PUM Experts Visit Golden Hands Wellness Spa

PUM Success Story Part 1
Representatives ofs PUM Netherlands paid a surprise visit to Golden Hands Wellness Spa at the Kairaba hotel, The Gambia. Rene Meulenstien, Country coordinator for Senegal and Gambia was joined by Josee Soppe, local representative for PUM for The Gambia.

Golden Hands Spa has been working with the Dutch organization to help improve the standard of service and thus provide an enhanced spa experience for their guests. CEO of Golden Hands Mr Dem Explains. We are always looking for ways to give our clients a better service working with PUM has provided us with world class experts on spa management, their valuable advise has helped us to implement changes which has improved our services and set a higher standard.
Rene Meulenstien sayes We sent an expert to help out Golden Hands a few months ago and now we can actually see that a lot of the recommendations have been carried out and you can see the benefits that the business has achieved by following through on our advice.
PUM Netherlands Senior Experts has over thirty years of experience in advising businesses in developing countries and emerging markets. PUM consults in almost every area imaginable: From logistics to welding techniques, and from the hotel & catering trade to carpentry.

PUM has a network comprising some 3,500 volunteers (known as senior experts), which executes over 2,000 projects worldwide on an annual basis. These experts use the extensive knowledge and experience that they have accumulated during the course of their careers to advise entrepreneurs in some seventy nations throughout the world. The main strength of this approach is that the experts offer one-to-one advice.

Sustainable economic growth in developing countries cannot be achieved if it does not benefit local societies. Industrious small and medium-sized firms play the most significant role in creating new employment. PUM therefore grants preference to local companies.

PUM believes that ensuring a sustainable development of the private sector is the best way to fight poverty; there is no ideological basis. Its policy is practical and business-like: helping small and medium-sized businesses stand on their own two feet is more effective than theorising and moralising. PUM only provides help in response to specified requests: it works directly and cost-effectively. This method has proved to be extremely successful and has created a great deal of goodwill.
The idea behind PUM was quite simple: companies and institutions in developing countries can benefit from western organisational and management skills. The Netherlands has large numbers of (retired) experts who are willing to offer their services and skills free of charge. The idea was, and still is, a success.
Josee Soppe commented on the improvements that she has seen since her last visit to The Golden Hands Wellness Centre. Josse explained to the staff at Golden Hands that their effort in implementing their recommendations is key to the success of the programe. She also commented that other companies can also apply for assistance so that they can also beneifit from the experts at PUM.
Companies and institutions where PUM operates can submit a request for advice, directly or via the local representative. PUM has about 250 local representatives in more than 70 countries.
 If you are interested in applying for a project with PUM, go to the homepage and select the button "Become a customer" and create your own customer account.

At the offices in The Hague, the relevant country coordinator, sector coordinator and the Analysis and Monitoring Department assess whether the request meets the selection criteria. They use a database to select one or more experts whom they then contact. After a thorough selection process, PUM sends the details of the candidate deemed most suitable to the requester. If the requester agrees to the volunteer proposed, the mission is prepared.

The expert receives a briefing and leaves “on mission”. The duration of the assignment depends on the customer's wishes, the evaluation by PUM and the availability of the PUM volunteer. A project lasts for at least 10 days (at least seven in Europe and the Mediterranean) with a maximum of two months. On average, a project lasts two to three weeks. PUM pays for the travel, and also selects the flight itinerary and the airline.
 After completion of the mission, the findings and recommendations by the expert are reported to the entrepreneur and PUM. These reports are not disclosed to third parties by PUM.

The recommendations that PUM experts make during their projects are intended to instigate improvements. PUM volunteers only give advice; the customer has to implement the changes himself. Something like that takes time. A new, more efficient production method is never realised overnight. The same applies to technical innovations, active exploration of the market, or introduction of a rational business organisation. Often, follow-up is wanted in the form of a follow-up project.

A PUM volunteer returns after a period of time to visit the requester, to evaluate progress and possibly propose some adjustments. Or possible give additional – or new – advice. The entrepreneur must meet a number of conditions before being eligible for a follow-up.

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