It is no longer news that the famous American Basketball player, Kobe Bryant is dead, but there are lots of lessons Nigerian athletes and other business owners should learn from the life of the great man popularly called ‘Black Mamba.’
Aside from being a brand-builder, do you know he left a firm that worth more than $2 billion in assets, with investments in dozens of technology, media and data companies? This is a story that should attract his Nigerian counterparts, especially footballers that got broke shortly after a breakthrough.
Bryant and Gianna, his 13-year-old daughter, died on Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California at the age of 41.
Life outside B’ball Court
Before leaving the court in 2013, the famous athlete diversified his career by breaking into the investing, when he co-founded venture capital firm, Bryant Stibel, along with Jeff Stibel, Founder, Web.com.
With the birth of the company, ‘Black Mamba’ followed the model of a select number of other sports legends like Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson (1987) that invested in Starbucks and New York’s LaGuardia airport. The legends have been able to transform skills developed on the court into business success.
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While some Nigerian athletes, who started earlier and probably richer than Bryant spend fortunes on clubbing, luxury vehicles, mansions or lifestyles they can’t sustain during downtimes, Bryant’s firm has more than $2 billion in assets, with investments in dozens of technology, media and data companies. Don’t forget that he achieved all these before he clocked 41 years.
Today, Bryant Stibel claims at least 10 successful exits, including Dell and Alibaba. It also has investments in Fortnite creator Epic Games, digital payment company, Klarna, and household products firm, The Honest Company.
In an interview with CNBC in September 2019, he said, “You’ve got to have strong entrepreneurs, that’s really the key for us is looking at the people. Yes, it’s important to see those returns, right? But it’s also important to have a great opportunity, great relationships with our investors, and great opportunities with our entrepreneurs to help them grow and put them in situations where they can be successful.”
Also, Bryant made millions of dollars on his investment in sports drink Body Armor, which in 2018 boosted its valuation by selling a stake to Coca Cola. Bryant’s reputation as a star athlete and brand builder has been one of the portfolio’s keys to success.
Quotes of business owners, athletes about him before his demise
Skincare brand Art of Sport founders, Brian Lee and Matthias Metternich said, “When Kobe puts his stamp of approval on something and really gets behind you as a partner, the world of sports and everyone across the spectrum of the sports industry takes note and you’re suddenly validated in a way that most startups just don’t experience until much further on.
“I think Kobe’s somebody who’s been super fun to kind of pick his brain about some things,” Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps told the Wall Street Journal in August. “We’ve had the privilege and the opportunity in our sports to be successful and reach the pinnacle and we know what it takes to get to that top level. So now, it’s always the challenge for the athletes to find that drive outside of the sport.”
In 2016, Bryant founded Granity Studios, a media company that focuses on creative storytelling around sports.
Through this company, the basketball star wrote and narrated a short film called “Dear Basketball,” which won the Academy Award for best animated short film in 2018. Granity has also released a set of books for young adults, along with Bryant’s autobiography, “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play.”
Nike partnered with Bryant and the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club to launch a youth basketball league, called the Mamba League, in 2017, to give hundreds of kids’ free access to the sport. Bryant later created the Mamba Sports Academy to provide broader athletic and lifestyle training to competitors at all levels in a number of sports.
Bryant was on his way to a Mamba Sports Academy game on Sunday when the helicopter crashed.
“We are devastated by today’s tragic news. We extend our deepest sympathies to those closest to Kobe, especially his family and friends,” Nike said in a statement on Sunday. “He was one of the greatest athletes of his generation and has had an immeasurable impact on the world of sport and the community of basketball. He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever.”
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Nike held a “Mamba Day” to honour the retirement of the celebrated but controversial athlete in 2016. Nike stuck with Bryant even after he was charged in late 2003 with the sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman. The case was dropped a year later after the woman declined to testify, and Bryant apologized for his behaviour though he always maintained the interaction was consensual and he had not broken the law.
Bryant has also been involved in the NBA’s efforts to expand its audience beyond the United States, particularly in China. In 2015, he worked with Alibaba Group to release the basketball star’s documentary “Kobe Bryant’s Muse” through its Tmall Magic Box TV in China.
The deal also involved working with Bryant to create a new social media platform “bringing new avenues of connecting China’s young people directly to Kobe and his philosophies,” according to a press release from Alibaba announcing the partnership. Additionally, the company sells a number of Kobe-branded products on its retail platform.
