Frankfurt (Germany), October 2019. We continue our Company Builder profiles series with Renaud Sirieix. Renaud brings extensive executive level experience to the team, as well as deep experience working in in North and West Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo, Cameroon and Mozambique). We sat and talked to Renaud to get to know him better:
What is your sector specialty?
I would not say that I have a particular sector speciality, although I have an active interest in the agriculture and agritech sectors in Africa. Most of my 32 years’ experience focused on B2B (IT/Consulting/Logistics/Real Estate) and B2C services. Additionally, I have experience in heavy industry (Automotive, Construction/ Water Drilling/ Energy).
What do you see for the future of businesses Africa?
As a whole I believe we are very much in the African moment. There is plenty of room for African actors to grow and in particular, they are ideally poised to fulfil national, sub-regional, and continental needs. To realize this moment and this growth potential it is vital for these companies to begin to think globally, as well as focus on their structuration.
What is your experience with entrepreneurship in Africa?
I have not yet had direct experience in working with start-ups in the traditional sense, but I do have experience in working with early-stage companies (2/3 years) such as a trucking and logistics company in Togo and a biomass production company in Cote D’Ivoire. My experience is however quite broad, spanning more than 10 years and 10 different countries, including extensive experience with corporate branches in Africa. I believe my experience will be very beneficial to African entrepreneurs that need advisement on the financial and legal structuring of their companies, so that they can focus on their core businesses.
Can you share an anecdote or success story that shows how you work?
For 4 years, I had the chance to work with an early-stage company involved in sub-regional road trucking, based in Lomé (Togo) and named TTL (Togo Transport Logistique). They provide standard and bitumen containers transportation from Lomé port to Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso. Main issues they have to cope with were loading/unloading time at the port, time to cross borders due to traffic congestion and custom formalities. In order to accelerate truck rotation and increase their revenue, we had to improve the initial business model and negotiate new deals with key players (BOLLORÉ, NECOTRANS and ERES) of Lomé Multipurpose Terminal. After redesigning the strategy, TTL drastically improved its revenue and increased its truck fleet.
What brought you to GreenTec?
In particular, I was attracted to the very specific and Africa-tailored venture capital model to help start-ups to scale. The model is completely integrated from the upstream (investor relationships) to the downstream (start-ups ecosystem) elements of the value chain. In my option, this investment solution is focused on providing high added-value to GreenTec portfolio companies, while very efficiently and elegantly contributing to African start-ups ecosystem management.
What solutions are you excited about for Africa?
I see great potential for global solutions to be tailored to local realities and problems. Similarly, the African moment I mentioned before has great potential for African companies to fill these roles or at least lead in their implementation.
What do you look for in a start-up?
My personal belief is that any business must focus on its core value proposition. I would really be looking to support companies that are focused on solving local problems faced by many people in day to day life. Entrepreneurs are best positioned to identify and solve these problems, so I would be keen to see entrepreneurs that are closely attuned to the needs of their customers. Of course I would also want to see a motivated and professional team, that already has their sleeves rolled up.
What kind of start-ups are you looking forward to supporting and what will you do to support them?
I am eager to become more involved in start-ups and early stage companies which are looking for business model improvement in order to scale up and to increase their revenues. I believe my prior experience will be invaluable to reviewing and improving financial models, business development and model optimization, strategic planning, and very importantly, I am ready and willing to provide hands-on support within their local ecosystems. Among the things I would do are: Financial model review / Business development analysis / Strategic planning implementation / Hands-on support if needed with local ecosystem
What is an interest of yours that you haven’t shared in your company bio?
I am an avid sports and rugby fan.