising company six years ago, Dilal. Tim’s garage was our office.”

Dilal developed into the group Special Edition, of which Angolan-Norwegian investment fund Fundo de Investimento Privada Angola now owns 20%. Six directors have also been given shares. Directors who stay for more than a decade are entitled to their share. “That’s how they stay loyal,” Peres says.

Special Edition’s growth rate has been spectacular from the start. The group employs over 350 people. “Growth has been an average 20-25% annually and annual turnover has reached between $25-35 million,” Traguedo says. “We chose to reinvest in Angola because returns here are still more attractive than in most parts of the world.” Angola’s growth forecast for 2012 is a staggering 12.8%.

Some of Special Edition’s companies offer a clearer illustration than others that advertising in Angola is a custom-made art. Key People, for example, is a recruitment agency. It was originally set up to prevent clients from “stealing” the group’s employees. “Due to Angola’s lack of human resources, qualified Angolans constantly get proposals from other companies. We created Key People to train employees and rent them out to our clients. That way, our clients are happy and we make sure our employees stick with us,” Peres says.

Key Promotion helps Angolans understand how to use various products “primarily via radio, because TV is not accessible to everyone and internet is even worse. During the war, Angolans only had one type of soap. Now there are hundreds to choose from, but people aren’t used to that. They use Omo to wash their clothes, cars and themselves. That’s where Key Promotion comes in,” Peres says.

Press People is a printing company that produces its own pocket-sized magazine with gossip, music, fashion and recipes. It’s for the masses. “They love it!” Traguedo says. “It’s very unlike the other magazines, which cost $7 or $8. That’s quite a lot for the majority of Angolans (two thirds of Angolans live on less than $2 a day). Our magazine costs $1. While other Angolan magazines print 5,000 issues a month, we print 45,000 a week.”

Special Edition currently has nine companies within its holding. The newest additions include the high-tech outdoor company Big Media, “the Angolan government’s choice during national elections”, which has 2,500 billboards across the country; Digital Print, Angola’s leading digital printing company; Key Service, which was set up to analyze the media group’s competition; Angola’s biggest media buyer, On Media, which develops bluetooth advertising, SMS, plasma rental and indoor advertising in shopping malls; IMACOP, which creates light boxes, stands, store decoration and signs; and the PR company, Uanda, which was set up to create a good relationship between clients and the media, and which is part of the largest independent PR firm in the world, the Edelman Group.

With 98% Angolan employees, Special Edition’s three owners are convinced that human resources are key to their success. “We employ the best staff in the industry,” Vieira says. “The commitment I see here is huge compared to advertising agencies in Europe. None of our Angolan employees have studied abroad, but they are all top people,” Peres adds. “One of them learned to create 3D by watching YouTube. There’s a little competition going on. Our people motivate themselves to learn from each other, which is beautiful.”

In the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report last year, Angola ranks 163 out of 183 countries. “In Angola, finding a place and qualified people is difficult and the stress involved is a lot worse than in other countries,” Peres admits. “Sometimes you don’t have any water or power or the generator breaks down. But Angolans are happy by nature. If we don’t have electricity, we visit our neighbors and have a glass of champagne. What other people call problems, we call challenges. Nothing is impossible in Angola.”

Special Edition has already booked its first international success. “We managed to convince Arcor to do an Angolan campaign instead of simply translating their existing one, which would not have worked,” Peres says.

“The response was so good that we’ve translated the Angolan Bon o Bon TV ad into English and French. For the first time ever, an Angolan TV spot is being broadcast all over Africa.”

Despite that, says Vieira, Special Edition does not have international aspirations. “Angola is big enough to keep us busy. I believe our story has just begun.”

Entrepreneurs

From The Arab World To Africa

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Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassimi; image supplied

In this exclusive interview with FORBES AFRICA, successful Dubai-based Emirati businesswoman, author and artist, Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassimi, shares some interesting insights on fashion, the future, and feminism in a shared world.

Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassimi wears many hats, as an artist, architect, author, entrepreneur and philanthropist based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). She currently serves as the CEO of Paris London New York Events & Publishing (PLNY), that includes a magazine and a fashion house.

She runs Velvet Magazine, a luxury lifestyle publication in the Gulf founded in 2010 that showcases the diversity of the region home to several nationalities from around the world.

In this recent FORBES AFRICA interview, Hend, as she would want us to call her, speaks about the future of publishing, investing in intelligent content, and learning to be a part of the disruption around you.

As an entrepreneur too and the designer behind House of Hend, a luxury ready-to-wear line that showcases exquisite abayas, evening gowns and contemporary wear, her designs have been showcased in fashion shows across the world.

The Middle East is known for retail, but not typically, as a fashion hub in the same league as Paris, New York or Milan. Yet, she has changed the narrative of fashion in the region. “I have approached the world of fashion with what the customer wants,” says Hend. In this interview, she also extols African fashion talent and dwells on her own sartorial plans for the African continent.

