MBendi Information Services (Pty) Ltd is a privately owned Internet business publishing and consulting company. Based in South Africa, the company uses the Internet to reach an audience of millions while serving a multinational client base.
The MBendi website is Africa’s leading business website. The site is also one of the world’s leading mining, energy and international trade websites with global coverage of these topics.
At the time, the founders of the company believed that the Internet would increasingly be used by businesspeople to research business opportunities throughout the world. To be productive, they would want to spend the minimum of time on the Internet and would value websites where relevant information was well-organised and easy to access.
Not long before, Nelson Mandela had been released from prison, signalling the death of apartheid; South Africa became a newly democratic country; and the world was beginning to show interest in opportunities throughout the African continent but were experiencing difficulty in finding relevant information.
So the decision was made to focus on providing innovatively delivered, high quality information about as many aspects of business in Africa as possible.
On 1 October 1995, the MBendi website went live, one of a handful of African websites at the time. Although it covered all Africa’s countries and many industries, the website had a strong oil and gas focus. Its raison d’être was to assist companies around the world to do business in and with Africa. In those early days, it already differed from most websites, being based then, as now, on an extensive relational database.
The MBendi website received considerable publicity, particularly before the traditional media went online, in African publications such as the Sunday Times’ Business Times, the Financial Mail, the Business Day, Computers in Africa, African Ventures, Business Report, BusinessinAfrica, Skynet, and Travel & Trade Publishing. International publications had also taken note of the website as well: Africa Energy & Mining, the Singapore Strategist, Oil and Gas Journal, Hydrocarbon Processing, and even the Oxford Guide to Writing and Speaking, all made mention of various developments on the site.
Today, the MBendi website, still the flagship service of the company, is regarded by many as Africa’s premier business website. It has a wide business-focused international readership, and has a growing number of local and international clients who take advantage of the advertising opportunities available in it.
With the arrival of the 21st Century, MBendi Information Services (Pty) Ltd has broadened its focus. The Internet has made visible the globalisation of business to the extent that it is impossible to view a company or industry in the context of one country, or even one continent. MBendi is firmly rooted in Africa, and is still committed to Africa and its economic renaissance. But now, MBendi’s mission is to assist companies, wherever they are, to do business throughout the world.