We asked Mr Anthony Sekyere to elaborate on his new role, what it means for the Ghanaian and broader West African property market, and his approach to an ever-changing and exciting industry.
Q: How do you view the current status of the Ghanaian commercial property market?
The current commercial market has undergone a rapid transformation with the Covid-19 pandemic. The resulting fast-tracked adoption of e-commerce, co-working spaces, and flexible working patterns have stimulated what might otherwise have been a gradual market adjustment of these elements. The pandemic lockdown, which forced corporates to find other ways for their employees to interact and engage, has also brought into question the need for traditional brick and mortar buildings. Similarly retailers, who are adjusting to the growing popularity of online shopping, are weighing up the cost of rental and having instore visitors versus just the cost of storage and dispatch.
Ghana is not unique in facing these challenges but I believe we have an advantage in that we have the entire Broll Property Group as a foundation, which allows our asset managers to be locally innovative yet still bring to the market fresh solutions that motivate for continental and West Africa growth and transformation.
Q: What are the current challenges?
Occupiers have been forced into making drastic decisions, which have impacted heavily on demand for space. We are also contending with the adverse effects this has had on trading volumes. The main challenge is to develop turnaround solutions to deal with the those problems in the short-term, yet still ensure that we formulate realistic long-term strategies that will ensure the sustainability of our clients’ assets.
Q: What is the most effective turn-around strategy that can be applied in the present?
There are incredible opportunities that have or have yet emerge for real estate service companies such as Broll. In our case we are leveraging our indepth market knowledge and experience to provide contemporary solutions that creates value for our clients. We use proven and well-recognised Broll Group solutions that can literally manifest in positive market shifts, incorporating those into our unique Ghanaian market.
Q: As the new CEO, what are your strategic goals for Broll Ghana?
I believe that human resources are our biggest asset and therefore my immediate focus is to empower and inculcate our people, or Brollies as we fondly call this family, with an entrepreneurial mindset. This is crucial in an ever-changing real estate landscape. Simultaneously there will be the development and introduction of a growth strategy that will be underpinned by modern technology. As I see it, navigating current times requires a dynamic approach, and not just to remain competitive but to lead, guide and set benchmarks for others to follow.
Q: Where do you believe you add the most value for the organisation?
My experience spans varied aspects of the real estate market, and across many diverse asset classes. I understand and embrace cultural differences and needs. I am constantly arming myself with knowledge, tapping into the trends and welcome that others have enormous contributions to make. This places me in the unique position to further drive the growth of Broll Ghana in the next phase of its business cycle.
Q: How important is it to you, to increase Broll’s presence in western Africa?
The existence of ECOWAS trade protocols means we can leverage on Ghana’s unique central position with our French-speaking neighbours, to create business synergies across the West African region. I believe that all our neighbours have the continent’s best interests at heart, particularly for mutually-beneficial economic growth. I like to think of Broll Ghana as the powerhouse of the region’s real estate sector; that through our professional and highly-acknowledged systems, teams and their solutions, it is we that will be driving change for the better.
Q: How do you get others to buy into your vision for Broll Ghana?
By instilling a sense of ownership for all our employees so they feel integral to the direction and growth of the company. Our customer-centric approach speaks for itself; we are constantly engaging with all stakeholders and collaborators to ensure that we not only hear them, but heed their needs. Communication is key to meeting expectations. Visions can only be bought into if they can be communicated and there is tangible evidence that there is follow-through. We have time and time again proven that Broll Ghana’s vision for a strong and thriving real estate market, is no different from what all players in the market want. I intend to ensure that no matter what change brings, we all remain aligned to sustaining that goal.