© 2016 R. Ulmena / Dave V
The lands of Malawi, a small, landlocked country in southeast Africa, have been occupied by human settlers for at least 1,000 years. The area was first settled by Bantu tribes in the 10th century AD, and eventually attracted the attention of European traders and missionaries. The beautiful Great Rift Valley runs through the country, and to its east is Lake Malawi, an enormously deep and large body of water whose massive expanse takes up about a third of the total area of the country. The country is home a diverse population of 16.7 million people, with various ethnic backgrounds and cultures.
In one of the world’s least developed countries according to the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) program, proactiveness and ambitious vision has transformative potential. The country has traditionally relied on informal agriculture as a principle source of economic production. Even today, rural agriculture makes up about 35% of GDP, and 90% of export receipts. However, there is a substantial services sector, one that is growing in both size and influence. Services account for 46% of GDP, with growing service sector industries including IT. Thanks to the efforts of enterprising native Malawians, there are many positive indicators for the economy, the people, and its international future.
While Blantyre is considered the commercial capital of the country, Lilongwe, the capital and largest city of Malawi, is home to the majority of the country’s government and public institutions. As such, the service sector has made a home here, working with government agencies, public institutions, and international organizations to provide key services that are greatly needed. With a growing population that was estimated to be over one million in 2016, the future of the country and its economy is closely tied to activities in Lilongwe. One of the service sector companies that is making a large difference in shaping the country’s future is Flexinet, a young firm based in Lilongwe that provides IT services and tech training, breathing life into a new class of skilled workers in Malawi.
Building Malawi’s skilled-labor base one class at a time.
© 2016 R. Ulmena / Dave V
Founded in 2013, Flexinet was created by a diverse group of experienced IT professionals from other companies who saw a gap in the industry in Malawi, and decided to fill it. IT skills are in short-supply in Malawi, so Flexinet decided to not only offer services using its own skilled personnel, but to offer training in technology as well, with programs that train attendees in skills ranging from basic computer usage and productivity skills using software suites such as Microsoft Office to more complex topics such as high level software development and networking. As Malawi grows, the need for not only skilled computer technicians, but also skilled computer-users is ever growing, and Flexinet has taken it upon itself to share its knowledge.
The company also excels in providing core services, such as IT consulting, networking, computer troubleshooting, building e-commerce solutions, and more, and the list of satisfied clients that have put their trust in Flexinet includes individuals, private companies, and major governmental organizations, including the Ministry of Agriculture of Malawi.
Flexinet has found its early success because it is devoted to the core principles of Quality Culture. For instance, in keeping with its pursuit of client satisfaction, it acts with the understanding, in its own words, a “happy employee will result in a happy customer.” To this end, it allows its employees to pursue projects that push their skills and stimulate their need for challenge, simultaneously creating an atmosphere where creation and innovation are encouraged and rewarded. Also, its strategy represents the best in big-picture thinking in a business plan: by providing computer skills training to people working in all industries and sectors, it is increasing the size of its own market. The more people that use the internet and computer systems, after all, means the more opportunities there are to provide them services.
For its forward-thinking strategic approach to business, the importance of its training services to its country, and its consistent and growing levels of success in the industry, Flexinet has been selected to receive the 2016 BID International Quality Award, one of the most prestigious recognitions for organizational excellence in the entire world.
ABOUT BID AND THE WORLD QUALITY COMMITMENT AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.