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Why Digital Competitive Intelligence is a must have for business especially in challenging economic times

To survive in an industry with cut-backs, digital competitive intelligence is what will keep you afloat.

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2020 has been a very challenging year for many businesses as the impact of the pandemic sets in.

Many customers had to cut back on spending on wants. Focusing their spending on needs, they reduced spending in some areas but didn’t stop spending totally. If you are unlucky and your industry is part of the industries with cut-back spending, you need competitive intelligence to stay afloat as will be highlighted in the case study below.

READ: E-payments industry continues to show promise

If customers cut down spending in the industry you are in on the average by 60%, (that means the industry you are in has lost 60% of its market size), this will significantly affect your business if you previously held a 5% share of the market, a 60% cut-back from customer spending means you are left with (40%) of 5% market share, you are now left with 2% of the market share.

If your business operates on a 20% margin (with the new reality of the current customer spend), your business might struggle as you need 80% of current revenue to keep afloat, but with current realities of 60% wallet share reduction from customers, your business will be left with 40% revenue of previous years. (50% less revenue than you need to survive).

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READ: Banks reduce dollar spending limit on naira debit cards to $100 

With these realities, you get into a strategy session and cut down spending by 50% to keep afloat, but at the end of the same quarter, you find out that instead of achieving 40% of revenue, you were left with 20% of revenue. Now you asked the question, “WHAT HAPPENED”

Like you, many brands in your industry cut down product prices (you did the same), but the major news you missed was a new entrant into your industry. This company hired a top marketing strategist to join their team. Unfortunately, you missed out on this early warning competitive intelligence signal because you didn’t have a digital system to constantly daily monitor all competition and the industry in general, so you can get reports on new hires, new product launch, new campaigns and new market entrants (Google alerts can’t help much here as most conversation start from social long before it moves to the web as news, and Google alerts do not cover that).

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The impact of the entrant was already 3 months late, and your market share has gone from 2% to 1% in 1 quarter due to the entrant taking 50% of your current market share of 2%.

DON’T LET THIS BE YOU.  SIGN UP for digital competitive intelligence report now!!

It is difficult to keep up with daily competitive/industry intelligence, hence Nairametrics in partnership with Intelligent Interactive Limited has done the heavy weight lifting of creating an explanatory analytics competitive intelligent daily report. This makes the process of staying ahead of the competition and industry easy and affordable, by putting together a daily digital competitive intelligence report on all brands listed on the NSE, including all industries, at an affordable price of 1,000 daily (25,000 monthly). Spaces are limited to 250 brands and subscription ends on the 23rd of November. SIGN UP HERE NOW .

See below, the level of insights on a single day’s digital competitive intelligence report on the Nigeria ICT space on  Friday, October 30th, 2020.


Temiloluwa Sobowale is a Kellogg Alumni certified executive scholar in Sales and Marketing Analytics, co-founder of www.brandmanager.ng and CEO of Intelligent Interactive Limited, a Brand Marketing and Digital Analytics company in Nigeria.

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Appointments

Funke Feyisitan-Ladimeji appointed Executive Director, Coronation Merchant Bank

Coronation Merchant Bank Limited has announced the appointment of Funke Feyisitan Ladimeji as an Executive Director of the Bank.

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The Board of Directors of Nigeria’s leading financial institution; Coronation Merchant Bank Limited has announced the appointment of Funke Feyisitan Ladimeji as an Executive Director of the Bank with effect from November 18, 2020, consequent to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Funke joins the Bank from FBNQuest Merchant Bank where she spent eight years as the Chief Operating Officer (COO).  Before now, she was the Executive Director/COO at JP Morgan. Funke has over 30 years’ experience managing a variety of Banking businesses across Markets and Corporate Finance Businesses, across multiple jurisdictions in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), North America and Asia, and across multiple functional areas, including Financial Control, Complex Product Accounting, Technology, Business Operations and Human Capital in major financial institutions within and outside Nigeria. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales and holds a Master’s degree in Globalisation and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Queen Mary and Brunel Universities respectively.

As the Executive Director, Funke’s remit will include Compliance, Information Technology, Centralised Operations, Customer Service, Global Trade and Administration functions.  She will also be the Bank’s Executive Compliance Officer.

