How can one successfully serve as the Managing Director of a paint manufacturing company in a country like Nigeria? This is an important question which only a man like Peter Bababunmi Folikwe can answer. He is the current MD of Berger Paint Nigeria Plc, a company that is engaged in fierce competition with the likes of Cap Plc, Paints & Coatings Manufacturers Nigeria Plc, and Meyer Plc to mention a few. In light of said competition, the onus lies on the MD to devise means of ensuring steady revenue inflow and profitability.
How does Folikwe manage the affairs of his company? Does he even have the qualifications and professional experience to manage such a big company? For the answers to these questions and more, let’s get to know more about the man.
Folikwe’s educational background
Peter Bababunmi Folikwe graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in 1989 from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he studied Marketing. He also has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Benin (1998).
Folikwe is an alumnus of Cranfield University, Bedford, as well as an alumnus of Lagos Business School. He is also a Member of the Nigeria Institute of Marketing, and a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing.
His professional experience
Peter Bababunmi Folikwe is an experienced professional, particularly in the areas of marketing/sales, distribution, and management where his experience spans over twenty-four years. He has also worked in different companies across a wide range of sectors of the Nigerian economy, including FMCG, telecommunications, and manufacturing.
According to information available on Folikwe’s LinkedIn page, some of the notable companies he has worked for, prior to his current position, include Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, UAC Foods Limited, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited etc. Below is a more detailed account of his career from 1991 to date:
- Vitafoam Nigeria Plc (1991 to 2001): He was a Sales Manager at Vitafoam for almost a decade, where he coordinated “the regional team for the implementation of regional sales strategies and achievement of sales targets.”
- MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (2001 to 2006): Folikwe was a Channel Manager at one of Nigeria’s leading telcos. Here, his job entailed the development and management of the company’s communication retail routes, including MTN Service Centres.
- Vitafoam Nigeria Plc (2006 to 2012): He returned to Vitafoam in July 2006 after leaving MTN. This time working in the capacity of a Sales Marketing Director. Here, he was responsible for formulating and implementing marketing policies/strategies for the company and its subsidiaries. He was reporting directly to the Managing Director.
- UAC Foods Limited (2013 to 2015): Next, Folikwe was the General Manager, Sales and Distribution at UAC Foods Limited. Here, his job entailed supervising the sales and distribution of three product categories, as well as ensuring profitability, amongst other deliverables.
- Berger Paints Nigeria Plc (2015 to present): He became the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Berger Paints Nigeria Plc in April 2015. He has held the position since then. As expected, this is a very important position, which sees him managing about 250 employees across Nigeria, and implementing strategic policies, while reporting directly to the company’s Chairman.
Some of his achievements include “the successful outsourcing 16 of 17 Berger Paints Plc depots to Business Partners (entrepreneurs) and opened up Berger Paints Franchise outlets in seven (7) additional cities in Nigeria.” He claims that the scheme, among other things, helped to free inventory and reduce warehousing costs.
The company’s profit increased by 122% that year, standing at about ₦330 million by the end of 2015 as against ₦148.8 million in 2014. The company’s revenue, however, decreased by 2%, standing at ₦3,022,264,000 in 2015 as against ₦3,082,930,000 in 2014.
Unfortunately, by 2016 the company’s revenue and profit declined by 14% and 32%, standing at ₦2.6 billion and ₦224 million, respectively.
Revenue further declined to ₦834 million in 2017, with profit standing at a faltering ₦70 million.
In conclusion, there is no disputing the fact that Folikwe is a very qualified professional with many years of corporate experience. But perhaps he needs to do more towards ensuring that his company’s profitability does not reduce.