The Guardian’s special focus on Most Impactful and Award-winning CEOs that contributed to Nigeria’s GDP growth in 2021 Part 3
How transformational leader, Juergen Peschel, maintains 9mobile as high-performance TELCO
Transformational leader Juergen Peschel has had an exciting time at the innovative and customer-centric telecommunication company 9mobile. He resumed in January 2021 as Chief Technical Officer, became Acting Chief Executive Officer months later, and eventually the substantive CEO.
Like a gifted orchestra conductor, the international executive with an exceptional track record in the Digital, IT, & Telecommunications industry has ensured that only sonorous tunes emanate from the company.
Taking to heart the saying of ex-US President Ronald Reagan that, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things,” Peschel has efficiently been doing great things and ensuring that the 9mobile team also does excellently.
The expert in a wide variety of industry verticals and markets, has brought the experience garnered over 25 years of extensive international and operational experience as a technology and business leader to bear on 9mobile’s processes and operations.
Peschel is an innovative, analytical, and result-driven telecom front-liner focused on achieving exceptional results even in a highly competitive environment. With rich experience from over 50 countries across Europe, the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa, he has boosted operational efficiency and maintained 9mobile as a high-performance organisation.
Having worked with Mobile and Fixed Broadband companies to improve revenue through innovative services, products, and digitisation, Peschel took to life at 9mobile like a duck to water.
Following his predecessors’ steps, Peschel has sustained the evolution of 9mobile from just providing connectivity to enabling individuals and businesses through its array of ingenious solutions and platforms. He has ensured the continuous deployment of innovative products and services to boost user satisfaction and comfort. The list is endless.
The premium enterprise cloud-based solution, 9BusinessCloud, recently held a webinar to help businesses improve digital adoption to survive and scale. It was themed, “Running a Business in Post-Covid-19 Times: Using the Cloud to Increase Productivity and Drive Collaboration Effectively.” Another is enabling its customers with more affordable and superfast data by upgrading its MiFi and Router offerings.
The company also introduced a Hajj Special Offer to enable Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia to make and receive calls, send and receive SMS, and use data at very cheap rates. In the heat of the NIN-SIM card registration exercise, 9mobile made it easier for customers to physically register for their National Identification Number (NIN) and link it to their SIMs without hassles or payment in its Experience Centres.
To also help to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental health and curb the increasing rate of depression, the telco began a health talk series. Three editions have so far happened with heart-warming testimonials.
In recognition of the media’s critical role in developing the ICT sector and upskilling journalists, 9mobile also started a capacity-building initiative designed to acquaint journalists with emerging trends in journalism.
The youths of a nation are its future, and 9mobile under Peschel’s watch has not neglected them, but is providing training to improve their digital skills while living up to its other corporate social responsibilities. These initiatives further affirm Peschel’s credentials as an expert problem-solver with a strong focus on innovation-driven user satisfaction and customer service. With Peschel at the helm, 9mobile can’t be in a better hand.
Juergen is a senior international executive with an exceptional track record within the Digital, IT, & Telecommunications Industry, including expertise in a wide variety of industry verticals and markets.
He has over 25 years of extensive international and operational experience as a technology and business leader. He is an expert problem-solver with a strong focus on user satisfaction and customer service. He is a hands-on business and technical manager with a history of building high-performance organizations, networks and enhancing operational efficiency. He has also served in several managerial roles, drawing diverse experience from more than 50 countries across Europe, the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa.
A fintech and integrated telecoms technology front-liner, Juergen has repeatedly delivered a retinue of projects to catalyse and manage change through disruptive technology in multiple complex market and cultural contexts.
Over the years, Juergen has worked with Mobile, Fixed Broadband, Enterprise, and TV operators led business restructuring exercises, built growth opportunities, and led organizations to improve revenue by applying innovative services, products, and digitization. He successfully launched the mobile payment service Mpesa in Kenya. He is an innovative, analytical, and result-driven telecom front-liner focused on achieving exceptional results even in a highly competitive environment.
Juergen works with the Executive Management Team to ensure a smooth transition and operational efficiency in line with the brand’s vision.
MURITALA IBRAHIM: A Standard Bearer, Creating Value With Innovative Concepts
Excellence has become the hallmark of his identify, so it not surprising that he is exceptionally standing out as one of the disruptors in the Nigerian Real Estate Sector. An innovative CEO, who prefers to work silently and allow his projects speak volume, Muritala Adegboyega Ibrahim, Managing Director, Misa Limited, is an experienced professional who has honed his craft and continues to expand his knowledge and reach.
Born in December, 1970 to enterprising parents; his father was the founder of Inaolaji Group comprising companies across various industries including construction, trade and manufacturing, while his mother still runs several businesses till date, trading across states and borders.
He obtained his secondary school education at the Federal Government College, Kano after which he proceeded to Georgia, USA where he furthered his education and discovered his entrepreneurial skills. Upon his return to Nigeria in 1990, Muritala spent a few years working at his family business, Inaolaji Group before his desire to run his own race inspired him to incorporate Misa Nigeria Limited in 1996.