Announcing the new appointment, the Chairman of Coronation Merchant Bank, Mr Babatunde Folawiyo stated that: “Funke brings to us a rich portfolio of experience garnered over the years in various leadership capacities. She could not have joined us at a more promising time in our journey to becoming an institution renowned for driving transformative solutions across Africa. I am confident her appointment will further strengthen and position the Bank for improved performance”.

He further stated, “As a Bank, we maintain high corporate governance standards and ensure that Board appointments are in line with global best practices and industry standards. Her appointment follows a long tradition of working with the best and brightest across all levels of our organisation.

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Coronation Merchant Bank was established in 2015 to provide wholesale banking to a long-underserved market. The Bank offers Corporate & Investment Banking, Private Banking/Wealth Management and, Global Markets/Treasury Services to its niche clientele. It presently has two branches located in Abuja and Port Harcourt with its Head Office in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Bank has been the recipient of numerous international and national awards for product innovation and sound corporate governance practices. Some of the international awards it received in 2020 and 2019 include Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by Global Finance, Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by World Finance, Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by Global Banking & Finance Review, Best Investment Bank by Global Business Outlook and Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by International Finance.

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Corporate Press Releases

HealthPlus crisis: How Mrs. George approached Leo Stan Ekeh

Leo Stan Ekeh has cleared the air on the controversy surrounding the troubled Nigerian healthcare firm, HealthPlus.

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Leo Stan Ekeh
  • Mrs. Bukky George first contacted the Zinox Chairman, Leo Stan Ekeh via SMS on March 31st, 2020 at 4.13am.
  • Ekeh has no investments in HealthPlus or in Alta Semper, its investors.
  • Ekeh knew Alta Semper and the funders of the business, made up of credible individuals, long before he met Mrs. George.
  • Alta Semper had approached Konga for a partnership and possible investment like other multinationals since 2019, ever before Mrs. George approached Ekeh for mentorship and a subsequent loan.
  • Chidi Okoro is a business leader who Ekeh referred to a global foundation long before he met Mrs. George. He had run many successful multinationals across Africa and Ekeh chose to refer him to the foundation who had wanted to appoint a Kenyan for a research on FMCG and Pharma related consultancy. Alta Semper had engaged him for a six months’ transformation exercise of HealthPlus and this was unknown to Ekeh until he read of it.
  • Ekeh’s only advice to Mrs. George when the issue of her tussle with her investors came up was to find a middle ground to save her business and to avoid damaging investor confidence in her great brand – HealthPlus and other Nigerian startups.

 

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Zinox Chairman, Leo Stan Ekeh has cleared the air on the controversy surrounding the troubled Nigerian healthcare firm, HealthPlus and the alleged involvement of Mr. Ekeh, in the company’s crisis with its investors, Alta Semper, a private equity firm.

The clarification was made public in a detailed statement signed by Barrister Reginald Obiakor, Mr. Ekeh’s SSA on Legal Affairs.

Specifically, Ekeh, who disclosed that Mrs. Bukky George, the embattled CEO of HealthPlus, had first reached out to him to mentor her on the 31st of March 2020, revealed that his only offence was advising her to settle her misunderstanding with her investors in order to save her business and to avoid damaging the growing investor confidence in Nigerian startups and nothing more.

‘Mr. Ekeh feels extremely sad that he has to publicly explain his business relationship with Mrs. Bukky George, founder and CEO of HealthPlus and her investors – Alta Semper. She is a respectably married woman, a mother and a sound entrepreneur. But it is critical that we set the records straight for the benefit of posterity. For the records, Mrs. George had first contacted Mr. Ekeh via a text message at 4.13am on the 31st of March 2020, introducing herself and requesting a time to call him.

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‘‘He replied her at 8:45am and asked her to call at 10am. She called and they spoke. She told him how she has followed his very successful digital entrepreneurial story for years and would like him to mentor her. She also requested that he assists her finance her importation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with well over $1m and that she could share the profit with him 50/50. But Mr. Ekeh wanted to know a little more about her business before committing funds and she spent about 30 minutes, telling him her life history.

