Dear clients, partners and friends of IBN,
2019 comes to a close and what a year it was! After years of continuous, significant growth we faced an uncommon situation of stagnant growth and falling profitability in 2019. The upcoming elections in South Africa in May casted it’s shadow and lead to quite a hesitant atmosphere in the economy whereby major investment decisions were delayed. This short-term occasion paired with long-term trends of reduced expat numbers in larger South African businesses, lead to reduced numbers of assignees during the first half of 2019.
Fortunately our immigration business outside South Africa was able to offset the stagnating South African business. After four years of investing valuable resources into our Africa strategy, this decision started to yield positive results in 2019. We have now 3 full time employees working in our “outbound” department. At the beginning of this year it was only one employee.
To our relieve the second half of 2019 was significantly better and we see a nice increase in international transfers into South Africa as well as into Africa.
The beginning of the year also witnessed the closing of our UK immigration daughter company. Predominantly caused by the emigration of our former employee we could not continue with the business.
Certainly an important milestone was the opening of our Kenya office in Nairobi in June 2019. Our office in Namibia faced similar challenges as we did in South Africa during this year. During the past three months we were able to address these challenges and we are now looking very positively into 2020. Furhermore we took he decision to open up an office in Mozambique during the first quarter of 2020. We are already assisting several multinational companies in Mozambique and we therefore felt it would be good opportunity to open an office. We have found a local partner with close to 20 years of HR experience in Mozambique.
During the last quarter of 2019 we were able to renew service contracts with most of our major corporate clients and we were able to win the contract of a large South African financial institution for their local immigration work.
During this year we said good bye to a few staff members, but key individuals of our team remain and we grew even closer as a team. The integration of our Namibian and Kenyan staff progressed nicely and we are on a good path of being a truly African company.
What are our plans for 2020? You will witness a clear focus on marketing. We will revamp our website and include more movies. We plan to position ourselves even clearer as a premier boutique corporate immigration firm which is capable of servicing corporates of all sizes in Africa. The Mozambican office will definitely be a major focus and we will continue to build the team in depth and capability. We were able to hire two very promising new staff members, replacing staff members who have decided to either relocate back to their home country or seek another career outside immigration.
Lastly, I wish to thank all our clients as well as our partners in Africa for their incredible support during this year. We truly appreciate the trust you have in us and we wish you a wonderful and relaxing Christmas. We look forward to catch up with you in the beginning of the new year .
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE IBN OFFICE WILL CLOSE ON 20 DECEMBER 2019 FOR THE FESTIVE PERIOD AND WILL RE-OPEN ON 06 JANUARY 2020.