Financial ExpertSpeak: Africa is the story of a giant waking up
CEO of equipment financing major Dölberg Asset Finance, Kamil Patel, spoke to AfricaMoney on how Mauritius can enhance its status as the continent’s financial hub. (Image: Company)
Kamil Patel, CEO of equipment financing major Dölberg Asset Finance, spoke to AfricaMoney on how the retail asset finance and corporate finance space in Mauritius is shaping up. Our financial expert commented on the growth story of Africa and how Mauritius can enhance its status as the continent’s financial hub.
Edited excerpts from an interview:
Can you please provide your views on the asset finance space in Mauritius, with emphasis on lease financing?
I believe the retail asset finance space in Mauritius is quite developed. The competition between financial institutions has pushed up both innovation and service. The Mauritian customer is very aware of what is available. On the other hand, I believe the corporate finance side can still grow further thanks to the market’s growth based on the need to mechanize and modernize. That is why, at Dölberg Asset Finance, we have specialized in helping corporates grow and improve.
How does the agreement with Inno Vent allow Dölberg Asset Finance to exploit more opportunities in the African continent?
The agreement with Innovent enables us to have a footprint and start operating in South Africa. We can now service opportunities in South Africa and build an international book. As the Dölberg group has offices in South Africa, it was a natural first step.
Could you comment on your experience so far with provision of lease financing in the medical domain?
Financing in the medical domain is technical as the machines financed are often very specialized and as financiers we need to understand them. On the other hand, we find that it is a market that is growing very fast and is therefore a huge opportunity. We are moving prudently into this promising market.
How does the agreement with Amayeza Abantu Biomedical, the South African supplier which finances medical devices in the sub-Saharan region, help the company deepen its expertise in the medical domain?
Partnerships with suppliers of equipment are an important part of our strategy. Amayeza is a very well respected supplier of medical equipment. Their expertise helps us better understand the market and the machines. This partnership allows us to provide a full service to our clients which includes financing, maintenance and advice.
With four specialists appointed to the board of directors last year, how has it helped Dölberg Asset Finance achieve its objective to position itself more on the local and regional market through the creation of its board of directors?
The new board of directors has made a significant difference in the growth of Dölberg. Not only has their expertise helped us improve our internal operations they have also significantly contributed to our growth. Most importantly they have helped us lay solid foundations for the future growth of Dölberg.
Recently, Dölberg Asset Finance purchased 51% of the capital of Rentco company which is based in Mozambique and whose operations are centred on the financing of equipment particularly in the business, financial services, health, and education sectors and among others. How does the company benefit from Rentco’s experience in asset management?
We were interested by Rentco for two reasons: first we believe that Mozambique is a very good market to be in because of its growth prospects. Secondly, Rentco has developed a true off-balance sheet financing solution adapted to the realities of Africa. We believe there is strong scope for growth of this product across the continent.
Dölberg is already present in Africa, in particular South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. How has your experience been with the other African countries?
From what we have seen the story across Africa is the story of a giant waking up. Africa has a thirst for business and we see the story unfolding in all the different countries. Regarding which country will perform best, I can only say that the spoils will fall to the country that can best manage the growth.
Finally, could you please provide your views on the financial services space in Mauritius and how Mauritius can transform itself into a regional financial hub?
Mauritius is already a financial hub but still has scope to grow. The success of the next step in our development will be determined by our capacity to attract talent and companies to set up in Mauritius. In order to be a hub we need to attract and retain competencies and capital.