‘‘Impressed by her narration, he had told her she was a miracle child and that God has destined her for greatness. Indeed, Mr. Ekeh was excited to assist her make some funds available to support her business. The Zinox Chairman is well aware of the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Africa, how they are marginalized by the system. His mother, wife and two daughters are all entrepreneurs, though successful, but he feels their pain.

‘‘Mrs. George passed across her Chinese contact and Mr. Ekeh forwarded it to his consultant in China. The consultant came back a few hours later to inform that the company Mrs. George was looking to do business with was into agricultural trading and was not worth more than $250,000. Over the next two days, Mr. Ekeh had spent over three hours, speaking to various contacts in Nigeria and the US on her behalf. At the end, he had discovered no PPEs existed. It would have been a disaster. However, owing to the due diligence he carried out, Mrs. George did not lose any money and she thanked him for investigating it.

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‘‘A few days later, Mrs. George requested a loan of N2bn to support her business in meeting growing demands during the severe months of the COVID-19 pandemic and promised to pay back. She claimed God sent her to Mr. Ekeh after she failed to secure assistance from some well-known Nigerian Yoruba billionaires (whose names we have decided not to mention at this point). At this stage, he had asked for the configuration of her investors because you cannot extend a loan to a corporate body without a Board resolution. It was at this point that she mentioned her PE investors – Alta Semper and the issues she was having with them.

‘‘The Executive Management of Alta Semper are well known to Mr. Ekeh because they wanted a partnership with Konga after the company announced the launch of Konga Health in June last year. They wanted to plug into Konga’s advanced technology infrastructure, regional warehouse network, digital logistics and CBN-licensed payment system.

‘‘In fact, her investors are at home in Mr. Ekeh’s UK home and he was comfortable with the integrity and quality of the funders of Alta Semper; even as he noted that they had huge resources to fund HealthPlus without relying on bank loans. Consequently, Mr. Ekeh had told Mrs. George it would be difficult for him to extend or guarantee a facility to her, owing to the issues she was having with her investors as he needed to secure his investment. He assured her that her investors as majority shareholders have all resources she needed to turn around the company and he knew them very well but thought their investment was in MedPlus Ltd.

‘‘Immediately after that call, Mr. Ekeh had put a call through to the CEO of Alta Semper to ask why they were not funding HealthPlus. The CEO had poured out their frustrations with Mrs. George, stating that even to secure a meeting, she wouldn’t pick or return their calls and expressed how disappointed they were at the development. She assured Mr. Ekeh that they were willing to invest more money in the business, only if Mrs. George would respect the terms of their engagement, and that they needed more comfort with respect to corporate governance issues, etc. Further, she pleaded with Mr. Ekeh to help intervene since Mrs. George seemed to be close to him and respects him a lot.

‘‘After extracting this commitment from them and speaking with their big boss in Manhattan who is globally known, Mr. Ekeh had spent over a month unsuccessfully trying to convince Mrs. George on why she should find a middle ground with her investors in order to save her business as they were majority shareholders. He had also advised that the current impasse with them has the potential of damaging investor confidence in other Nigerian startups.

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‘‘However, Mrs. George had remained adamant and insisted that she was heading to court.

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‘‘Mr. Ekeh had reminded her that no sensible person who wanted her progress would advise her to fight with her majority investors at the peak of her fortunes. To further make her see reason, Mr. Ekeh had invited Mrs. George to his office in Victoria Island on August 26, 2020 after her family’s COVID-19 challenge. She arrived alone at 11:41am. It is important to state, at this juncture, that this was the first true physical meeting between Mr. Ekeh and Mrs. George. Again, his impression of her at this point was of a brilliant entrepreneur with a lot of positive energy.

‘‘Mr. Ekeh had spent the next three hours, in the company of his wife, Mrs. Chioma Ekeh, pleading with Mrs. George to see reason not to embark on a messy suit with her investors and the need to find an amicable solution that works for both parties. Mr. Ekeh had specifically told her that entrepreneurs in Nigeria are disadvantaged and reeled out a lot of examples to back up his claims in the course of pleading with her. Ekeh had told her that the consequences of a fight with her investors would have a number of detrimental effects on her business including potential withdrawal of suppliers, pressure from bankers to recover any existing facilities and stoppage of future loans as well as loss of trust from the global investor community on her brand and person.”

