Africa: A Continent With Lot Of Opportunities
Papis Camara is the Founder and CEO of Papis4Business, a consulting company with offices in Manchester, Paris, and Dakar. They help enterprises unleash their full potential to thrive successfully.
After ten successful years at L’Oréal in Sales, Marketing, and Management for France, UK, USA, and Africa, he joined THG (The Hut Group) in 2017, one of the world’s largest Wellness and Beauty online retail organizations. He was Managing Director for Glossybox France, an Online and Digital business. Then, as Director Yu Parfums between June 2018 to May 2020, he led the end-to-end creation of this new Direct-to-customer start-up in the UK: An E-commerce platform with its own brand.
Papis is a mentor and a source of inspiration for me. Along with his brilliant career, he has always shown an analytical and creative spirit. On top of being a digital expert, he has a rich professional experience of over 13 years. He has demonstrated, once again, his entrepreneurial spirit and leadership abilities by creating Papis4Business. He is also an empathic and collaborative leader. Overall, it felt natural to me that he has accepted to be a guest on my Podcast, followed by this interview to share his valuable experience about building a successful career.
You shared a lot during the Podcast and your feedback can apply to many people. However, I know you give a special attention to the development of Africa where your roots are. Therefore, do you have any special message to young Africans on the continent and from the diaspora regarding the development of their careers?
I was born and raised in Africa until the age of 21. I lived in Senegal, my motherland, for nearly fifteen years, and I lived in Ivory Coast for six years. I am 38 today in 2020, which means I have lived so far more than half of my life in Africa. My mother, two of my sisters, my nephew, and a broad part of my family and childhood friends are in Senegal and Ivory Coast. So even though I have lived in 5 countries so far, I will always have Africa in my heart.
Therefore, to all my brothers and sisters, I will say the same I will tell anyone I mentor, regardless of where they come from:
- work hard,
- never give up,
- do not limit yourself,
- do not ever put yourself down,
- believe in yourself,
- and keep repeating those 5 points.
It is true that Africa, like any continent, has its challenges. Some of them being infrastructures, access to education in some areas, health system, corruption, geographical tensions, political instability within some countries, etc.
Having said all of that, I would like to focus on the positive side instead. Africa has the youngest population on earth, which means the potential for growth is enormous, especially for sectors like E-commerce, Artificial Intelligence, Technology, etc. Also, people are highly creative and love to think out of the box while bringing cost-effective solutions. So, I believe entrepreneurs have a real chance in Africa.
Furthermore, 13 out of the 20 fastest growing economies globally, before the Covid-19 pandemic, were in Africa. Before the Covid-19 pandemic too, Africa had the highest GDP growth rate in the world after Asia. During that same time, many stats predicted that African urban consumer spending would more than double by 2030.
It baffles me that our continent is the richest in the world regarding natural resources, yet we mainly depend on other economies and continents’ help. No one can make our continent better than us Africans. We should stop waiting for help, instead, we need to focus more on collaboration and win-win partnerships with companies and foreign governments which are genuinely interested in our continent. We all know that it is challenging, but I believe that the future is in Africa, God willing. That is why I am personally more and more involved in some projects within our continent. And at our company level, we will be giving away diverse webinars in the coming years for free to help the youth in Africa and the diaspora.
Sharing Is Caring
To end this interview, could you tell us how you have found this experience of sharing through a Podcast?
I think it was humbling to share my experience with your audience. I hope people will find it valuable because that is why I have decided to do it.
I was once a kid born in a city in Senegal called Kaolack and grew up with many dreams. Today, after achieving great results for diverse markets within some of the world's biggest companies, including L'Oréal, I have created and self-funded my own company with teams and partners all around the world. And within less than six months of trading, we already have some of the most well-known enterprises in the globe interested in working with us, the same way we have interest from start-ups, business owners, freelancers, etc. Therefore, with God's help, if I am where I am today, I hope many people will tell themselves: if he can do it, so can I.
Furthermore, thank you for your invitation and trust Vanessa. I am happy to tell you that I will free my time in the next months for more podcasts with you, hoping to help as many people as possible.
Finally, please let me finish with this for your audience and readers:
Always believe in yourself because the first person to believe in you should be yourself.
Life is good. God is great!