Last week Tim Curtis talked about the challenges and opportunities when operating in pre frontier markets. This week Tim discusses the importance of planning for Pre Frontier Markets. If you are a company looking at entering a pre frontier market or if you are already operating in one, this article may be useful to you and your business.

Research, analysis and due diligence are critical to inform the preparatory phases of a project.
Just as a company undertakes comprehensive geological, engineering and technical due diligence, so too the same must be applied to preparing the physical operating environment. The opportunity cost of skipping operational and community due diligence can ultimately result in large financial loss. In many cases this requires security, safety and logistics focal points to understand the developments of the new business ventures or business development teams.

Not surprising security preparation, including travel management, in these countries is critical. In mature companies security departments have close relationships on the leading edge of the companies business. In some cases security advisors actually work alongside or inside the sales and business development functions. This gives them tremendous early insight and hence awareness of the Company’s plan to progress into environments of increased risk. This has the value of ensuring security resources are budgeted and plans and timelines can be informed.

When entering austere, fragile and sensitive environments appropriate due diligence, and then preparing the right risk-mitigation strategies, will reduce a Company’s overall operational costs. A forward focus should take account of all the known variables on a particular project and also prepare for known and possible unknown eventualities. We define this as the branches and sequels of events and the associated second and third order effects. This widest and deepest outlook will ensure that a firm is prepared rather than being reactive.

Proactive risk mitigation and aligned outreach, liaison and due diligence by security and risk management staff before entering the operational environment is a critical step that ensures the best chance of developing project stability. It neutralises or marginalizes the potential for confrontation and conflict in the start up phase. The Threat and Vulnerability Assessment (TVA) model is well proven as a planning tool and can also be applied to identify community issues and concerns that might create insecurity. The outcome of the TVA is to deliver data and information that can be fused together to provide contextualized intelligence to assist decision-making. A highly refined TVA not only permits security and safety driven risks to be identified and understood, but also enables a more comprehensive corporate plan to be developed prior to market entry. By focusing efforts and resources toward obtaining the information and insight required to fill knowledge gaps, businesses can minimise the excessive use of time and resources.

Next week’s topic focuses on the importance of understanding the sociocultural environment to enable operational planning, preparation, execution and assessment.

Please contact ERS if you require further advice or if you would like us to assist with travel security +61 8 6109 0115 .

If you require immediate assistance please contact ERS247 on 1800 ERS 247

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