IWG’s strong brand, history and dedicated support for franchise partners made it the ideal choice for this ambitious group of investors.
When Groupe Sonoco in Guinea, West Africa, first signed a franchise agreement with IWG, its eyes were firmly on the future. Now, West Africa’s economies are flourishing and - with many investors keen to join its high growth markets - demand for flexible workspaces in situ is strong.
For Sonoco in Guinea, responding to the needs of firms working on projects of indeterminate length represented a fantastic business opportunity. The demand for flexible, scalable workspace was there, so a partnership with IWG was the obvious next step.
“Flexspace is an exponentially growing sector in Africa and Guinea,” says Thierno Malick Barry, Groupe Sonoco’s flexible workspace manager in Guinea. “It’s innovative and fresh, and [we rapidly] saw the business potential.”
A fruitful partnership
For Barry, the most attractive elements of having a flexspace franchise are the support and collaboration that partnering with industry experts can offer. Above all, he says, IWG’s 30-year history and strong reputation within the flexible workspace sector made it the ideal choice.
“Collaborating with IWG is an honour for us,” Barry emphasises. “IWG is the leader in this industry, and we are proud to represent Regus, promoting the brand and its services to users.”
With diverse revenue-generating streams, whether through monthly membership packages or individual MyRegus app bookings, the partnership encapsulates a world of opportunity for Barry and his colleagues.
All eyes on the tower
The jewel in the crown of the partnership is new business centre La Tour Niger, located in Kaloum, the strategic business district in Guinea’s capital, Conakry.
Set to open in a few months, the tower’s position - less than five minutes from the Presidential Palace and close to the government headquarters, the port and Conakry’s premier hotels and banks - offers a prestigious vantage point.
“La Tour Niger showcases our commitment and professionalism,” affirms Barry. Set to be the biggest Regus business centre in West Africa, the project is the crystallisation of Groupe Sonoco’s ambitions and a powerful symbol of Guinea’s emerging economy.
Community spirit with a global outlook
For Barry and his team, being an IWG franchise partner means being party to a globally recognised brand, and belonging to a culture that’s both ambitious and nurturing.
“What made IWG particularly attractive to us was, of course, the proposals and services offered, but also its international reach,” he explains. He also extols the virtues of the training programmes offered by IWG, where expertise in sales and marketing is freely shared. Barry says he’s been bowled over by the “invaluable assistance” provided at every step to help Groupe Sonoco build a successful franchise business.
A focus on the future
The IWG network today extends to 25 countries in Africa, representing an impressive and meaningful expansion. “We expect that in the future the professional sector devoted to flexible workspaces will generate millions of jobs,” says Barry. “There is an evident opportunity for growth and financial success in this industry on a global scale.”
So does Groupe Sonoco have plans for more flexible workspaces in the region? “We’ve unlocked remarkable agency, power and work possibilities through this partnership,” says Barry. Groupe Sonoco is extending its activities in West Africa, specifically in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
For now, the focus is on reinforcing its position throughout Guinea and opening more Regus centres there. “We have ambitious commercial targets,” Barry explains. “And we aim to occupy a strong position in this sector of the market in this country in the first instance.”
Finally, his advice for someone considering becoming an IWG franchise partner? “Just go for it.” he says. “It’s a big, beautiful adventure and an opportunity to consolidate and develop your own culture of leadership and excellence in a booming industry.”
Learn more about franchise opportunities with IWG today.