Bryant also had endorsement deals with a number of other brands throughout his career, including McDonald’s (MCD), Sprite, Nintendo (NTDOF) and Turkish Airline.
Jaiz Bank: First shared-profit bank in Nigeria approaches 10 years
Nigeria’s first non-interest bank has moved from being a regional bank to a national bank.
When the idea of a Non-interest banking was first broached in Nigeria in the late 90s, it was greeted with suspicion. This was probably because its more popular name ‘Islamic banking’ had non-muslim Nigerians thinking it was a ploy to eventually Islamize the country.
Two decades and several sensitization campaigns later, Nigeria’s first non-interest bank has moved from being a regional bank to a national bank, with several branches and customers.
Nairametrics company profile this week looks at this trail-blazing bank; how it has survived its first decade, while operating a system that is completely different from that of other banks in the country, yet still holds its own in the industry.
The JAIZ movement in Nigeria dates far back to 2001, when Justice Imam Muhammad Taqi Usmani and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, both guest speakers at a seminar hosted in Sheraton Hotel Abuja, advised the different groups clamoring for a non-interest bank in Nigeria to come together under one group, if their aim was to be achieved.
In response to this advice, the Halal group and the JAIZ group united, combining influence and resources to drive for the establishment of a Nigerian non-interest bank.
Jaiz International was set up in 2003, and after almost 8 years of trying to meet the guidelines, and capital requirements of the Apex bank (amid the Soludo-led recapitalization exercise which shook the industry) and other factors, the bank received a regional license from CBN on a historic date.
JAIZ International Plc was established on 11th of November 2011, and began the long walk to the actualization of their dreams.
On 6 January 2012, operations commenced at the branches in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano. Hassan Usman, is now Managing Director of the bank, while Alhaji Dr Umaru Abdul Mutallab, heads the Board of Directors, with Alhaji Dr Umaru Kwairanga, and Alhaji Dr Muhammadu Indimi as members.
Other members include Abdulfattah O. Amoo; Alh. (Dr.) Aminu Alhassan Dantata; Alh. (Dr.) Musbahu Bashir; Alh. Mukhtar Danladi Hanga; Alhaji Mamun Maude; H.R.H. Engr. Bello Muhammad Sanni; Mahe Abubakar Mahmud; Mall. Falalu Bello; Mall. Hassan Usman; Mr. Seedy Njie; Nafiu Baba-Ahmed; and Prof. Tajudeen Adepemi Adebiyi.
In 2013, when the bank started expanding to other urban centers, it was permitted to increase shareholding capital to $92.3 million (NGN14.3 billion), and subsequently applied for a national banking license which it received in 2016. At the end of FY 2019, it had 38 branches with over a thousand employees.
Stockholding was and is still shared among Nigerian and foreign individuals, and institutional investors, while the number of issued shares as at December 2019 was 29.46 billion.
Banking with a human face
Non-interest banking is touted to be a more ethical form of banking, with less emphasis on profit, and more on societal and individual development.
Like other banks, Jaiz Bank Plc provides banking products and services like savings, current, salary, and kids savings accounts, but with slightly different terms. The bank also provides online banking, leasing, cards, bonds and guarantees, and several other investment products tailored to its principles. Customers’ deposits are used for business operations, with the understanding that the profit will be shared between the bank and customers. While sharing profit with customers, in the event of a loss, the bank tries to weather it out, since the customers’ deposits are already insured with the NDIC.
In offering its credit facilities, the bank tends to adopt a religious perspective, looking beyond an individual’s ability to repay the loan. The impact of such a business or project on the society is a priority consideration, and could be the sole reason for refusing a loan. In this regard, business ideas which go against morality or societal growth, are not given loans.
The bank also offers its loans in a manner that creates a partnership between the bank and the borrower, towards improving the society. A profit for the company is a profit for the bank, while a loss for the company is also a loss for the bank, even though steps are taken to recover the capital.
How many people will be employed by the business? How will it impact the environment and the economy? These are some of the questions considered before a loan is either granted or refused. This is why bankers in the space like to refer to it as “banking with a face” or ethical banking.
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No matter how profitable a venture is, if any part of its operations is considered detrimental to societal welfare, it will be declined. If, for any reason, a customer is to be penalized for default, the proceeds cannot be listed as part of profits for the bank, but is ploughed into the society as charity.
