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Verraki urges digitization in oil and gas industry

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Verraki Partners
Verraki Partners, a business solutions company focused on accelerating the development and transformation of Africa has outlined solutions to help Africa’s upstream oil and gas companies thrive despite the turbulent market landscape characterized by volatile prices, regulatory overhangs around energy transitions to renewable energy, insecurity in oil production terrains and fiscal uncertainty.

Energy Lead and Senior Partner, Real Sector at Verraki, Mrs. Abayomi Olarinmoye, the former Managing Director for Accenture’s Resources Operating Group in Nigeria opined that upstream players in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry can gain competitive advantage, operational excellence and financial transparency by embracing more automation in their operations and enjoy several benefits including increased productivity, reduced operational costs and highly engaged employees.

She identified several value-adding opportunities for oil and gas companies to deploy digital technologies which would serve as catalysts to achieve exponential growth.

Speaking during an interactive session with Nigerian media, Olarinmoye identified the increasing reliance on real-time data by international oil and gas operators and the need for Nigerian players to adopt similar strategies given the existing infrastructure, security and operational challenges.

She identified utilization of applications as a service business models which allow operators to deploy technology customized to suit the size of their business operations.

She believes that if oil and gas companies maximize the potentials of digital supply chain technologies available today, it would help to establish a new ecosystem of markets and alliance partners.

Commenting on the energy industry in Africa, its technological advancement and the impact of these on business operations, Olarinmoye said “The energy industry is getting smarter and more intelligent as business operations and growth decisions are being backed by leading-edge data gathering using more sophisticated tools and internet enabled equipment. The Internet of Things has created a paradigm shift in data-gathering – today, collected and derived data are being used to improve asset utilization and to reduce costs. This will help place the industry at the forefront of global competitiveness”.

Further speaking on the use of technology to expedite growth, Olarinmoye described how new technologies are being used in other parts of the world for data gathering in remote locations, such as drones and other intelligent equipment to inspect pipelines, enabling improved collection of data and communication within an integrated operational infrastructure.

“In order to unlock additional value from their businesses, more oil companies need to deploy digital technologies for predictive asset maintenance and to automate basic, repetitive engineering functions and operations” she said.

To ensure more efficient operations in the industry, she stated that oil and gas players can also unlock value from their business by deploying emerging digital technologies for remote asset monitoring, surveillance and data management.

She stressed that this becomes consequential, given the increasing demand for smarter devices and automated sensors on the field and a move to stay continuously connected with assets in remote locations.

In her words “investing in shared platforms for service delivery and adoption of these digital technologies by oil and gas companies will enable the ability to provide critical data in real-time without any downtime, hence improving co-operation within the ecosystems and their communities”.

Olarinmoye urged industry players to take advantage of Verraki’s best practice techniques to deliver supply chain optimization opportunities, digitize processes and guarantee production and efficiency improvements for oil and gas companies.

Verraki is focused on implementing technology and business solutions designed inherently for Africa and fit for purpose, while curating business ventures that would contribute to unlocking new sources of growth across the continent.

Led by foremost corporate professionals as well as former Accenture leadership in Nigeria, Verraki will apply its global expertise and local insights to partner with enterprises and governments to accelerate the development and transformation of Africa by providing business solutions uniquely tailored for Africa.

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Heirs Holdings appoints Dan Okeke as group executive director

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Dan Okeke
Dan Okeke

Pan-African investment company, Heirs Holdings this week announced the appointment of Dan Okeke as Group Executive Director.

The appointment took effect from August 01, 2020.

Mr Okeke joins following a distinguished three-decade career at the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), where he most recently served as an Executive Director, responsible for leading consumer, commercial and public-sector businesses.

At HH, he will be responsible for business coordination and growth across Heirs Holdings’ portfolio of pan-African investments in the power, financial services, oil and gas, hospitality, real estate, healthcare, and financial technology sectors.

Heirs Holdings is a family-owned investment company committed to improving lives and transforming Africa. Our portfolio spans the power, oil and gas, financial services, hospitality, real estate, and healthcare sectors, operating in twenty-three countries worldwide.

Driven by the Africapitalism philosophy of the Group’s founder, Tony Elumelu, which positions the private sector as the catalyst of African growth and seeks both social and economic returns on investment, Heirs Holdings invests for the long-term, bringing strategic capital, sector expertise, a track record of business turnaround accomplishment and operational excellence to companies within its investment portfolio. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Heirs Holdings has recorded consistent business success across its portfolio of investments.

Commenting on the appointment, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, stated: “As we continue to grow in scale and complexity, Dan’s appointment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to institutionalisation. We have always recognised the need to invest in human capital. This announcement is a clear demonstration of our intent and determination to create sustainable value in all our business operations.”

“I am delighted to take on this new challenge and look forward to contributing towards the fulfillment of Heirs Holdings’ objective of improving lives and transforming the Continent,” Mr Okeke stated on his appointment.

