Asif Jaffer is the founder and CEO of Adinova, Lda in Angola and a Director of AITECA (Associação Da Indústria Têxtil e Confecção De Angola). He studied at the University of Reading in the UK and has been in Angola for 22 years and in the Textile sector for 15 years.

 

ADINOVA sells sewing machines, fabrics, and haberdashery among other products, but what prompted you to create a textile company in Angola?

 

Along with food and shelter, clothes are one of our most basic necessities. As long as human civilization exists, the need for clothing will remain. There is a big gap in the Angolan market, as textiles are being sold at extremely high prices and there is no way that any local producer can buy the products, make garments, and sell them locally at a reasonable price.
As an established entrepreneur I understand this business and creating a supply chain was a natural progression. This is where Adinova comes in – to supply quality machinery, fabrics, and accessories at an affordable price.

 

Who are your main clients and strategic partners in the country?

 

Every textile distributor has dream customers they would like to land. It is essential to first understand your current customers, what they seek and why. Understanding this gives an insight into gaining new customers. We have a wide range of clients from large-scale garment factories and garment manufacturers to mid-size and micro industries. These small-scale tailoring shops often operate from smaller premises but supplement the income raised and play a significant role in the economy of developing countries. Our aim is to provide our customers with equipment, raw materials, and technical know-how which is easily available to them all under one roof. We are committed to providing total customer satisfaction, both external and internal with quality products and services conforming at all times to clearly established company norms.

 

Are you seeing quality local talent in the market?

 

Currently, the garment manufacturers in Angola are solely concentrating on the production of Workwear and Uniforms. However, we believe that the textile sector in Angola has immense potential in fashion, sports, and daily wear. There are talented designers here who can create a diverse range of clothing from high-end fashion to sports, from lingerie to daily wear which will play a huge part in the growth of this sector. Angola imports over USD300 million worth of finished clothing, per year, we can provide the market with a wide range of fabrics, machinery, and technical support to help the market reach self-sufficiency and in turn, reduce dependency on importation and support the development of products “Made in Angola”.

 

You have participated in the FILDA event for a number of years. How does this event help the company to grow nationally and internationally?

 

International Fairs provide a unique networking platform and have helped us in promotion, marketing, and publicity efforts. FILDA has provided Adinova with a platform for conducting business on a national and international scale.

 

Given the current logistics crisis, how have the changes in transportation prices and distribution affected the company?

 

Put simply, transportation affects the price of goods because it is a key component in a supply chain. Higher freight costs affect every aspect of this chain, which in turn affects what companies must charge for goods to break even or make a profit. While there isn’t necessarily a one-to-one correlation between higher freight charges and higher consumer costs, there’s certainly a relationship. With freight costs up, companies must make up for that increase, and they generally will pass those increases on to the consumer. One of the measures undertaken by us to offset the increase in transportation costs and maintain our prices is negotiating vigorously with our suppliers, and buying in bulk to pass on these benefits to the customer. Another measure implemented by us is revising packaging and product design to reduce weight and increase shipment density to maximize transportation costs.

 

You mentioned that when you entered the sector, prices were incredibly high and that you’re trying to change this. What actions should be taken within this sector in other to strengthen the local economy?

 

Angola is a country that has emerged from civil war, but it is still economically one of the best countries to be in right now.  Countries that import clothes suffer from loss of jobs and a lack of independence in production. At the level of strengthening the local economy, the direct benefits include improved economies, increased GDP, and more employment. Setting up an increased number of training centers to educate the labor force, provides direct and indirect employment and improves growth and income which in turn improves the economy of the country. We work closely with the government, supplying equipment for these institutes and fabrics for the public sector. We also supply Communities and NGOs with machines that lead to financial independence.

 

How would you convince foreign investors to come to Angola and exploit a textile sector of considerable potential?

 

Regarding foreign investors, this is certainly the right time to enter the country that’s screaming for foreign investment. Competition is healthy, in what is effectively a virgin market. Angola is still a country of opportunity and foreign investment would bring in the capital needed to enhance the local industries, boosting infrastructure and productivity and creating employment opportunities in the process.

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