New Year’s Greetings : At ODIAL SOLUTIONS, we’re short on raw materials but big on projects
Social, societal and environmental issues at the core of our strategy to 2035
After a “unusually unusual” 2020, we headed confidently into 2021, ready to turn the page on the health crisis. We got organised and, thanks to our incredible ability to adapt, we were able to continue growing in 2020 while gearing up for 2021. The new year was set to be a historic one for the Group, both for VERGNET HYDRO and its subsidiaries regarding the number of projects to be rolled out and their scope, and for UDUMA and its subsidiaries in terms of management activity. Morale returned to its usual high level through the entire workforce.
We planned ahead for this scaling up of the Group and took on more staff so as to be able to meet our contractual obligations. At the same time, we embarked on a major collaborative drive to define a strategy for the future, integrating CSR as a way of creating value. This extraordinarily unifying project culminated in the BOUM document (standing for Business Orienté Utile pour notre Monde – i.e. the usefulness on a worldwide scale of the Group’s work); a strategy for 2035 that specifically defines our purpose and lays the foundations for our future actions in five strategic areas: (1) strengthening our African presence, (2) implementing innovative financing mechanisms, (3) identifying new business lines and new forms of partnership, (4) developing the operations/management business, and (5) maintaining high security in our operations.
2021, the start of a period of raw material shortages
However, 2020 did not see an end to the pandemic, let alone an end to its consequences. An SME like ours remains dependent on its suppliers, who, in turn, are dependent on raw materials. 2021 was much more challenging for us than 2020. Firstly, because we were prevented from assembling and shipping equipment due to the shortage of raw materials. When materials became available, prices were prohibitive. Our Group’s business is entirely in exports and relies mainly on maritime transport to ship equipment. There again, the limited availability of containers and their exorbitant cost had a major impact on our activity.
In the end, however, we continued to build this year, demonstrating our strong resilience in the face of market adversity due, in part, to opportunistic speculation. The word “solidarity” was bandied around during the crisis. Sounds strange now…
We have learned the lessons of 2021 and have come through another unusual year stronger, having structured the Group ready to roll out our major projects for the future. Our work for rural communities in Africa is more important than ever and we will continue to do everything in our power to carry it out.
I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year!
Chairman, ODIAL SOLUTIONS
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