UBA Business Series: Airtel MD urges SMEs to invest in technology



To stay afloat in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, business owners and operators of Small and Medium Scale businesses (SMS) have been advised to invest massively in technology and source their raw materials locally.


 This will help them to adjust to normal life and boost their businesses.


The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, said this at the UBA Quarterly Business Series on Tuesday.


He said it was important for businesses to redefine their activities to adapt to the new normal which most economies have found themselves as a result of the raging virus.


The UBA Business Series, organised by Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is a capacity building initiative held every quarter, where leading business leaders share insights on best business practices and how entrepreneurs can build a sustainable business empire especially in the challenging business environment in Africa. 


PerSecondnews reports that more than 2,000 participants featured at the webinar moderated by the Chief Executive Officer, Lyd Consulting, Bankole Williams.


Ogunsanya, who spoke on “Strategies and competencies for adjusting to a Post COVID-19 Business Environment”, revealed essential strategies on how to recover and rebuild their business concerns following losses incurred due to the pandemic which took the world by storm.


According to him, COVID-19 has forced many businesses to re-examine their models and strategies in line with the new normal.


“I must stress the need for business owners to invest in technology as it is very key in the new normal to ensure that our employees are able to deliver the goods and services to customers while remaining safe and keeping the customers safe also.


“Remember that the customer is still the king, so it is important to ensure that you configure all your operations to make sure that they are still able to transact their businesses and also encourage online payment for services because handling cash can also be dangerous. 


“More importantly, look for ways to configure your businesses to what your customers actually need especially in this era of physical and social distancing,” Ogunsanya said.


While giving examples of companies that have changed the direction of their businesses due to the limitations occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic, Ogunsanya said the prevailing situation called for critical evaluation of businesses where SMEs should think of creative ways to ensure that they meet the needs of customers and provide services that customers are actually willing to pay for.


 “If as a business you find out that a huge part of your key services are not in high demand as a result of lockdown rules, then it is important to reconfigure your services; find other needs that you can meet for customers; look for various things you can do differently, completely cut out wastes and costs that are irrelevant as well as areas where value is not being added to the customers and ensure that you have a digital roadmap” he said in response to a participant who wanted to know how to increase productivity.


UBA’s Group Head, Consumer and Retail Banking, Jude Anele, who spoke ahead of the webinar, said that far beyond banking services, UBA is interested in ensuring that customers and entrepreneurs run businesses that can stand the test of time.


She explained that the Business Series is planned to arm business leaders with all the knowledge and experience required to take their businesses to the next level. 


“It is always an opportunity to learn something new from the people who have the experience,” Anele said.


United Bank for Africa is a leading pan-African financial institution offering banking services to more than twenty million customers globally. 


With footprint in 20 African countries and presence globally in the United Kingdom, the USA and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.



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Written by Per Second News


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