Updated: Jun 21
New Series | Embracing the New Normal
How are African Entrepreneurs and Business Ownaers in China and Around the World Adapting to Covid-19?
In this new series, I interviewed several African entrepreneurs and business owners across different cities in China and around the world, about their stories adapting to the new normal in a post-Covid-19 world, the challenges and opportunities along the way.
Our first guest today is Nicaise Loua from Ivory Coast, a beautiful coastline country located in West Africa. He's the founder and CEO of Easy Trade Africa.
Can you tell us more about Easy Trade Africa?
Since 2015，EASY TRADE AFRICA INTERNATIONAL TRADING COMPANY CO.,LTD has been working on the Medical Wholesale and providing medical supplies and equipments to a diverse group of healthcare users in Africa and the rest of the world . Our customers include nursing homes, home health agencies, hospitals, physicians, schools, government, and state agencies. We stock over 15,000 items from 300 manufacturers and have access to thousands of additional items. We carry brand name and generic products. We also stock and display a large variety of Durable Medical Equipment (Wheelchairs, Walkers, Canes, Bath Aids, Commodes & Rollators etc ... ).
Our 5 years of experience in the healthcare industry has enabled us to provide outstanding customer service. We are continually evaluating new products, expanding and improving the product lines we carry. Our customer service staff with their many years of combined product knowledge enables our customers to rely on us to answer their medical supply questions. We are an accredited organization .Besides, we are also cooperating with some African local farmers to export Agro-products (raw materials and finish products )from African countries to China, Like cocoa beans ,Ivory Coast is the first producer of cocoa beans and the world biggest exporter of cashews nuts in the world.We believe that within the development of the relations between African and China , our business will gain more opportunities in the near future.
How's your experience been like in China?
5 years ago, I came in China as a student. I chose to be here because I believe that China is a vigorous country full of opportunities. My personal experience of staying in China is happy in general, living in here is like a part of my life adventure, I have learned a lot of great knowledge to help me to grow, some difficulties and challenges have trained me to be stronger...I am always trying my best to be a better version of myself as an African living in China as to let myself and also my families be proud of me.
What lessons do you find valuable in your own entrepreneurial journey, that you'd like to share with us?
My entrepreneurial journey is same with my life journey that it got some ups and downs.
Being an African entrepreneur in China requires a lot of focus, energy as well as mindset. I feel that there are a lot responsibilities on my shoulder that I have to give 100% even sometimes more than that to grow myself and my business.
My personal advice to share with fellow entrepreneurs will be to be passionate and focused on your business, take your business as your baby, take good care of it and it will pay you back.
How was your business affected by Covid-19?
I always believe that crisis and opportunity come along, the demand for face mask and medical equipments in the epidemic time has boosted our business. We have supplied face masks to several countries in Africa like Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Benin etc ... ).
In the future I believe that we should pay more attention to improve our business service and grow our business structure to serve our clients in a more professional and reassuring way.
What are your biggest challenges? What changes did you have to make in order to create new opportunities?
The biggest challenge came to us is during the epidemic period when we sent a lot of mask to Africa, as you know that due to the epidemic, the logistics was very slow and I was always worried about whether our goods could be delivered successfully and smoothly to our clients , however, through our efforts and communications with local logistics companies every late night, we have successfully delivered the goods to our clients. I am very happy that we have encountered so many difficulties in the past that have helped us to be more experienced and professional in our business.
In times of uncertainty, what was your biggest learning?
Uncertainties in my personal life and throughout the business world have made me think differently about the decisions I make and risks I take. When I’m faced with the unknown forces, I have to think more critically about how to manage change, deal with adversity and prepare myself for the unexpected things, I have learned to stay calm and say to myself there is always a solution.
What are you looking forward to in 2020, now that we are halfway through?
I believe that 2020 is a year full of uncertainties but also full of greatness, I look forward to escalating my business to the next level, contributing more to our African community and African- China trade relationship and impacting more young Africans to grow themselves and positive about their life.
What's your perspective on the future of China-Africa relations, especially from a business perspetive?
China-Africa relationship is keeping on growing especially under the current international macroeconomic status, we believe our business will continue to benefit from the good cooperation and relationship between Africa and China. From my personal perspective, I believe that our business will become more powerful and diverse under the good Sino-African relationship.
Want to get in touch with Nicaise? Follow "The DotConnector" on WeChat and enter "Nic" in the chat box to receive more details!
New Connect Series: Embracing the New Normal
Navigating the season of constant changes personally and professionally after COVID-19 and feel like you are the only one? You are not alone!
Join us this Sunday, August 9th at Chez Jojo for an open-sharing session about our experiences and lessons learned after the first wave of pandemic. Come with an open heart and be ready to show support to each other!
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