Corporate Service and crisis management expert, Tobechukwu Okigbo recently joined other experts to upskill SMEs on stakeholder and crisis management at The Revv Programme masterclass. The masterclass themed, “The Resilient Small Business – A Stakeholder and Crisis Management Perspective” held on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020.
Other experts at the masterclass include Prince Arthur Uche, CEO, Beyond Clothing; Nkechi Ali-Balogun, Principal Consultant, Necci Consulting; Peter Bankole, Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University; and Cyril Ilok, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer, MTN Nigeria. The masterclass was moderated by Amina Dambatta, General Manager, Regional Operations, MTN Nigeria.
With almost three decades experience in corporate service management, Tobechukwu Okigbo provides leadership for stakeholder management solutions and practices aimed at driving corporate brand equity.
Tobechukwu has been the Chief Corporate Services Officer of MTN Nigeria since 2017. Under his leadership, MTN Nigeria has won several awards, including the LaPRIGA 2019 awards for Best in Crisis Management and Excellence in Internal Communication. A results-oriented business leader, he has a record of accomplishment for out-of-the-box and innovative approaches to the attainment of objectives. Tobechukwu’s stellar leadership qualities at MTN Nigeria have been evident in the manner the company has managed its diverse stakeholders through different seasons.
Speaking at the masterclass on CSR in crisis management, Tobechukwu said, “CSR is simply a company giving back to the community in which it operates. CSR is used to earn the social right to operate. Where you have embedded yourself in the community through CSR programs, your corporate social responsibility (CSR) becomes corporate social investment (CSI), because the community will help you transition and survive the crisis”.
The Revv Programme was created to reach over 10,000 small business owners using a four-pronged approach, which includes masterclasses, access to new markets, productivity tools support and expert advisory. Through the programme, MTN Nigeria aims to help entrepreneurs rethink and retool their businesses in order to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MTN, FCMB Experts Task SMEs On Customer Engagement
Nigerian business experts from MTN Nigeria and FCMB Bank have asked small and medium-scale enterprise (SME) owners to take customer engagement seriously if they want to move their business to the next level.
The experts who gave their advice at the MTN Revv Masterclass session tagged Y’ello Clinic offered informed business advisory to participants. The virtual session featured 11 panelists and was moderated by the executive director, Retail Banking, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Olu Akanmu.
While fielding questions on financing a business, the Chief Financial Officer, MTN Nigeria, Modupe Kadri explained the importance of SMEs to identify its industry, customers, the problem to be solved and how to solve them. He listed equity and loans as part of ways to fund a business that is hinged on a profitable idea.
Speaking on technology as a tool for business success, the Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN Nigeria, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, said, “The question is no longer whether we should promote adoption of technology tools and solutions. The question is can we afford not to do so? Whatsoever sector that you are in, the need to use technology to drive your business cannot be overemphasised.”
Furthermore, she informed that MTN is continuously exploring opportunities to build capacity in the SME segment. “We have developed specific propositions for SMEs that address their needs. We also provide ICT services that are adjacent to our core services.
“We have vertical specific propositions that are targeted to education, health, agriculture, and we do these solutions to support their client engagement, create digital access for their staff, and also to improve their operations. We have a PABX solution hosted in the cloud. You don’t need to invest in an independent PABX solution”, she said.
With hands-on experience in retail penetration and brand visibility, the Chief Sales and Distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, AdeKunle Adebiyi highlighted other ways of adding value to a business including offering complimentary services.
“Your mien can determine whether you can be patronized. You must look clean and dress well, not expensive clothing but good dressing. Repeat purchase will come with your attitude and the quality of your service or products,’’ he said.
The Chief Customer Relations Officer, MTN Nigeria, Ugonwa Nwoye also revealed that paying attention to the feedback from customers can improve the brand identity and maintain customer satisfaction. In the same vein, Olubayo Adekanmbi, the Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, remarked that social media followers provide pointers to SMEs as to how a business is perceived by the public, especially the target audience. According to him, SMEs can introduce loyalty cards with promised discounts on future patronage to retain customers.
In juxtaposing technical and behavioral competencies, the Chief Human Resources Officer, MTN Nigeria, Esther Akinnukawe said that the quality of staff lies in behavioral competencies which are personal attributes. In addition to relying on good recommendations to hire employees, the SMEs were urged to conduct background checks on candidates and their guarantors.
