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At CiUCi Roundtable, entrepreneurs share business experiences, as monye gives outlook for 2018

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Ifeanyi Ajaegbo (left), Ugo Monye, Olawunmi Olashore, Gbolahan Ore, May Ikeora and Ckwukwuka Monye at the CiUCi Roundtable in Lagos.


In a bid to help entrepreneurs and small business owners understand the economic outlook for Nigeria in 2018, CiUCi Consulting, a strategy and consumer intelligence company with strong technical expertise in strategy formulation, research and human capital development, recently held a Business Rountable in Lagos.

Hosted by Chukwuka Monye of CiUCi, this edition of the roundtable was aimed at generating insights that can be used as a guide for business owners in 2018. The forum, which lasted for about three hours, engaged business owners in discussions about the challenges they face and through the moderation of CiUCi, offered solutions.

Aside from Monye, the founder of CiUCi, who moderated the session, the event also featured Executive Director of The Perfect PA, Gbolahan Ore; CEO of Shore, Olawunmi Olashore; CEO of Ugo Monye Tailoring, Ugochukwu Monye; CEO of L’Avyanna Skin Naturals, May Ikeora and Ifeanyi Ajaegbo of CiUCi, as panelists.

In his opening remarks, Ckukwuka Monye informed that, beyond providing business outlook for the year, his decision to open up the roundtable discussion is to give room for entrepreneurs to share their experiences.

“Every year, I get invited by different media organisations to share my views on the growth of small businesses. But I came to realise that I need to also bring business owners to also speak on their ventures and share their challenges and success stories. That’s why I decide that we have this roundtable with these entrepreneurs present. The idea is to have a conversation with them and also help them with tips on how to deal with their challenges,” he said.

Speaking on trust in business, Ikeora, a former beauty queen, said, “everyone has staff issue, but the main problem is the vendors. I run this business in the United Kingdom, now am back in Nigeria; I don’t have to be in the UK, but the business is doing fine. Here, you get vendors come to say they are experts, yet they are not interested in giving you service; they are more interested in validating their charges. Here, people claim to be what they are not; SMEs can’t afford to be losing money like that,” she said.

On his part, Gbolaham Ore observed that loyalty is a major issue in business.“At The Perfect PA, we try to embed trust within our people before we post them out; trust is built, it doesn’t come overnight,” he said.

On her motivation, Olashore said, “the fact that we make way for other people to come into business is a major drive for us. I feel happy when I discover that an idea we came up with is solving problems for people. The feeling that you came up with a product and it’s being appreciated by customers is enough motivation.”

On the challenges of dealing with staff issues, Ugo Monye said, “I’ve always wanted to be different; I’ve ganged up with my tailors and fired them because I wanted my business to be in a certain way. So, if you are not ready to align, then you are out. I tried using experts, but I realised they don’t like to take corrections. So, what I did was to get young people and train them on the job,” he said.

Giving insight to what businesses need to know and do to thrive, CiUCi boss noted that building a clear foreign exchange strategy to minimize your foreign exchange fluctuation risk could provide significant rewards for companies. He urged business owners to deploy effective price increase mechanism, reduce the power of public electricity and come up with smarter and stronger marketing strategy.

“You need to be clear about your plan and vision. Once the business vision is clear, you will know the direction to take and what to do. Businesses are becoming more creative today as regards FX so, you must learn to be strategic. Again, if you can identify your customer, it’s easier to determine your price. Every business is unique; don’t copy the next man. We all have our own unique skills and qualities; keep to your lane,” he said.


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