Islamic expo to boost Zim business


HARARE – The following is an interview with South Africa-based businessman and entrepreneur Vinay Naran, who will a key note speaker at the forthcoming Islamic Expo launch.

1. What does this Expo mean to you personally and your business?

The Orischart Islamic Expo will allow for the creation of an established platform for the generation, expansion and exchange of ideas, insights, experiences and solutions.

Personally I think the challenge for Africa as a continent, is to provide young people with opportunities to fulfill their potential and contribute to the development of African nations.

The need for an expo of this nature cannot be understated and I firmly believe that we need to see more Africans, the youth especially, dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunities for people to improve their lives.

Naran & Partners was established with the vision to contribute and add value to the understanding of  Africa’s capacity to absorb more investors into its markets. We believe strongly in the power of entrepreneurship and investment to transform Africa and work to increase two-way trade and investment between South Africa and other African economies, with a focus on small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), as well as larger corporations, while placing a special emphasis on investment promotion in Africa’s strategic value chains.

Through increasing the role of the Diaspora in Africa’s development and ensuring that they inform debates about development priorities for Africa, Naran & Partners are honoured to have the opportunity to contribute and add value to Orischart Islamic Expo seeking to foster greater dialogue and engagement between the various international trade and investment stakeholders and the Islamic Business World.

2. What role will you playing during the Expo?

Noting that of population dynamics coupled with an increase in the demand for services Vinay Naran, representing Naran & Partners (Johannesburg, South Africa) will as a partner to the Orischart Islamic Expo consult with interested parties which are hereby invited to expose and be exposed to a variety of firms and their actors with a view to opening the supply chain doors for possible business association with the extended Islamic Business World.

Understanding the challenges involved with successfully navigating difficult business environments in Africa, the role of Naran & Partners will be to work with all the relevant stakeholders to achieve increased opportunities for partnerships between businesses through meeting facilitation, exposing businesses to procurement opportunities, expanding opportunities for trade and investment in Africa and expanding opportunities for companies in Africa to export.

The Islamic Financial Services (IFS) sector continues to be one the fastest growing within the global Financial Services Arena in Asia and Africa, Naran & Partners will also look to assist Orischart Islamic Expo to also gain increasing popularity in specific markets such as the EU, U.S.A and The Caribbean.

3. Historically, do you think Southern Africa is ready to do things the Islamic way? If yes why so?

Without a doubt. If you ask me I believe that Southern Africa was ready years ago to incorporate unique competencies of global Islamic excellence.

According to Ernst & Young’s Global Islamic Banking Centre, in 2012 Global Islamic finance assets are estimated at USD 1.8 trillion with an expectation for them to double by 2015.

This coupled with  the fact that Islamic Financial Services (IFS) competencies span across all key sectors means that the Islamic business world will play a huge role in driving the agenda of an inclusive, cohesive and prosperous Africa.

With unemployment as the continents’ central problem, a top priority must be to grow businesses as they are an important factor for job creation and employment. Opportunity-driven entrepreneurs generate new business ideas, mobilise resources and ultimately create jobs and having said that I firmly believe that we have no choice but to be part of this model from which a better life will emerge. Nothing will be more helpful than providing a bridge to building a global network of Islamic Powerhouses to take up opportunities of private investment across the African continent.

4. What are the major highlights that people should expect by being part of the delegates to the expo?

Africa is rising, the appetite for investment is high and the global promise and challenges can best be addressed if we reason and act together.

The Orischart Expo will seek to highlight the role played by executives of major corporations, medium and small-size businesses as well as  entrepreneurs while deepening the connections with key government officials.

In looking for the bridge from what the Islamic Business World and Africa’s relationship is today and what we want it to be, the Expo will connect companies, communities and countries. Attending the conference will be high profile speakers, decision makers, educated affluent and influential, ready to do business types. 

From Heads of State, Ministers of Government, Elected Officials and Business Leaders, all addressing the current and emerging economic development issues.

Delegates attending the event will have an opportunity to examine approaches that tap into alternative investment opportunities that generate new markets, sustain and expand enterprise growth, and to explore strategic investment opportunities, lucrative trade initiatives with significant growth and profit potential.   

The trending demographics, trade, technology, geopolitics, and the evolving Islamic  financial markets are ripe for new business ventures through the Arab world and Africa and those attending will be able to explore  opportunities for investment, partnership export possibilities and collaboration with major corporations and experienced business persons.

5. Have you ever participated in an Islamic Expo? Where? When?

6. How different is an Islamic expo different from other expos, if any?

You might be aware that this is the Inaugural Orischart Islamic Expo and will be the first time whereby I participate in an Islamic Expo as such. Being an Islamic Expo however, should not allow for movement away from the basic underlying principles of gatherings such as these.

The Expo will be a high concentration of some of the best minds, successful business persons, corporate executives, elected officials, thought leaders, all at one destination, in pursuit of wealth with a social conscience, solving some of society’s most intractable challenges.

This will impact the way government, business and the social sector work together as a force for good on the world’s business stage.

I am therefore excited to be participating and look forward to engaging in meetings that will account lead to new partnerships, new projects, joint ventures and investments.

7. May you please provide a brief resume about yourself?
Vinay Naran is an entrepreneur and investor in the transformation of the African continent through identifying, developing and connecting the next generation of   entrepreneurs and leaders.

Formerly a waitron, trainee accountant, forex consultant and NGO executive, he is the founder of Naran & Partners (N&P), a corporate actor that seeks to inspire and motivate business transformation and development by linking the bridge through which entrepreneurs and investors can connect with established

He believes that due to the unique history of Africa, it has become almost impossible for the majority to imagine and realise a career in business and therefore seeks partnerships in entrepreneurs and investors wanting to grow their businesses and employ more people, with a particular focus on broadening their client base, acquiring more corporate clients, and tendering successfully for government business.

Vinay strives to provide the appropriate support and a conducive environment for opportunity-driven entrepreneurs who establish new businesses not out of necessity but because they recognise and seize opportunities.

You can connect with Vinay Naran as follows:
Twitter: @EagleNaran

Naran & Partners (N&P) Is an institution formed to inspire and motivate business transformation and development. N&P supports supplier diversity by promoting sustainable business linkages between global corpoorateions and African suppliers through assisting corporations to identify and target more procurement opportunities for certified, competitive African suppliers.

Operations at Naran & Partners are conducted to achieve increased partnerships through facilitation and expanding trade and investment by instituting our various business development programmes.

Contact with N&P can be made via:

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