In spring 2021, DMAN conducted a two-month virtual BMWi Manager Training Programme for Tunisian entrepreneurs on the topic of economic cooperation.
The group of 18 managers represented a colourful mix of company sizes (from under 20 to over 500 employees), aspirations (cooperation, purchasing, sales) and industries, including IT, energy, robotics, mechanical engineering, textile, furniture, food production, and hospitality.
They all made themselves "Fit for Partnership with Germany", using this opportunity to establish and expand business contacts with German companies.
Omar Ben Messaoud is production director at the MASMOUDI PASTRY COMPANY, manufacturing pastry and confectionery products with 700 employees. "We are currently planning the launch of a new product line for the Tunisian and international markets. We already have experience in working with German partners and want to establish new contacts. The virtual B2B contacts and the support by the DMAN tutors are very helpful." During the interactive trainings, virtual company visits and individual B2B meetings, he was able to obtain information and exchange ideas about current management methods and is now actively pursuing his new business contacts.
Achmed Kammoun, director of SPECTRA, Sfax, installs photovoltaic systems with his 24 employees. He has already gained international experience and is interested in cooperating with German companies in the implementation of photovoltaic power plants in Africa as well as in sales. He laid a good foundation for this during the programme. "The presentation training gave me important impulses. It enabled me to significantly improve my negotiation skills." Achmed Kammoun is currently working with two German companies to pursue his programme goals.
The DMAN trainers and tutors were also consistently positive about the virtual MP in these unusual times. Julia Thoma, programme manager China/ASEAN and international personal coach, who conducted the introductory workshop: "Most importantly, the virtual MP enables us to be in contact with each other around the world. This doesn't replace face-to-face contact, but I'm always surprised about the quality of the exchange, in the group and during the individual coaching sessions."
Renke Ulonska (flow consulting), who conducts the presentation trainings at DMAN, says: "The virtual MP opens up new opportunities for foreign groups to get to know German business partners in a structured way, even during the pandemic. While it will never be able to substitute real-life contacts, it allows participants to connect individually."
The virtually visited German companies showed great interest in Tunisia. The Tunisian managers discussed aspects of management practice with the executives, an opportunity for some of the participants to gain their very first insights into German corporate culture.
Reinhold Umminger, Director Global Business at the Technology Academy GmbH in Hanover, was positive about the virtual meeting: "Against the background of our own internationalisation activities, we appreciate the exchange with the DMAN delegations. The questions and chat comments of the Tunisian participants reflect the strong interest in our business model."
Richard Trontsch, Manager Marketing Robotics Division at Yaskawa Europe GmbH, added: "It is a valuable opportunity for our company to establish contacts with international groups of entrepreneurs and to be able to present our products and strategies. Concrete enquiries following these virtual appointments show a great interest in our technologies."
Through the proven mix of virtual training units, visits to German companies and targeted individual business contacts, the participants gained a comprehensive picture of what is elementary for building and intensifying German-Tunisian business relations. Overall, the participants were very satisfied with the programme.