There was a lot of knowledge shared in the discussion forums of the recently concluded Connect Nigeria eBusiness Fair 2018. In the words of Mr Emeka Okafor, the CEO of Connect Nigeria, “This fair is all about networking, having fun and learning things that will help you grow your business.” From the jokes to the business advice and the life lessons on finding purpose, the Fair was precisely all that it was meant to be.
Below are a few of the lessons from the speakers at the event:
- Eyo Bassey, CEO, Payporte Global Systems – There is a vast untapped potential in the e-commerce space in Nigeria. With 81 million Nigerians are online daily, even if there were ten companies like Payporte, we still cannot service the demand of the entire Nigerian populace, so don’t be discouraged.
- Paul Aseme, Head of Retail Service, Union Bank – As an entrepreneur/SME looking for a financial partner, look for a partner who is responsive to your need for sound advice or has the solutions you seek. The banking industry embraces what technology has done for businesses, and forward-thinking banks have begun to change their mode of business.
- Mabel George, VP Business Development, Sigma Pensions – Pensions are not for the old and retired; you can start a pension fund as soon as you get a job or start a business. If you don’t have a business plan or know business accounting, you won’t have a successful business.
- Mrs Akpan Ikoabasi, Sales Manager, Air France – KLM – People don’t buy products, they buy the benefits the products offer. Give your customers an experience they can’t get anywhere else and your brand will be rewarded with their loyalty.
- Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director, Rack Centre – In every phase of life, there is a lot to learn to apply to the future. Fintech has been around since 2002, but e-health, e-banking, e-commerce e.t.c. will not work if other structures and processes for service delivery are not in place.
- Aderemi Adejumo, Chief Technology Officer, Comercio Ltd – If you want to be successful, associate with people, who have high standards of service delivery. As an SME, your cloud platform should be hosted locally. There is a lot more you can do with locally hosted service regarding integration.
- Muda Yusuf, Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Majority of businesses in Nigeria are small businesses, and the mortality rate of many SMEs is 70%. No matter how brilliant you are, there is nothing as good as having practical experience and exposure to the running of a business. If you have access to tutelage, apprenticeship and enterprise, embrace it.
- Adeyinka Fisher, State Coordinator, SMEDAN – Not all business can be classified as an SME. If your business has 1-9 employees with a capital base of N1 – N10million, you are a micro business. It is based on the different business classifications that you can apply for aid with funds from financial institutions.
- Mr Osita Chidoka, Former Minister of Aviation – The hallmark of an entrepreneur is the ability to assemble a team. Sustaining a business idea or a business is far harder than assembling it and raising funds for it. If you have a model foundation, you need to build on it by monitoring, measuring and improving.
- Kelechi Amadi Obi, CEO, Kelechi Amadi Obi Studios – Being in the university taught me how to build a brand. If you work hard enough on your passion, people will pay you for it. You must find the balance between being successful and being fulfilled.
- Ngozi Princewill Utchay, CEO, Artelier Lifestyle Consultants – Nobody does business in a vacuum. The cost of un-civility (not treating your customers right) affects your bottom line. Nobody’s purpose in life is just to make money; you have to find what you are created for.
To be continued.