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WBAF survey shows consulting, professional services worst hit by Covid-19, says Prof. Singh

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WBAF
Consulting, professional services worst hit by COVID-19 - WBAF

Key findings by the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) in its recent survey has shown that consulting and professional services are the most heavily affected (29.02%) and electronics the least (1.96%).

The Chairman of WBAF’s Global Startup Committee, Prof. Inderjit Singh, highlighted this as contained in a global survey conducted by WBAF that included business owners from more than 81 countries and across multiple industries

Continuing, he said there was a high level of agreement (74.88%) among respondents about the need for and the benefits of liaising between business owners and policymakers. It is interesting to note an equal downturn in short- and long-term investments (39.41%) and widespread, complex contingency plans.

These included reducing costs by, laying off staff (27.9%) and seeking additional capital to sustain their business (41.38%).

Prof. Singh says:

“At this point, we would like to provide a summary of insights from other global surveys conducted by international organiszations over the past few months that offer a complementary views. Some focused only on one segment within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, while others attempted to get a more comprehensive picture. Overall, you will see that the WBAF findings are consistent with these other major surveys”.

Prof. Inderjit Singh

Prof. Inderjit Singh

Prof. Singh’s observations follow:

Ernst and Young Global completed an FDI investment attractiveness survey for Europe in May 2020 that was designed to help businesses make investment decisions and governments remove barriers to growth. Two of the key findings were related to the status of existing projects, specifically that 65% of existing foreign investments were proceeding as planned, 25% were delayed, and 10% were cancelled. The other important insight from this survey was that 66% expected a decrease in 2020 investment plans, while 21% expected a complete delay, and 15% anticipated a substantial decrease.

Deloitte conducted and published the results of a survey on global human capital trends related to the future of work. The report addressed the purpose, potentials, perspectives and possibilities for the workforce during the COVID-19 economic environment. Two main findings to be highlighted are related to reselling, up-skilling, and compensation of the workforce: 74% of organizations reported that reskilling the workforce was either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for their organiszation’s viability over the next 12-18 months. However, only 10% felt they were ready to address this need. The second important finding is related to organiszations reporting that changing compensation models for their organizations was important for their success, but only 23% were currently redesigning these models.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has recently completed a CFO Pulse Survey, which gathered opinions from 150 international finance executives. More than 82% of multi-territory respondents reported that COVID-19 had a significant impact on their businesses, while 32% expected to engage in layoffs, and 52% of respondents expected productivity losses. The top 3 pandemic-related concerns reported were: a potential global recession (67%), a financial impact on their business (60%), and negative effects on their workforce (44%).

“Another comprehensive survey series is currently in progress by the SME Finance Forum, and in the last (June) update, members representing 46 countries reported a decline in sales or revenue (37% of respondents), reduced inflows or collections of funds (16%), and asset impairment (13%).

“As the world is faced with these widespread economic challenges, it is essential that leading organiszations and their representatives take charge by raising awareness and proposing solutions. There is a general consensus among experts about several strategic areas that are recommended for recovery: focus on rebuilding operations and recuperating revenue, rethinking the organiszational infrastructure, and acceleratinge the adoption of technology. Only by designing novel business models can we rebuild the global economy and reshape the business ecosystem for future generations”, he added.

Meanwhile, WBAF, an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), has submitted comprehensive policy recommendations to the G20 leadership in order to alert policymakers about the urgent needs of startups, as revealed by the survey.

‘An affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) is an international organisation contributing immensely towards easing access to finance for businesses from startup to scaleup, with the ultimate goal of generating more jobs and more social justice worldwide. It is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development by creating innovative financial instruments for innovators, startups, and Small & Medium Enterprises.

The Forum interacts with global leaders in all areas of society, first and foremost in business and political spheres, to help assess needs and establish goals, bearing in mind that the public interest is of importance.  

It engages a wide range of institutions, both public and private, local and international, commercial and academic to help shape the global agenda.’ WBAF’s operating structure presently comprises a Board, 30 High Commissioners, 119 Senators, 57 International Partners and 47 Faculty Members from 96 countries.

Business

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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