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Huawei’s culture, a game changer

In the future, smart devices will become smarter and more diverse. Huawei is developing future-oriented capabilities focused on consumer needs under all scenarios, including the way people live, work, and play. The company’s approach to its business is revolutionary in many ways. ‘The New Thing’ is the concept by which Huawei now presents itself.

Understanding the way people relate to a brand is crucial in the development of a business strategy. Huawei has achieved much in respect to this and results have followed: this year Huawei is ranked among the world’s top 100 renowned brands, after being included in the Interbrand "Best Global Brands" for both 2014 and 2015, as well as being selected by BrandZ for its "Global Top 100 Most Valuable Brands" in 2015.

To support the growth of the smartphone brand which exists since five years, Huawei announced earlier this year of its new global brand ambassador, world football superstar, Lionel Messi. This cooperation is expected to help Huawei go further in the high-end market and will attract more global consumers to know and love the Huawei brand. The positioning is evolving and the perception is changing quite rapidly.

Huawei’s global brand awareness jumped from 65% in 2014 to 76%, and its brand awareness increased to 97% in the Chinese market.

To connect to the consumer requires in-depth understanding of his needs. Huawei heads say that though consumer electronics are constantly changing, but users are unchanging in their pursuit of high-quality products and services. Today, we are shifting away from a shortage economy, and are entering a surplus economy. In this new era, quality is king. Their take is that high standards lead to high quality, and higher quality leads to a larger market share.

The focus is now on quality and to make any significant advancement towards this, R&D and innovation become key: “Last year, we continued to innovate, focusing on cutting-edge technology and an inspired user experience. By openly collaborating with more partners, we have worked hard to integrate technology with culture, fashion, and art, and become an active trendsetter in technology and culture. Our brand awareness, industry influence, and consumer interest also improved,” says Ada Xu, Huawei Consumer Business Group’s PR Director.

Africa remains an important market for Huawei. In May 2015, Huawei Consumer Business Group announced the arrival of its Huawei GR5 and GR3 to the African shores. Packaged in an attractive metallic body with impressive specs, the G series is a range of devices tailored to provide a premium smart experience for the youth – connecting the right person to the right device. The Huawei G-Series has leapfrogged the smartphones in its range with its latest offering of the GR5 and GR3.

More recently, the Huawei P9 and P9 plus have been launched in Africa, including Botswana. “Driven by a shared commitment to innovation and engineering excellence, the partnership between Huawei and Leica empower P9 and P9 Plus users to capture photographs with unmatched richness, clarity and authenticity. The product is already proving popular in various countries in Africa and this shows that we are right to make shift towards the premium product”, says Ada Xu. “Our penetration of the African market will be sustained and strengthened”.

Two things, when combined, make of Huawei a unique company. Firstly, it has three rotating CEOs and, secondly, the company belongs to its employees (99%).

Huawei implements the rotating CEO system under the Board of Director's (BOD) leadership. As the primary owner of the company's operations during the tenure, the Rotating and Acting CEO is responsible for the company's survival and development. Three Deputy Chairmen take turns to act as the Rotating and Acting CEO for a tenure of six months: Guo Ping, Ken Hu and Eric Xu.

The rotating CEOs, employee ownership, the focus on R&D and innovation and the fact that the company is privately held leads to the concept of Global Innovation Hive, explains Ada Xu. Huawei's shipments grew 60% on the year in the first quarter of 2016, at a time when global demand for smartphones is softening. “We are doing things right and results are following”, she adds.

“Huawei’s upbeat performance comes at a time when industry leaders Samsung and Apple are potentially facing a tough year ahead”, wrote Reuters recently.

Earlier this year, the Huawei Consumer Business Group shared the details of a slate of partnerships that will create a new consumer ecosystem in mobile, bringing together the best in technology, payment, sound and fashion in its newly launched consumer electronic devices.

Huawei’s approach to partnerships is changing the smartphone industry:

People using Huawei’s M2 Tablet will have an opportunity to enjoy the rich sonic experience of Harman/Kardon, as the result of a new partnership that integrates that company’s leading audio technology into the 10-inch tablet.