Audited financials from the company shows that the company is fast growing to make up for the early years of little or no profit.
The FY 2019 audited reports show that the company declared dividends of 3 kobo per share, an improvement on previous years’ performances, where no dividend was declared. Total assets grew 54% YOY, from N108.4 billion in 2019 to N167 billion in 2019, while deposits rose 50% to N127 billion, from the N85 billion recorded in 2018.
Gross earnings grew from N8.7 billion to N14.7 billion, and Cost to Income ratio improved from 87.28% in 2018 to 80.21% in 2019, with return on assets and equity rising to 1.26% and 13.57% respectively.
Profit before tax shot up 135% from 898 million in 2018 to N2.1 billion in 2019, and earning per share grew to 8.29 kobo from 2.83 kobo in 2018.
The recently reported Q2 2020 unaudited reports show that in spite of the COVID-19 challenges in the country, the bank had a fair outing in the second quarter of the year, with a clear improvement across all indicators in comparison to Q2 2019.
JAIZ Bank Plc is fast-growing, achieving much in good time, although Nigerians are yet to fully understand this system of banking. There is also the supervision of the Advisory Committee of Experts (ACE), which ensures that banking operations are done in line with the dictates of Sharia law.
The bank includes non-Islamic employees in its workforce, a point to back the claims that it is not religiously inclined, though more needs to be done in its board composition to fully corroborate this, and show the public that it is a bank that accommodates all religions.
President Trump to decide fate of TikTok in 24-36 hours
US President, Donald Trump is to decide the fate of TikTok in the country in the next 24-36 hours.
All eyes are now on President Donald Trump as he is expected to decide the fate of TikTok in the U.S. in the next 24-36 hours.
In a report credited to CNBC News, ByteDance, owners of TikTok, is planning to go for an IPO for global TikTok on an American Stock Exchange.
Under the proposed plan, waiting for President Trump’s approval include, Oracle owning a minority stake that will be lower than 20% of the new global TikTok.Walmart the world’s biggest retailer by revenue will also take a stake, though its amount remains unknown.
While the Chinese authorities have asserted it’s right to obstruct the sale of vital technologies, it is likely to approve the deal as long as it doesn’t involve the transfer of the artificial intelligence algorithms that drive TikTok’s service. Even if ByteDance were to cede its major ownership over TikTok.
U.S President recently disclosed he was against any idea that ByteDance( parent company) would retain a majority stake in TikTok.
“From the standpoint of ByteDance we don’t like that,” Trump spoke on the Chinese company retaining a majority stake in the business. “I mean, just conceptually I can tell you I don’t like that.”
An IPO on TikTok would most likely be the biggest technology IPO in recent times. Private valuations of the fast-growing startup have been estimated to be worth about $50 billion.
Back Story; Recall Nairametrics about a month ago reported on how President Trump issued directives banning any U.S. transactions with Chinese tech firms that include Tencent and ByteDance.
According to Trump, “WeChat “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users. This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”
He went on to say that the application also captures personal information of Chinese nationals visiting the U.S.
Nigeria working to attract more foreign direct investments to prepare for AfCFTA – Trade Minister
The Minister noted that the ministry is actively working to attract more FDIs into key industries.
Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, has said that Nigeria is actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries to meet the demands of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
This was disclosed by the Minister on Thursday at the virtual Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) Global Investment Conference, themed “The future of Trade and Investment in Africa.”
This morning, the Honourable Minister @NiyiAdebayo_ , spoke at the virtual Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce(NBCC) Global Investment Conference, themed “The future of Trade and Investment in Africa”.
The conference focused on three broad elements that will spur economy… pic.twitter.com/DqvUp6zl0J
— FMITI Nigeria (@TradeInvestNG) September 17, 2020
The event covered 3 key areas that will boost trade between Nigeria and the UK. They are: The African Continental Free Trade Area, Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Risk and Accessing finance for increased trade and investment.
“As we gear up to meet the demands of the enlarged continental market which will be fostered by AfCFTA, we are actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries,” the Minister said.
The Minister added that Nigeria’s investment priorities are:
- Promoting digital economy, “considering its potential for growth, job creation and mitigating the impact of Covid-19.”
- Domesticating production through various sectoral backward integration plans.
- Exploring opportunities to boost renewable energy financing across the country.
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He urged that Nigeria should remain committed to implementing the initiatives to enable the country become a suitable environment for investment and strategic trade relationships.