It is so unfortunate that we have continued to live by the same rules in this age. Things have changed. Everything is changing. But our ‘Formal Education’ system producing fresh graduates has not changed. We use the same curriculum, same teaching materials and teaching methods.
Before now we were talking about unemployment, now we are talking about unemployability. Companies now realize that four plus X years of tertiary education, irrespective of the grades acquired, does not still fully prepare young people for the labor market. Yet, the system that produces such poor quality manpower has not been changed.
Well, I don’t intend to waste all the time looking at the ills in our educational system. I only want to pass a message across to fresh graduates. If you are one, congratulations!. But this is no time to party around. You have entered a new phase of your life that your years of formal education have not adequately prepared you for. There are new rules you must learn or you would be grounded. I will try to help you out a little. Here are seven principles that will help you maximize this season.
1. They say life is a journey. Actually, the real journey begins after school, and sometimes it could be rough. So be prepared for challenges.
2. Don’t wait till you are told that you are no longer entitled to allowances or pocket money. By now, you should be able to take care of yourself. Or at least, try to.
3. Eventually, you will leave school with only two or three friends. The remaining are classmates (or school mates). Learn to differentiate the two. By the way, everyone has his/her own calendar, so never compare yourself with anyone.
4. Your parents must have told you: Go to school, get good grades so you can get a good job. Sorry, that is old school. It will do you a lot of good to get some business sense and learn how to create additional streams of income so you don’t get hooked in the rat race.
5. You have just graduated from the U-ni-ver-sity, but learning never stops. Don’t be surprised if the bulk of your learning falls outside your course of study. And if you do not know how to read good books, you are already outdated.
6. In case you don’t know, certificate is common everywhere. Have you thought of the number of people who read your course and are also graduating this year from various institutions across the globe? The distinguishing factor is your Vision and what you have in your brain.
7. You might have sailed through school’s hurdles by simply being diligent and abiding by the rules. That is not sufficient here. In life you may have to pass through the wilderness and sometimes the valley of the shadow of death. It takes knowing God to win life’s battles and be successful in your endeavors.
In case, you find these principles too difficult to follow, you can take a shortcut – Go back to school and don’t come out till you are more prepared. I guess that is a lot easier.
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Source Beauty is pushing the boundaries of Egyptian e-commerce
Egyptian e-commerce: the county’s digital drive has not yet gotten to the growth typically seen in European countries and North America. However, as businesses have started shifting online, customers are now following suit, resulting in the gradual development of the digital eco-system.
Innovation, such as digital marketing, is reinventing the consumers’ path to purchase. The Egyptian e-commerce market is expected to grow at a rate of 33% annually to approximately $3bn by 2022, according to Oxford Business Group.
Source Beauty and disruption
The increase in e-commerce comes from rising internet penetration rates, driven by connected and digitally savvy millennials. Several platforms, both locally and internationally, such as the direct-to-consumer beauty platform Source Beauty, have disrupted the beauty industry in the region to drive their growth by truly connecting with their customers.
By being aware of the changing consumer behaviour trends in the e-commerce landscape, service providers like Source Beauty are continually fostering customer engagement with a community they have created. The customer service team, along with the editorial and marketing teams, respond to each comment and direct message, making customers feel listened to.
Lydia Schoonderbeek, the founder and CEO of Source Beauty, said:
“Egypt has traditionally been a price-driven market. After devaluation and high inflation rates, people have become much more price sensitive. People are consuming less and are shifting away from imported products due to price, accessibility and inconsistency in supply. As a result, they’re looking for local alternatives.”
In line with its digital transformation and financial inclusion agenda, the Egyptian government has set in place directives to raise the limit for electronic payments for individuals via mobile phones to EGP30,000 (USD1,905) per day, and EGP100,000 (USD6,350) per month, since March 2020. Traditionally, 70% of online purchases were cash on delivery, which has proven to be a major challenge to e-commerce growth throughout the region. This preference has changed to credit card payments, increasing to 30% from 16% due to the spread of Covid-19, but it remains to be seen whether purchasing behaviors will be affected in the long term.
The CEO of Source Beauty further added that, the company had seen substantial growth thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with existing and new customers wanting to limit in-person beauty services and adhering to social distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Beauty customers, she says were changing spending habits, moving towards products that allow them to recreate the salon experience in their homes and protect them from the potential impact of an increasingly digital lifestyle. Finally, she believes they have seen customers prioritising skincare and haircare purchases over makeup.
The question is, ‘Is anyone in Egypt going to buy beauty products online?’. Who thought people would buy books on the internet from a website called Amazon! Well, the answer seems to be YES. Consumer spending in Egypt on non-essential goods has reached EGP 3.90bn in 2020 and is set to reach 8.81bn in 2021, according to FitchSolution’s 2021 Report.
According to the Egyptian e-commerce beauty company, Source Beauty, it believes that the world is in an era where consumers are looking to associate with brands and not products, to make their beauty purchasing decisions and this is where homegrown brands like theirs will doubtlessly lead to economic growth in Egypt.
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