Furthermore, he had assured her that God, who had brought her thus far in business, would not desert her, urging her to apply common sense.

In the words of Mr. Ekeh: ‘‘I promised to help her to the best of my ability for her to succeed. I confided in her that Alta Semper had earlier shown an interest in investing in Konga and would like to take advantage of its huge resources to scale at a very low entry cost across Africa and that because of this, I had also considered investing a little sum in their African vehicle. Alta Semper has huge investments in Kenya, Morocco and Egypt and I had advised them to add Ghana because of my interest.

‘‘As her mentor and as a mark of respect, I told Mrs. George that I had asked the management of Konga to suspend further discussions with Alta Semper until they resolved their differences with Mrs. George and HealthPlus. I even went as far as promising some incentives to HealthPlus, all in a bid to discourage her from fighting.’’

‘‘Mr. Ekeh had ended the meeting by urging Mrs. George to see the huge opportunities for her, the business and her family. He had further asked her to pray over the matter and get back to him on her decision. Two days after, she had written Mr. Ekeh to state that she was going ahead with her course of action against her investors.

‘‘Thereafter, Mr. Ekeh had acknowledged her response, even as he further implored her to reconsider her decision for the sake of her business. This was where Mr. Ekeh had left the subject until our attention was drawn to the initial allegations from Mrs. George that Mr. Ekeh was involved in a planned takeover of her business. We had first dismissed this, only to learn that she had written a private letter to former President Olusegun Obasanjo – (a man who, as President, honoured Mr. Ekeh as an Icon of Hope and a pride to modern Nigeria on Nigeria’s Independence Anniversary on October, 1st, 2001) – which she had proceeded to circulate to the press before the former President even saw the letter.

‘‘It is also important to respond to the allegations that Mr. Ekeh had appointed a certain Chidi Okoro to take over HealthPlus. Mr. Okoro, whom Mrs. George refers to, is a first class business leader who is well known in the FMCG and Pharmaceutical sectors to Mr. Ekeh for years. He is a brilliant Nigerian who has managed successful multinationals across Africa. Mr. Ekeh had first referred Mr. Okoro to a global Health Foundation who were looking for a proven hand for a research consultancy in Africa. The Foundation was keen to appoint a Kenyan before they took Mr. Ekeh’s advice and appointed Mr. Okoro for the role. A month later, they had called Mr. Ekeh, expressing satisfaction with the choice of Mr. Okoro and effusively appreciating Mr. Ekeh for the referral. To set the records straight, Mr. Ekeh was not informed or consulted when Alta Semper engaged him on a six months’ consultancy to turn around HealthPlus. He had only heard of it from reports in the media, contrary to the claims by Mrs. George. Mr. Ekeh is certain Mr. Okoro, at his level, will not accept the CEO position of HealthPlus, after leading bigger multinationals.

‘‘In closing, Mr. Ekeh feels highly embarrassed by some of the potentially libelous allegations made by Mrs. George and believes that she has been very unfair to someone who had only meant well for her. He expressly authorizes her to publish for public consumption all emails and WhatsApp communication they had both exchanged.  Also, he pleads with friends and associates to allow Mrs. George the respect and privacy she deserves as he has learned another lesson in his entrepreneurship pursuit. He also advises startups or those looking for investors to respect agreements entered into for global investors to have faith in the Nigerian economy.’’

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Corporate Press Releases

Why Digital Competitive Intelligence is a must have for business especially in challenging economic times (Part 2)

To survive in an industry with cut-backs, digital competitive intelligence is what will keep you afloat.

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Above is a full guide of what to look for in the report so you can get the most from its use, and also kindly view the first part of this discussion here.

The explanatory chart above shows customer sentiment (negative and positive feelings towards the leading technology brands). Jumia had the highest customer mentions, about 237 for the reporting period (from social/Twitter conversation and Web mentions) being the highest in the industry for the reporting period with 30.8% of the conversations positive; 59.93% neutral; and 9.29% negative mentions (a good performance for the brand).

