Helping manufacturers raise their game

first_img23 November 2012 The Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP) will be a major boon for South Africa’s manufacturing sector, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said in Pretoria on Wednesday. “One hundred and eighty-seven projects with grant requests of R2.3-billion have been received, and 60 have been approved, with commitments of over R300-million since the launch of the MCEP in May,” Davies said. The programme is a package of incentives designed for established manufacturers, with the aim of promoting competitiveness and ensuring job retention as the country’s manufacturing sector remains fragile. The incentives have been designed to improve the general ability of the South African manufacturing industry to compete against imports and to compete globally in other export markets. “We’re taking a leaf out of the books of the fast-growing emerging economies of Asia, where countries have relied on the manufacturing sector to drive economic growth and introduced strategies to raise competitiveness in their manufacturing sectors,” Davies said.Improving competitiveness The programme is being positioned towards upgrading the competitiveness of relatively labour-intensive and value-adding manufacturing sectors affected by the rand exchange rate, the global economic crisis and electricity cost escalations. “We believe that now is the time for manufacturers to invest in order to emerge much more competitively out of the current period of significant economic uncertainty,” Davies said. MCEP cash grants and concessionary industrial financing facilities, managed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), are available to companies operating in certain key manufacturing industries. The DTI administers five types of production incentive grants: capital investment, green technology and resource efficiency improvement, enterprise-level competitiveness improvement, feasibility studies, and cluster competitiveness improvement. Industrial financing loan facilities, administered by the IDC, offer working capital facilities at a preferential fixed interest rate of 6%. In addition, niche projects identified by the DTI and the IDC that focus on new areas with the potential for job creation, diversification of manufacturing output – which would otherwise not be candidates for commercial or IDC funding – may be eligible for MCEP grants. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more


What Advantages Does Your Startup Really Have?

first_imgWhen describing some of the common mistakes he’d seen in recent pitches for the incubator Capital Factory, Smart Bear Software founder Jason Cohen listed “invalid unfair advantages” as something that many startups needlessly tout. These include having a certain feature, having a team full of PhDs, being passionate and hard-working, and having strong SEO skills.Today, Cohen wrote a post describing “unfair advantages” that actually do make a difference. Unlike the “invalid” advantages, these “unfair” ones are not easily copied. While your competitor can add the same features as you or hire more PhDs and SEO gurus, the things that give you a substantive advantage are not as readily attainable. “The only real competitive advantage is that which cannot be copied and cannot be bought,” writes Cohen.Cohen lists the following as real advantages:1. Insider information: Although the phrase is linked to the illegalities of Wall Street insider trading, there are obviously many (legal) ways in which having deep and intimate knowledge of an industry, along with an understanding of what the “specific pain points” within that industry can boost your advantages.2. Single-minded, uncompromising obsession with One Thing: Cohen points to Apple’s obsession with design, Google’s obsession with search, 37signals’ obsession with simplicity as examples. “To remain un-copyable,” he contends, “your One Thing needs to be not just central to your existence, but also difficult to achieve. Google’s algorithm, combined with the hardware and software to implement a search of trillions of websites in 0.2 seconds, is hard to replicate; it took hundreds (thousands?) of really smart people at Microsoft and Yahoo years to catch up.”3. Personal authority: Akin perhaps to having insider information, personal authority is more than having expertise in a particular field. It’s about being recognized as a leader, and while it takes both time and effort to develop, the advantage is gives is almost unrivaled.4. The Dream Team: Having a Dream Team doesn’t guarantee success, but for a startup, having well-established, well-networked, reputable players on board can help mitigate some of the risks associated with startups. (The disadvantage to the Dream Team advantage, of course, is that members can always be hired away.)5. (The right) Celebrity endorsement: Cohen doesn’t mean here that it’s important to shell out big marketing bucks to have sports celebrities or rockstars endorse your product. Rather, he means having celebrities within the tech community – well-known investors or CEOs, for example – announce their support for or promote the use of your service.6. Existing customers: Cohen argues that every customer – even those who only took the trial offering, but abandoned your product – can offer insights and information that will be invaluable to you. Researching customers will help you continue to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.Don’t despair if you don’t have an unfair advantage, Cohen concludes, admitting it took him time to develop these advantages for his own company. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#start#tips center_img audrey watters Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more


HC seeks reply on petition challenging constitution of Noida

first_imgSports TrustAllahabad, May 31 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court today directed Uttar Pradeshs Principal Secretary (Urban Development) to file a counter affidavit on a petition challenging constitution of the Noida Sports Trust. A Division Bench comprising Justice Arun Tandon and Justice Umesh Chandra Tripathi passed the order on the petition of District Tennis Association of Noida, which has challenged constitution of the trust by the Noida Authority.The petitioner organization has contended that being a local body, it had no power to constitute such a trust. It has been further alleged that officials of the Noida Authority were made members of the trust “not in the name of their respective designation or post but in their individual names”. The court fixed July 6 as the next date of hearing in the matter. PTI CORR NAC ARK AKKlast_img read more