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How organisations form successful strategic alliances

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations have realised that in order to remain relevant in their respective industries, they need to cultivate relationships with other like minded businesses, bodies, and the like through strategic partnerships.

These partnerships have the ability to broaden market coverage and customer bases. They can also be instrumental in building brand awareness as well as broadening and strengthening an organisation’s products and services.

Below are some great examples of how partnerships have worked for organisations in industries such as technology, travel, and more.

Ensuring online safety through strategic partnerships 

MFS Africa, a leading  digital payments hub in Africa, aims to provide access to financial solutions to individuals and enterprises alike, enabling transacting across borders. In continuing to expand its business across the continent, the organisation has forged some significant acquisitions. In the past year, major acquisitions by MFS Africa have included Baxi, a leading super-agency network in Nigeria, and the US-based fintech GTP, a top processor of prepaid cards across the African continent.

But expanding has meant that there is exposure to more risk. To combat this, MFS Africa has recently partnered with ThetaRay, a leading provider of AI-powered transaction monitoring technology. The collaboration aims to protect MFS Africa’s growing network of services against financial crimes. Through the agreement, Thetaray will provide MFS Africa its SONAR SaaS solution, including AI-powered AML transaction monitoring and sanctions list screening, enabling it to stay a step ahead of complex and emerging financial crime typologies, and increase growth opportunities with a trusted and secure service.

MFS Africa’s full-service digital payments network connects over 400 million mobile money wallets, over 200 million bank accounts across Africa and over 200,000 agents in Nigeria, to enable cross-platform and cross-border payments for remittance companies, mobile network operators, banks, non-bank financial institutions, and global merchants.

A partnership to revive tourism and encourage inclusivity 

Earlier in 2022, Airbnb launched its Live and Work Anywhere initiative to identify some of the most remote worker-friendly destinations in the world, and support governments and Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) in helping to revive tourism and provide economic support to communities after two-plus years of travel restrictions.

As part of this initiative, Airbnb is working closely with Cape Town Tourism on a range of initiatives, including a dedicated custom-built hub for Cape Town that showcases top local long-term stay listings as well as important information relating to entry requirements and visa policies to attract remote workers.

Airbnb and Cape Town Tourism are also partnering on educational campaigns to promote responsible hosting and travelling as a remote worker. “In the two years since the pandemic began, a new world of travel has emerged in which many workers are untethered to an office,” said Velma Corcoran, regional lead for the Middle East and Africa at Airbnb. “Together with Cape Town Tourism, we want to make it easier for people to enjoy the newfound flexibility to work and travel, and help local communities capture the benefits of tourism.”

Staying competitive and creating value

The rapid acceleration of digital transformation, spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to the increased adoption of digital technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud computing, which is completely transforming the way that businesses make decisions, with data-driven insights informing business strategy, product development, and customer experience, says Jonathan Hurvitz, CEO of Teljoy.

“This has led to an increasingly competitive business landscape, calling on organisations to innovate on all levels to differentiate themselves from other businesses doing the same thing. Collaborating with the right partner can help organisations create or access fresh opportunities and build new capabilities that enable them to keep pace with the transforming business environment.”

The increased adoption of technology has also had an impact on customer expectations, as customers now demand more convenience, transparency, and a seamless customer experience.

“These shifting consumer wants and needs are exactly why value creation should be a dynamic and evolving part of any business strategy. Businesses need to be constantly engaging with the question of how to continue to add value for customers, and by forming mutually beneficial partnerships with brands and suppliers, they will be able to create consistent and relevant value,” says Hurvitz.

“However, it’s important to note that when building these partnerships, businesses need to ensure that they are designed in such a way that the experience remains seamless for the customer and that all partners involved benefit equally, whether in terms of brand exposure or sales,” he concludes.

Successful partnerships should benefit the customer

When companies enter into strategic partnerships, it should ideally not just be to enhance profits but to add value to the product or services for the benefit of the consumers and clients, particularly if either of the companies’ markets hasn’t readily had access to the other’s offering.

Online booking platform, Jurni’s recent partnership with Wings Travel Management is an example of this. They partnered to help get smaller accommodation providers onboarded on the jurni.travel platform secure online bookings more efficiently and timeously through the seamless interchanging of data between the two companies. Head of Marketing and Communications at Jurni, Tshepo Matlou explains, “Successful business partnerships benefit all stakeholders, including customers and clients – who are the end bosses. If one party feels undone at any point, then the partnerships should be reviewed.”