The Managing Director of Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), Maria Nthebolan has encouraged businesses to adopt Information Communications Technology (ICT) so that they can survive in the new decade and beyond.
“ICT has become a core competency for pursuing competitive advantage, product and process development, productivity and sustained economic growth in many national development plans, industries and services. ICT is a strategic resource that aligns knowledge and innovation platforms with business strategy,” said Nthebolan at the recent FORBEX exhibition.
She said innovation is the panacea for growth, diversification and competitiveness. She urged companies to explore innovative product strategies, prudent process management and astute business models so as to survive and remain relevant.
When addressing players in the tourism sector, Nthebolan said researchers at the World Travel and Tourism Council estimate that Botswana’s tourism sector will expand by 5.2 percent in 2010, with its activities contributing P8.77 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
She warned that such growth can only be achieved if companied embrace innovation and productivity. Nthebolan said there is low product differentiation in tourism, such that investment in innovation and customer service will ensure profitability and survival.
Nthebolan encouraged the food and beverage businesses to have a telescopic view at innovation taking into account the business processes, product improvement, organizational culture, marketing, e-commerce and staff development.
Nthebolan said ICT by itself is not a driver of innovation and productivity growth.
“There is need for other ingredients such as investments in equipment, organizational transformation, new marketing strategies and staff development for it to be an enabler of innovation and productivity,” she said.
She added that innovation needs suitable conditions to thrive and there is need for technological leadership in Botswana as inspired by the strategies of Vision 2016.