Whether in Zurich and Moscow or Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates - Bene has been active in the export business for over 30 years, creating impressive office environments in 35 countries. The company is currently working on an exciting project in Ghana.
Law firm Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah (short Bela) has its headquarters in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The company, which is Ghana’s biggest law firm, represents clients all over the world, in particular in London, New York and South Africa. Their new offices, which have been designed and installed by Bene, are now almost complete. The result is a modern open-space solution, which allows privacy but also encourages interaction and communication.
The fact that a regional company such as the law firm Bela decided on an Austrian company is not so unusual. "Made in Austria" stands for quality, professionalism and a high level of innovation in the international market. More and more international projects are being created not just through major trans-regional companies, but through cooperation with local partners or organisations close to the government.
The way Ghanaian Law firm Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah found Bene is a good example of this. In the search for an innovative office solution, the company’s partners in the UK came across the Slaughter and May premises furnished by Bene London and were convinced by its design and implementation. Following comprehensive consultation and a precise needs assessment, the company decided to have their new office planned and designed by Bene.
Ghana is very rich in raw materials and is politically stable but has barely any "home-grown" industry. As a result it is highly dependent on imports and is always on the lookout for partners who are able to solve logistical challenges in addition to providing the required technical know-how. However, the fact that a cooperation partner has the ability to think outside the box is just as important as the practical skills already mentioned. This is highlighted by the story of the law firm Bela: Since no suitable building could be found for their new offices, the lawyers did not hesitate in deciding themselves to have one built. The construction materials required, such as cement, glass and steel were imported from Europe, as were the sanitary facilities and lifts.
The office solution developed by Bene caters to the needs of the employees and partners, and provides the law firm with the crucial balance between privacy and interaction. Employees at the law firm are used to having their documents in their immediate vicinity at all times. Workstations fitted with CUBE_S provide the necessary storage space and are also surface-efficient and ensure an organised environment. At the same time, screening and discretion are also assured when needed in the office. Conference rooms with a modern design and integrated media technology are suitable for internal meetings and presentations as well as for private client meetings, while communication islands fitted with PARCS offer spaces for discussion and dialogue.
The project was implemented by the multicultural Bene Team in Dubai: At the "Middle East Hub", eleven employees from seven countries work in collaboration with the headquarters in Austria to look after the Middle East, as well as selected African markets.
Bene’s international sales network already has a long tradition: the first steps on the global stage were taken in the late 1970s and over the following decades the market expanded continuously. However, it takes more than just having a local presence if a company is to meet international demands and be capable of proactively designing working environments. The product portfolio under the Bene brand already had an international focus from an early stage, and also scored well through its close relationship with architecture and design.
Jürgen Löschenkohl, Vice President International Sales, who prepared Bene for its entry to the Middle East & Africa region, knows what makes international projects challenging but also really exciting.
Complex import processes, incomplete infrastructure and tense political environments can cause a real headache for the sales and assembly teams. According to Löschenkohl, apart from practical know-how and technical skills, there is one other main thing needed for success: curiosity. "An interest in other cultures, building up trust and good social skills are key factors required to win and implement international projects. Only when you are prepared to try new things can you get a feeling for the needs of a wide variety of cultures and reproduce these in premium designs."
However, Löschenkohl says that there is not one recipe for success which applies generally in all situations. "People have a very fine sense of who is genuinely skilful and professional. It is individualism which makes something successful - or not."
If everything goes well then you have not only implemented an office project, you have also learned from one another on a professional, human and cultural level.