In Summary

The Hyatt Regency Hotel General Manager Garry Friend calls on companies to expand their customer base and grow and that taking part in the Tanzania Mid-sized Companies Survey would be one of the steps towards the much-needed growth.

Dar es Salaam. Many businesses limit their growth by keeping their operations small, observes Hyatt Regency Hotel general manager Garry Friend, calling on companies to expand their customer bases.

Hyatt Regency Hotel, is the new sponsor of Tanzania Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Survey. The survey, which started in 2011, is the brainchild of Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) - through The Citizen brand, and a leading international Audit, Tax and Advisory services firm, KPMG.

Hyatt Regency Hotel, The Kilimanjaro, is a five-star hotel located in the Dar es Salaam waterfront. It is among the biggest luxury hotels in Tanzania.

Speaking to The Citizen in an exclusive interview ahead of the top 100 Mid-Sized Companies survey, Mr Friend said companies needed to expand their businesses in response to the growing markets.

“The business environment is tough,” said Mr Friend. “It is high time businesses looked for various untapped growing markets like Dodoma and Zanzibar.”

In addition to Hyatt Regency, the survey which is in its 8th episode this year is supported by the NMB Bank, who are the main sponsors, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) and Azam TV.

With the country’s capital moving from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, he said, the business environment in the former was becoming tough. He called for diversification of markets.

“I would advise anybody who wants to set up business to go to Dodoma and Zanzibar to grab the available opportunities. There are a lot of interesting opportunities in those particular markets,” he said.

Explaining further, he said increasing the geographical coverage of a business and venturing into areas where the services are needed can provide stability in a changing market.

He said this was a kind of insurance so if things did not go well in one location, “you will not go out of business.”

He called on companies to tap into other geographical areas where their products are demanded and yield more profits.

For this to work, he says, they need to do market research on the kind of goods and services required. This will also help them to assess profitability before they invest.

This is by confirming demand for their products, determining any competitors, and assessing the costs of expansion strategy.

He also sees the need for Mid-Sized Companies to improve the quality of their products or services if they are to win both local and international markets.

Not only that, Mr Friend adds that they also have to be consistent in supplying their products or services.

“We need a regular supplier who can supply us with quality products. If they have to import products it may take a long time, up to three months, to be delivered,” he says, advising suppliers to have a way of stocking already available products, to speed up delivery.

Mr Friend believes that companies that participate in the top 100 Mid-Sized Companies Survey stand a chance to grow their businesses.

He said the survey will give the companies an opportunity to showcase what they can do and get information about the market.

Like any companies, he said, the participating firms in the survey will be in a position to share experience, look at the best practices with other companies and talk among themselves on untapped markets, which can be successful for them.

“The participating companies can borrow a leaf from more successful companies,” he noted.

“It is good to bring these companies together to talk and brainstorm among themselves and discuss what is happening in the market,” advises Mr Friend.

He says their willingness to support the Mid-Sized Companies is what has driven them to become one of the sponsors of this year’s top 100 Mid-Sized Companies survey.

He said Hyatt Regency was using a lot of mid-sized companies as suppliers for products such as fish, beef, tea and coffee, among others.

“Any big hotel needs a lot of partnership if it is to succeed,” notes Mr Friend. “You need everything from people who supply bed sheets, towels, uniforms, tomatoes, and chicken, just to mention but a few.”

The 180-room Hyatt Regency hotel, with a total of 830-square-metres (8,930-square-feet) of meeting space, is well-equipped to host a variety of meetings and events, from private business meetings and seminars to grand events and receptions for up to 400 guests. Hyatt Regency, employs 261 full time employees.