The company announced the Huawei Watch for Lady, a luxurious version of the well-received smartwatch device alongside a design partnership with Swarovski AG.

Huawei continues its collaboration with Google as it launches a new gold version of Nexus 6P. Jointly manufactured by Huawei and Google, this special edition gold Nexus 6P offers a stylish option for people who want a more luxurious, premium device

“The products that result from these collaborations define premium by combining the industry’s best technology, fashion and sound, providing our customers with the ultimate user experience.

Together with our partners, we are proud to deliver the devices that today’s discerning consumers are demanding”, says Richard Yu, CEO, Consumer Business Group.

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Business

Gambling Authority tender dangles as a jittery lottery quandary

30th November 2020
SEFALANA MD: CHANDRA CHAUHAN

Lucrative and highly anticipated national lottery tender that saw several Batswana businessmen partnering to form a gambling consortium to pit against their South African counterparts, culminates into a big power gamble.

WeekendPost has had a chance to watch lottery showcase even before the anticipated and impending national lottery set-up launches. A lot has been a big gamble from the bidding process which is now set for the courts next year January following a marathon legal brawl involving the interest of the gambling fraternity in Botswana and South Africa.

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The uncertainty of getting the next meal in Botswana

30th November 2020
uncertainty of getting the next meal

Households representing more than half of Botswana’s population-mostly residing in rural areas- do not know where their next meal will come from, but neither do they take into consideration the quality and/or quantity of the food they consume.

This is according to the latest Prevalence of Food Insecurity in Botswana report which was done for the 2018/19 period and represents the state of food insecurity data even to this time.
The Prevalence of Food Insecurity was released by Statistics Botswana and it released results with findings that the results show that at national level 50.8 percent of the population in Botswana was affected by moderate to severe food insecurity in 2018/19, while 22.2 percent of the population was affected by severe food insecurity only.

According to the report, this translates to 27 percent of the population being food secure that is to say having adequate access to food in both quality and quantity. According to Statistician General, Burton Mguni, when explaining how the food data was compiled, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is custodian of the “Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU)” and “Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in the population based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)” SDG indicators, for leading FIES data analysis and the resultant capacity building.

“The FIES measures the extent of food insecurity at the household or individual level. The indicator provides internationally comparable estimates of the proportion of the population facing moderate to severe difficulties in accessing food. The FIES consists of eight brief questions regarding access to adequate food, and the questions are answered directly with a yes/no response. It (FIES) complements the existing food and nutrition security indicators such as Prevalence of Undernourishment.

According to the FIES, with increasing severity, the quantity of food consumed decreases as portion sizes are reduced and meals are skipped. At its most severe level, people are forced to go without eating for a day or more. The scale further reveals that the household’s experience of food insecurity may be characterized by uncertainty and anxiety regarding food access and compromising the quality of the diet and having a less balanced and more monotonous diet,” says Mguni.

The 50.8 percent of the population in Botswana which was affected by moderate to severe food insecurity are characterized as people experiencing moderate food insecurity and face uncertainties about their ability to obtain food. These people have been forced to compromise on the quality and/or quantity of the food they consume according to the report on food insecurity.

Those who experience severe food insecurity, the 22.2 percent of the population, are people who have typically run out of food and, at worst, gone a day (or days) without eating. According to the statistics, rural area population experienced moderate to severe food insecurity at 65 percent while urban villages were at 46.60 percent and cities/town were at 31.70 percent. Those experiencing the most extreme and severe insecurity were at rural areas making 33.10 percent while urban villages and towns were at 11.90 percent and 17.50 respectively.

According to a paper compiled by Sirak Bahta, Francis Wanyoike, Hikuepi Katjiuongua and Davis Marumo and published in December 2017, titled ‘Characterization of food security and consumption patterns among smallholder livestock farmers in Botswana,’ over 70 percent of Botswana’s population reside in rural areas, and majority (70%) relies on traditional/subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods.

The study set out to characterize the food security situation and food consumption patterns among livestock keepers in Botswana. “Despite the policy change, challenges still remain in ensuring that all persons and households have access to food at all times. For example, during an analysis of the impacts of rising international food prices for Botswana, BIDPA reported that food prices tended to be highest in the rural areas already disadvantaged by relatively low levels of income and high rates of unemployment,” said the study.