In September, in Downtown Dubai, she is scheduled to open The Flower Café. Also an artist using creative expression meaningfully, she says it’s important to be “a role model of realism”.

She is also the author of The Black Book of Arabia, described as a collection of true stories from the Arab community offering a real glimpse into the lives of men and women across the Gulf Cooperation Council region.

In this interview, she also expounds on her home, Sharjah, one of the seven emirates in the UAE and the region’s educational hub. “A number of successful entrepreneurs have started in this culturally-rich emirate that’s home to 30 museums,” she concludes. 

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Kim Kardashian West Is Worth $900 Million After Agreeing To Sell A Stake In Her Cosmetics Firm To Coty

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In what will be the second major Kardashian cashout in a year, Kim Kardashian West is selling a 20% stake in her cosmetics company KKW Beauty to beauty giant Coty COTY for $200 million. The deal—announced today—values KKW Beauty at $1 billion, making Kardashian West worth about $900 million, according to Forbes’estimates.

The acquisition, which is set to close in early 2021, will leave Kardashian West the majority owner of KKW Beauty, with an estimated 72% stake in the company, which is known for its color cosmetics like contouring creams and highlighters. Forbes estimates that her mother, Kris Jenner, owns 8% of the business. (Neither Kardashian West nor Kris Jenner have responded to a request for comment about their stakes.) According to Coty, she’ll remain responsible for creative efforts while Coty will focus on expanding product development outside the realm of color cosmetics.

Earlier this year, Kardashian West’s half-sister, Kylie Jenner, also inked a big deal with Coty, when she sold it 51% of her Kylie Cosmetics at a valuation of $1.2 billion. The deal left Jenner with a net worth of just under $900 million. Both Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty are among a number of brands, including Anastasia Beverly Hills, Huda Beauty and Glossier, that have received sky-high valuations thanks to their social-media-friendly marketing. 

“Kim is a true modern-day global icon,” said Coty chairman and CEO Peter Harf in a statement. “This influence, combined with Coty’s leadership and deep expertise in prestige beauty will allow us to achieve the full potential of her brands.”

The deal comes just days after Seed Beauty, which develops, manufactures and ships both KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics, won a temporary injunction against KKW Beauty, hoping to prevent it from sharing trade secrets with Coty, which also owns brands like CoverGirl, Sally Hansen and Rimmel. On June 19, Seed filed a lawsuit against KKW Beauty seeking protection of its trade secrets ahead of an expected deal between Coty and KKW Beauty. The temporary order, granted on June 26, lasts until August 21 and forbids KKW Beauty from disclosing details related to the Seed-KKW relationship, including “the terms of those agreements, information about license use, marketing obligations, product launch and distribution, revenue sharing, intellectual property ownership, specifications, ingredients, formulas, plans and other information about Seed products.”

Coty has struggled in recent years, with Wall Street insisting it routinely overpays for acquisitions and has failed to keep up with contemporary beauty trends. The coronavirus pandemic has also hit the 116-year-old company hard. Since the beginning of the year, Coty’s stock price has fallen nearly 60%. The company, which had $8.6 billion in revenues in the year through June 2019, now sports a $3.3 billion market capitalization. By striking deals with companies like KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics, Coty is hoping to refresh its image and appeal to younger consumers.

Kardashian West founded KKW Beauty in 2017, after successfully collaborating with Kylie Cosmetics on a set of lip kits. Like her half-sister, Kardashian West first launched online only, but later moved into Ulta stores in October 2019, helping her generate estimated revenues of $100 million last year. KKW Beauty is one of several business ventures for Kardashian West: She continues to appear on her family’s reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, sells her own line of shapewear called Skims and promotes her mobile game, Kim Kardashian Hollywood. Her husband, Kanye West, recently announced a deal to sell a line of his Yeezy apparel in Gap stores.

“This is fun for me. Now I’m coming up with Kimojis and the app and all these other ideas,” Kardashian West told Forbesof her various business ventures in 2016. “I don’t see myself stopping.”

Madeline Berg, Forbes Staff, Hollywood & Entertainment

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Entrepreneurs

Covid-19: Restaurants, Beauty Salons, Cinemas Among Businesses That Will Operate Again In South Africa As Ramaphosa Announces Eased Lockdown Restrictions

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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation announcing that the government will further ease the country’s lockdown restrictions.

Restaurants, beauty salons, cinemas are among the businesses that will be allowed to operate again in South Africa.

The country is still on lockdown ‘Level 3’ of the government’s “risk adjusted strategy”.

President Ramaphosa also spoke on the gender based violence in the country.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I stand before the women and the girls of South Africa this evening to talk about another pandemic that is raging in our country. The killing of women and children by the men of our country. As a man, as a husband, and as a father to daughters, I am appalled at what is no less than a war that is being waged against the women and the children of our country,” says Ramaphosa.

Watch below:

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