This was followed by Paystack with approximately 220 mentions for the reporting period, with 30.13% positive mentions; 57.64% neutral (approximately 2% less than Jumia), and 12.3% negative (about 3% higher than Jumia).

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The margin between Jumia and Paystack soon widened and we will soon see in the explanatory chart below in the area of the frequency and reach of their messages below.

Remember that Jumia had 237 mentions for the reporting period, and Paystack had about 220 mentions in the reporting period. The approximate reach (how many people the message was exposed to) for Jumia was 5.5 million. That means the average reach per unique mention is 23,206, while Paystack on the other-hand had 220 mentions with a message reach of 1million, the average reach per unique mention of 4,545.

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Although the mentions are close (a difference of 17) the unique reach of Jumia is 500% more than that of Paystack. The good side of having a good reach is that if you have positive mentions, it reaches more people but if it is negative it also reaches more people.

The social conversation/mentions cloud below shows what the social conversations around the brand were, with Jumia having conversations around Jumia, sale, stake, you MTN, and Paystack having conversations around acquisition, Partners, Google, Flutterwave  Stripe payment.

To further know what conversations in social media had the highest impact on the brands, we look at Top mentions below, which gives us the exact mentions with the highest reach for each brand.

As we can see above in Top mentions report following the social conversation cloud, Jumia Nigeria was busy with its business of selling “Enjoy 80% off appliances during Black Friday”, a conversation that shows that if you are in the technology/e-commerce space you must take Black Friday seriously and if you are competing with Jumia you must be ready to do above 80% off discounts on appliances.

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That is just one insight from Jumia. Other top social mentions we see is the sale of MTN’s stake in Jumia mentioned By AriseTV and Fin24. Is MTN selling its stake in Jumia something to worry about? That is, is MTN exiting because the brand has yielded multiple investment returns or exiting because they see no future in the investment again?

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Next, let’s remember that this is an industry/competitive intelligence report monitoring and reporting on over 20 brands (NSE listed and non-listed industry leaders). So we move to mainstream news/web where many of the other brands get equally mentioned in the news.

See below

Opportunities and Threats   News Highlights

AIRTEL

Federal Government gives 3 days to Airtel to repair network and respond to complaints (as an ICT provider, you need to worry about this news here and put proactive measures in place to forestall government interventions).

MTN

Mtn raises 2.3 billion from sale of Jumia (This was already seen from social conversational cloud media)

MTN Nigeria tops 75million subscribers

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MTN adds 12milllion Subscribers in Q3

MTN Nigeria expand footprint SANS Covid

MTN Nigeria profit drops as Nigeria struggles against Dollar.

MTN group service revenue up by 11% Q3

JUMIA

Every Friday is Black Friday on Jumia-Youtube(Black Friday is very important in ICT  industry  take note)

PAYSTACK

Stripe acquires Nigerian Tech Company

Paystack partner Google to train 500,000 SME

Main one

Content developer at Tecno

Finally let’s see the influencer promoting this brands so that other brands can learn from the social media engagement of influencers to do better.

Jumia had the best use of social influencers, following results from the first data between Jumia and Paystack’s reach and frequency. All other brands like Andela, Chamsplc, Courtville Business plc, CWG Plc, E-transact, Flutterwave, Main-one, Omatek, NCR, Zinox, are also monitored in this ICT industry report, but the tool didn’t find important news on the web and social about them at the reporting time.

Looking at the above daily insights, your brand will be getting when subscribed to the competitive intelligence report, I am sure by now you know what value the intelligence report brings to your brand. It is also so affordable at current 1,000 daily (all thanks to the Nairametrics team for making this possible). Spaces are limited and at the speed of the current subscription rate, the Nairametrics quota will be filled before the 23rd of November end date. Hurry and subscribe HERE

Industries available include; Banking, Insurance, Professional service, Industrial Goods, Consumer goods, Real Estate and Construction, Agriculture, Natural resources, Oil and Gas, Healthcare, Conglomerates, ICT, and other services.


Temiloluwa Sobowale is a Kellogg Alumni certified executive scholar in Sales and Marketing Analytics, co-founder of www.brandmanager.ng and CEO of Intelligent Interactive Limited, a Brand Marketing and Digital Analytics company in Nigeria.

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