According to the paper, about 9 percent of households were found to be food insecure and this category of households included 6 percent of households that ranked poorly and 3 percent that were on the borderline according to the World Food Programme’s (WFP) definition of food security.

Media reports state that the World Bank has warned that disruption to production and supply chains could ‘spark a food security crisis’ in Africa, forecasting a fall in farm production of up to 7 percent, if there are restrictions to trade, and a 25 percent decline in food imports.

Food security in Botswana or food production was also attacked by the locust pandemic which swept out this country’s vegetation and plants. The locust is said to have contributed to 25 percent loss in production.

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Business

Solid demand for diamonds towards the ‘gift’ season

30th November 2020
Diamonds

Global lockdown have been a thorn in diamonds having shiny sales, but a lot of optimism shows with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the precious stones will be bought with high volumes towards festive season. The diamond market is however warned of the resurgence of Covid-19 in key markets presents ongoing risks amid the presence and optimist about the new Covid-29 vaccines.

The latest findings published as De Beers Group’s latest Diamond Insight ‘Flash’ Report, which looks at the impact of the pandemic on relationships and engagements, has revealed that in the US that more couples than ever are buying diamond engagement rings. Bridal sales is mostly the primary source of diamond jewellery demand in recent months, De Beers said.

According to De Beers, interviews with independent jewellers around the US revealed that the rate of couples getting engaged has increased compared with the period when Covid-19 first had an impact in the US in the spring.

“In addition, despite challenging economic times, consumers were spending more than ever on diamond engagement rings – often upgrading in colour, cut and clarity, rather than size. Several jewellers speculated that with consumers spending less on elaborate weddings and/or honeymoons in the current environment, they had more to spend on choosing the perfect ring,” said De Beers.

According to De Beers, a national survey of 360 US women in serious relationships, undertaken in late October in collaboration with engagement and wedding website, The Knot. This survey is said to have found that the majority of respondents (54%) were thinking more about their engagement ring than the wedding itself (32%) or the honeymoon (15%), supporting jewellers’ hypothesis that engagement ring sales were benefiting from reduced wedding and travel budgets in light of Covid-19 restrictions.

When it came to researching engagement rings, online was by far the predominant channel for gaining ideas/inspiration at 86% of consumers surveyed, with 85% saying they had saved examples of styles they liked, according to De Beers. According to the survey, only a uarter of respondents said they had looked in-store at a physical location for design inspiration.

“For many couples, the pandemic has brought them even closer together, in some instances speeding up the path to engagement after forming a deeper connection while experiencing lockdown and its associated ups and downs as a partnership. Engagement rings are taking on even greater symbolism in this environment, with retailers reporting couples are prepared to invest more than usual, particularly due to budget reductions in other areas,” De Beers CEO Cleaver said.

According to De Beers Group, its Diamond Insight Flash Report series is focused on understanding the US consumer perspective in light of Covid-19 and monitoring how it evolves as the crisis evolves. Also, the company said, it is augmenting its existing research programme with additional consumer, retailer and supply chain touch-basis to understand the pain points and the opportunities for stakeholders across the diamond pipeline.

Demand for diamonds is as hard and resilient as the precious stone itself. De Beers pocketed US$ 450 million in its recently held ninth rough diamond sales cycle, and the company says it is more flexible approach to rough diamond sales during the ninth sales cycle of 2020, with the Sight event extended beyond its normal week-long duration.

“Steady demand for De Beers Group’s rough diamonds continued in the ninth sales cycle of the year, reflecting stable consumer demand for diamond jewellery at the retail level in the US and China, and expectations for reasonable demand to continue throughout the holiday season. However, the resurgence of Covid-19 infections in several consumer markets presents ongoing risks,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver recently.

High expectations are on diamonds being a sentimental gift for holiday season or as the most fetished gift. However the ninth cycle was lower than the eighth which registered US$ 467 million. For the last year period which corresponds with the current one, De Beers managed to raise US$ 400.

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