Middle March saw partners from a global management consulting firm, Bain & Company, visit the Design Institute to find out more about the Institute’s activities. Seventeen Bain & Company partners from 14 countries gathered in Johannesburg for partner training and an exploration of the South African business landscape.
Bain & Company, with its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts also runs a Johannesburg office and provides advisory services to businesses, non-profit organisations and governments. It is one of the Big Three management consulting firms, with 53 offices in 34 countries and 5700 employees.
After an initial discussion with group head of the Design Institute, Gavin Mageni, the partners toured the Institute to find out more about its activities. The first stop was to witness a SEDA intervention. SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency) is an agency of the Department of Small Business Development. The Agency sends entrepreneurs from SEDA incubators to the Design Institute to help them on their way towards a holistic business process re-engineering, using the design process.
The Bain partners then stopped at a prototyping station to see the testing of a prototype – an essential part of new product development. The Institute’s industrial designers then had a chance to show what they do in terms of design, material selection and processes when considering the product of a candidate. Finally, the tour of the Institute concluded at the graphic and branding designers who showed the Bain partners what they do in terms of supporting product developers to brand their products.
The Bain visit was an opportunity for the Design Institute to showcase its infrastructure and capabilities that are geared towards design support, with the ultimate aim of building design capacity and in doing so, strengthening the country’s economy.