Despite the current challenges and the not-so-buoyant state of the Nigerian economy with its attendant effects on businesses, there is hope of huge potential growth for organisations that find creative ways to navigate the prevailing head-winds.
This was the thrust of the presentations at the CEO’s Forum organised by foremost ICT distributors, Technology Distributions Ltd. (TD) on Thursday, June 30th 2016.
The event with the theme: ‘The Economy and You: A Multi-dimensional Appraisal’ held at the headquarters of TD and had a rich panel of resource persons including the Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh; Chairman, Board of Technology Distributions, Prof. Anya O. Anya; Head of Sales, Global Markets (Nigeria), Stanbic IBTC, Yomi Balogun and Mr. Punfa Emelonye who represented the youthful population.
In attendance were over 80 Chief Executive Officers and business owners in the ICT sector drawn from TD’s partner base. Also participating were Country Managers/representatives of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and brands such as Hewlett Packard (HP Inc.), Microsoft, IBM, Dell, Lenovo, EMC, among many others as well as Executive Management staff of respective companies in the Zinox Group and Yudala.
While delivering a paper titled – “The Economy and You: Tales of the unexpected”, Prof. Anya noted that one of the challenges being faced at the moment is how to restore confidence in the system, noting that this requires a multi-pronged approach. Urging the participants to leverage on an understanding of the particular business environment they operate in, Prof. Anya harped on the importance of liquidity management as a vital tool for business sustenance in these trying times.
“It is obvious that one of the challenges to the economy is how to restore confidence in the system. Trust and confidence is the fundamental basis of all business transactions. We need to restore the confidence of business to invest in growth and innovation while the people will have their confidence restored to spend on their needs.
“What needs to be done has to be at two levels. There is the need at the social level to project a new message of inclusiveness in the effort to rebuild the economy and the nation. The projection will have to come from all levels but most importantly at the highest level of governance. The national symbol of power and authority must be seen engaging his people. At the economic level, there has to be a greater degree of projection of competence, expertise and empathy.
“There is work to do and that must involve all of us even as we project the message that the rewards will be equitably distributed to all without discrimination of ethnicity, gender or creed. The real change that Nigeria needs presently is the change in our mind-set and attitudes in both the leadership and the led such that the Nigerian narrative can change from the negative to the positive without boundaries.
“At the level of our business we need each other to put together a survival kit which must be built on understanding of our individual and corporate competence and on our knowledge and understanding of our particular business environment. We must out of the myriads of challenges construct our safety anchor. In doing this, we must remember that in this economy and in this time the most daunting challenge that will face all business however big or however small is that of liquidity management. It is of the utmost necessity for each business to construct its own survival strategy to manage this threat.”
Also speaking at the event, Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, noted that since 2014, businesses in the ICT sector had borne huge pains with the exemption of the sub-sector from the list provided for in the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) foreign exchange issuance. He, nevertheless, counselled participants to be strong and remain hopeful in the rebound of the economy. According to him, business credibility and a good relationship with partners such as banks, Original Equipment Manufacturers and major distributors such as TD will serve the participants well in overcoming the harsh economic situation.
Charging business owners to understand the direction of the economy, Ekeh who has successfully navigated the stormy and favourable cycles of business in growing the Zinox Group to Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest ICT conglomerate, disclosed that retaining a daily position of one’s business financials aligned to a firm belief in God are indispensable requirements for success in the current dispensation.
The event which featured contributions from Mr. Balogun on the workings of the new foreign exchange policy and a short incisive intervention from Mr. Emelonye also provided a unique opportunity for participants to seek clarifications on various areas of their business relationship with TD.
*Photo shows Zinox Chairman Leo Stan Ekeh.