How Nigerian brands are making waves
• Shine at Africa Finance Awards
Fast Credit, PAC Capital, La Casera, Medallon Communications, Linkpoint and IHMS were among the top winners at the 2019 Africa Finance Award that held recently in Lagos.
Since the event held, many industry watchers have expressed satisfaction on how Nigerian brands are making waves globally, especially with their content. Following the screening and evaluation exercise of entries from Nigeria and African countries such as, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Gambia, the aforementioned brands emerged winners.
For the brand analyst, Ikem Okuhu, awards and recognitions are just a few of the many metrics for measurement of brand status of a country. He said, “this should be replicated on other platforms of exchange and experience of the journey towards building a strong and competitive Nigerian nation brand will become a reality.
“Nigeria needs to be moving along the lines of real change and impact. It might interest you that while we are winning all the awards, Rwanda is still the best place to live and do business in Africa while Nigeria has kept sliding down the ladder. Just recently, a company in Rwanda released the very first fully made in Africa Smartphone, a product they proudly say is top quality and which they are already shipping to over 20 countries. These awards are fine but it does not speak of where we should have been that we haven’t been as a nation.”
Okuhu, however, advised, “Plaques and trophies do not move the economic numbers. A transparent, visionary government mobilizing the people for industry does. With our population strength, we will continue to shine brighter in such competitions. This is not, as I pointed out earlier, to discount the peculiar energy of the typical Nigerian that has seen us continue creating things in the midst of choking political irresponsibility and economic visionlessness.”
He further stressed that Nigeria should strive towards wining industry-wide leadership awards that form the basis for endorsement that sell goods and services.
He added, “Nigerian contractors should make Nigeria the best in engineering and construction. Nigeria should be known as the place for the best ceramics, the best cables, and, who says we shouldn’t be known for the rice in Africa. These are the conferrals that translate to economic value for us as a nation, Trophies that are sometimes paid for and which gather dust on shelves do not inspire great industries.”
Chief Executive Officer at X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko commended the brands for the laudable feat considering the intensity of competition on the African continent. “Credit goes to these Nigerian brands for putting Nigeria out there. The world is a global village, whatever you do, do it excellently and put it out there. The world will find you,” he said.
Also, Managing Director, Indigo said the awards would further push the positive narrative of the Nigerian brands. Adding, “Although, I don’t believe award is a good parameter for measuring performance and the success of a brand. It actually goes beyond awards; it is more about the value that the brands deliver to the various stakeholders. It would be great to see a Nigerian brand becoming a globally acceptable brand in not too far future.”
He said brand custodians must be consistent and continue to set a global standard to sustain the achievement and make Nigerian brands more visible.
Chairman, award organising committee, Mr. Camil Chineme, commended members of the panel for a job well done. He said the award was geared towards encouraging greater creativity, and more importantly, applauding effective marketing strategy and tools that deliver results.
“We are all gathered here to appreciate the professional ability of some of our distinguished brands and the uncommon professionalism, dynamism and courage of our business leaders,” he said.
According to him, this year’s programme witnessed the crowning of some brands and personalities, pillar of industries and outstanding achievements of finance companies across different sectors in Africa.
Reacting to the award, the managing director of Fast Credit, Mr. Emeka Iloelunachi said Fast Credit has done exceedingly well, particularly, becoming the leading lender to the public civil in Nigeria.
“We became the leading lender to the public civil servant in Nigeria, cut across all the federal, states, paramilitary and armed forces workers. We delved into all the private sector employees and SMEs. And besides lending to the public civil servants across the nation, we to be known as a leading financial technology company in the market, therefore, we started partnership with telecommunication such as 9mobile to drive the financial inclusion policy of Central Bank of Nigeria,” Iloelunachi said.
Also reacting to his company’s achievements, Managing Director of La Casera Company, Mr. Chinedum Okereke, stated that it is a feat he owes over 550 employees of the company, and of course, to its consumers, “which is a proof of a lot of hard work that we have put in place these last two years.”
He said, “we are beginning to see a turnaround in the corner. So, for us, it’s more like a testimony of a good work but it’s equally a wakeup call for us to actually do much more, because when you attain the top position, it means you need to do work harder, because you will be competing against yourself.”
On PAC Capital honour, Mrs. Chioma Enwereji-Ogbonda, Brands & Corporate Communications Analyst, stated that rather than the company claiming award, the laurel should be dedicated to the client who gave them opportunity to be part of their existence.
She said, “We recalled that the award we have won today, which is the ‘Deal of The Year in Africa’ as to do with the acquisition of 9mobile by Teleology Nigeria. You would agree with me that before now, 9mobile was like a troubled company with the faith of thousands of workers more less hanging on the balance and with that acquisition of course, we brought some respite of hope and then of course, to the business.”