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Firm cautions African SMEs against inferior products, services


SMEPurple Premium Limited, a property firm operating in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, has warned African Small and Medium Enterprises as well as big companies against offering sub-standard products and services.

The Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Richard Obahor, said it was important for busineses owned and run by Africans, both at home and in the Diaspora, to prioritise quality offerings because other countries are watching.

He said this on the sidelines of the Gathering of Africa’s Best (GAB) Awards in the UK after clinching an award for his contributions to the promotion of the positive image of Africa and Africans through property services.

Commenting on the award, Obahor stated: “It is fundamental as Africans offering services in this or any other marketplace that we raise our standards very high – at par or even higher than our Caucasian contemporaries. This is also expected of SMEs operating in Africa. Some African businesses provide substandard services because they hold the view that they are only just serving Africans so there is no need to expend resources investing in systems that will enable them provide better services. I strongly believe that this is wrong; the fact that we are Africans should not translate to us offering and accepting less.”

The PPL boss said business dynamics had changed significantly over the years in such a manner that a local business might have prospective customers in the Far East Asia unknown to it.

On the basis of this, he urged African businesses to, “pursue excellence as though it were going out of fashion because, now more than ever, the entire world is watching.”

Obahor had recently bagged the Leadership Award at BEFTTA 2016 (Europe’s biggest award ceremony for Black Ethnic Minority.)The GAB, which was founded in 1999 by The Trumpet Newspaper (Britain’s largest distributed black newspaper), showcases Africa’s best and rewards excellence among Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora.

Founder of the GAB Awards and Publisher, Trumpet Media Group, ’Femi Okutubo, said: “As we commemorate this milestone 18th annual edition of the GAB Awards, we acknowledge and thank God for our coming of age. Just as the transition from childhood to adulthood comes with responsibilities, I acknowledge that we all have responsibilities to and for this Awards event – which has grown into an institution and reference point for excellence not just with the UK Diaspora African community, but on the continent of Africa.”

British Prime Minister, Theresa May MP, in a goodwill message to organisers of the awards, said: “These awards are an opportunity for us all to recognise the incredible achievements of successful African men and women across sectors including financial services, retail, media, the arts, science and technology and sport.“I would like to congratulate the organisers and volunteers for making these awards such a successful event and wish everyone involved all the best.”

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