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Konga targets New York, London and Nigerian stock exchange listings; investment exceeds $120m

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Konga
CEO of Konga, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, speaking during interview on ChannelsTV
  • Why we rejected a valuation of over $300m from global investors– Prince Ekeh

  • Employ over 150,000 Nigerians

  • Cut losses from N400m to N100m monthly in 2 years

Foremost retail giant, Konga has invested well over $120m since it was acquired two years ago in Nigeria alone and now strategically structured to take on other African countries.

Konga Prime and Konga Prime Pro

Konga Prime and Konga Prime Pro

The foregoing was disclosed by Co-Chief Executive Officer, Konga Group, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh.

‘‘Though we started with a monthly loss of N400m, but with new systems, structure and energy put in place, we have gradually been reducing losses and now about N100m loss per month. E-Commerce is an expensive project but we are best positioned to deliver as a very innovative technology company,’’ he disclosed.

Equally important, Prince Ekeh made the disclosure on Kaleidoscope, an interview programme aired on Channels TV on Sunday, August 2nd, 2020.

The young business leader, who described Konga as a technology company revealed that Konga employs directly and indirectly over 150,000 Nigerians.

Most of them are merchants, logistics and other service providers.

‘‘We partner to create a trusted and sustainable digitally-driven ecosystem and working hard to scale this to about 250,000 before the end of 2020.

‘‘We see ourselves as more than just an e-Commerce company. Konga is a technology company and as a technology company, we are positioned to leverage that status in deploying new solutions and innovations. Indeed, no one should be surprised if tomorrow, Konga starts launching space ships into orbit. Although we have received several offers from interested investors, we are content with the group that is currently funding Konga. The group is highly ethical and want us to maintain the highest level of integrity. Our investors have assured us of enough capital to survive the next five years at least. This was why we did not accommodate a valuation of $300m from a consortium of global investors last year. 

‘‘However, we are also keen to expand into other African markets after taking charge of the Nigerian market. The e-Commerce market in African is still a largely untapped one. Therefore, any company that makes the right in-roads will reap huge benefits from it,’’ he said.

‘‘We have also received enquiries from the New York Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange to list on these markets. It’s something that will happen as part of our African expansion plan when Konga becomes a multi-billion-dollar business.’’

Continuing, he stated: ‘‘Our strategies and tact are 21st century influenced, but also taking cognizance of deficiencies in our country and that was why we spent the first two years rebuilding technologies, setting up secure but robust warehousing facilities and delivery logistics nationwide. With these under our control and owned by us, we are driving towards profitability.  It is important to note that at Konga, we do not believe in just hype

‘‘In addition to our status as a technology company, Konga is also Nigeria’s first ever marketplace and composite e-commerce group. The company is on the verge of rolling out a suite of cutting-edge solutions and services that will excite the market very soon.

‘‘But that is not all. A lot is happening behind the scenes at Konga. We recently announced the re-launch of the Konga Affiliate programme. Also, we developed a solution for corporate procurement which has helped procurement managers in major establishments. Konga boasts the largest collection of merchants and because of this, pricing is very aggressive, thereby helping procurement managers get the best deals on Konga while also promoting transparency. We are committed to our vision and clearly understand that it is a long term and highly ethical race,’’ he concluded.

Acquired by the Zinox Group in December 2018 and having achieved over 1000% growth, Konga has grown from a position of strength into arguably Nigeria’s leading e-Commerce brand, with a long list of innovative strategies and solutions setting it apart in the sector.

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Why our SMERP solution is targeted at SMEs – CWG Plc

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Nigeria’s largest system integration company, CWG Plc, has adduced reasons it is targeting the Small and Medium Enterprise segment of the country’s economy with its cloud-based ERP solution tagged SMERP.

The company believes the successful development and sustainability of Small and Medium Enterprises is key as SMEs play a major role in most economies, particularly in developing countries like Nigeria, where they contribute to new jobs creation by 70 percent.

According to CWG, most formal jobs are generated by SMEs, which create 7 out of 10 jobs but are lacking the basic tools to function effectively and efficiently.

“We have seen that SMEs in Nigeria face enormous challenges such as innovating, supporting their business growth and keeping the lights on. This is why we have developed the SMERP solution to strategically address their challenges,” said the SMERP’s Product Manager, Omodolapo Orogbemi.

He disclosed that the CWG’s SMERP is a reliable, scalable and flexible solution which can be used to strategically achieve a competitive leading position in the SME sector for Nigeria.

SMERP is capitalizing on this opportunity to achieve success in enabling SMEs to improve the GDP of the Nigerian Economy. 

Specifically, he said the SMERP solution will provide business outcomes such as smooth functioning of daily processes, enhancement of work efficiency, a substantial reduction in recurring cost and improved operational efficiency for SMEs.

Other value proposition of the solution are remote business monitoring, business intelligence & data analytics and improving the overall competitiveness in the world market through modern technologies.

SMERP supports the survival and standardization of the SME sector through different modules such as Invoicing, Accounting, Inventory, CRM, Point of Sale, Rewards and Loyalty Programs.

These benefits to business owners ensure business expansion and transforming one-time customers to regulars.

SMEs account for the majority of businesses worldwide and are important contributors to job creation and global economic development. They represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide. The World Bank Group estimated that formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies.

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