Other panelists emphasized the need for SMEs to manage stakeholders like the government and the community and obey the rules governing the area of operation.
Following the completion of nine high-impact masterclass sessions, The Revv Programme has trained over 10,000 Small business owners. On November 26, 200 SMEs will join MTN’s first accelerator programme, Y’ello 200 where they will enjoy exclusive access to a broad range of technology and productivity tools and expert advisory for six months.
WorldRemit To Empower 200 Entrepreneurs In Nigeria, 3 Other African Countries
WorldRemit, the global digital money transfer service said it will empower 200 entrepreneurs from Nigeria and three African countries to help them grow their businesses.
The company said, as part of commitment to creating opportunities and facilitating development in Africa, WorldRemit announced the launch of its WorldRemit Entrepreneurs Programme in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 across Africa, the continent has experienced a significant setback with the businesses of many entrepreneurs taking a hit. These entrepreneurs control the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) landscape, that have made significant contributions to the growth of the African economy especially through the creation of jobs. WorldRemit is kickstarting this significant investment to support and empower these small businesses to grow their businesses.
The programme will commence from November 2020 till the end of January 2021 and will focus on empowering 50 entrepreneurs each, from the four African countries. The training module was developed and will be delivered in partnership with The Nest, a pan-African tech incubation hub reaching entrepreneurs from all sectors, domains and industries across the continent.
The Entrepreneurship Programme brand ambassador, Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie aka Patoranking, said, the gesture will promote the partnership with WorldRemit and encourage people to enter the competition which will help to build entrepreneurship across Africa.
As a leading music star with a solid entrepreneurship background, he is well-positioned to support these businesses on their journey to growth.
Speaking on this partnership, Country manager, Nigeria and Ghana, WorldRemit, Gbenga Okejimi, said: “Much of what Africa is today is due to its entrepreneurship which is a key driver for socioeconomic progress through significant job creation and innovation. At WorldRemit, we want to be known for fostering the African entrepreneurship spirit. We want to be a part of Africa’s future prosperity. By helping build entrepreneurs across our African markets, we are enabling growth and development.”
To participate, WorldRemit customers from around the world are encouraged to send a minimum of £50 or its equivalent value in their local currency to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya or Zimbabwe between November 2nd and December 31, 2020. Winners will be chosen through a draw to nominate the budding entrepreneurs living in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The nominated entrepreneurs will receive the WorldRemit Business Booster pack, as well as access to the digital training course..
UBA Deepens Retail Products, Services through Digital Channels
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has deepened its retail products and services with the aim to delivering services aimed at meeting the needs of its customers across Africa.
These services and product offerings, targeting at all classes of customers, have been specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of individual customers of the bank, in line with the Customer First policy of the bank.
UBA’s head of retail liabilities, Ogechi Altraide, who spoke in a virtual international media parley with a diverse group of journalists and publishers from all over Africa, pointed out that UBA was well prepared ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic and had rolled-out a number of products that enabled customers to carry out their daily transactions with ease from the comfort of their homes.
She said: “At UBA, we have developed very deep and customer-centric solutions that have given us number one ranking over time. Our retail footprint cuts across 20 African countries, where we serve over 20 million customers through well researched platforms including over 20,000 POS as well as 3,000 ATMs deployed across the continent. We have well over 10 million active cards, while our very active and highly applauded Mobile App and USSD platforms serve several millions of subscribers every second.
“Our retail banking platforms cater to all ages and classes with the Kiddies and Teens Account – where parents can earn rewards and bonuses for saving for their kids, while also enjoying support in terms of scholarships and health insurance; Next Gen Account – which caters for young adults; Mass Marketing segment – made up of low to mid income earners; Affluent Banking for the premium banking experience as well as SME banking, which caters to meeting the needs of a niche industry essential for the growth of any economy.”
Throwing more light on the bank’s increasing support for the MSMEs, she explained that the bank offers both financial and non-financial services to this all-important sector as well as access to loans, adding that “At UBA, we recognise that SMEs are important to economic growth, therefore our various offerings for MSMEs is positioned to support them in this regard.”
Altraide noted that other retail propositions the bank has developed to promote financial inclusion are Diaspora Banking where customers can enjoy the same quality of services in all locations around the world through UBA Connect and Africash; and Agency Banking, which makes use of digital channels that allow customers to access UBA banking services right in their neighbourhoods from its dedicated Agents.
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