By dint of hard work and sheer courage, Misa has grown from a one-man company to a corporation that employs several permanent staff and contract workers, with a turnover of several billions of Naira in the 2020 financial year.
In testament to his entrepreneurial genes, Muritala has, within the last 25 years, adapted his skills in galvanising human capital and identifying opportunities to start up other businesses beyond real estate and construction, and these other sectors including food processing.
ln pursuance of its mission to create a reputable one-stop-shop for all construction requirements, as well as excellent real estate investment and facilities’ management services, which every client can rely on, Misa Limited has been fully committed to providing the best services and delivering excellent innovative solutions for all property-related matters.
As a ‘one-stop shop’, the company offers a fully integrated service that includes property investment advice, property acquisition, sale and leasing of real estate, property development and real estate management, as well as consultancy in the area of approvals, permits, licensing.
Combining excellent services with tailor-made solutions for unique real estate experience, Misa is building an enviable corporate reputation by making its clients realty dreams a reality. With each design, each concept and building, be it a new home, an apartment, or a unique office space, the company tells a story.
Each member of the Misa team is innovative, goal-driven, efficient and proactive, and is trained to ensure feasible solutions to the requests of each individual client. The organization has a full complement of staff including architects, engineers, facility managers, quantity surveyors and artisans with several years of relevant experience, as well as professional non-client facing staff to ensure efficient administration of the company’s operations.
Apart from completed projects which include Cameroon Place, Ikota, Lekki, Bazaaki, Rahama Suites, and Hadetan at Osborne Phase 2, Barrolla, Bayview Estate and Talis Apartments at Lekki, the Muritala-led real estate firm of repute, is making unique statements with ongoing projects like ULESH and KAFSA.
Beyond creating wealth through his productive engagements, the well-respected Chief Executive has been sparing time to add to the body of knowledge in the industry and make applicable input on how to improve on the sector in Nigeria.
Preferred for experience and quality of his projects, Muritala has been called upon at various times, to give talks to MBA students, and also at government and industry-chiefs’ gatherings. All of these have also worked in fulfilling his innate desire to contribute to economic and societal progress within his sphere of influence.
CHIOMA ODIMEGWU: Young, Savvy, Passionate About Creating Sustainable Positive Impact for Nigeria’s Economic Growth
In spite of her myriads of economic challenges ranging from the exchange rate, fuel subsidy, and power sector crisis, not a few business establishments have continued to express optimism in their belief in the Nigerian economy to bounce back especially through structural and policy reforms capable of unlocking and driving economic growth.
One of such patriotic and pragmatic business Chief Executives is Ms. Chioma Odimegwu, Managing Director/CEO. BNSL Limited. After completing her business school at Cornell University and working full time at Citibank in New York City, she moved back to Nigeria in 2021 based on what she described as her passion is to be part of the effort in creating sustainable positive impact on behalf of Nigerians.
According to the fast-rising Nigerian Amazon, “the industrial fortification industry that BNSL Limited currently operates in, raises a huge hope for the economy and that is part of the reasons I came back to the country after living abroad for 12 years.”
She noted that “it is integral to making such an impact because, as a middle-income country, Nigeria is home to the highest number of stunted children on the continent, and ranks 3rd globally with more than 10 million stunted children (DHS 2008). 41% of all children under 5 are chronically malnourished and 23% are underweight.”
Within this group, 1million children die annually. This puts into perspective the importance of the work we do to fortify staple foods such as infant foods, beverages, cereal, flour, sugar and more. In addition, we fortify feed and provide vet drugs to farmers, which contributes towards sustaining the livestock farming industry – a N30 trillion industry that is a significant part of Nigeria’s GDP. My passion to create value within Nigeria, for Nigerians is what motivates the work that I do every day.”
She added that “BNSL functions in a complex and niche industry that impacts public health and the economy at large in Nigeria. Due to taking on this important responsibility, we constantly strive to attain global and local best-in-class standards in our area of operations, while also acquiring state of the art equipment. Our production facility is periodically audited by both local and international regulatory and certification bodies to ensure conformity to established standards and regulations. To that end, we are GFSI FSSC 22000 certified from Intertek and certified by Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).”
She spoke further on the company’s collaboration with t”he National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) towards our local certifications such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Mandatory Conformity Assessment Program (MANCAP) respectively. We are proud to be Halal Certified. Our commitment to the adherence of globally recognized standards is key to re-positioning Nigeria to the path of wealth creation and economic growth, by facilitating an increased local share of vitamin premix supply to the various industries we serve, including the N18trillion FMCG industry in Nigeria.
We plan to grow our share of market relative to imported premixes by continuing to provide standardized high quality vitamin premixes that exceed or are on par with the quality of imported premixes, while being more competitive on price, delivery times, and post-sale technical support.”
Concerning her experience in the last few years in the nation’s Pharmaceuticals cum Manufacturing Sector, what other innovative approach that come into play to impact the running of BNSL Limited in particular, and the industry in general, Odimegwu stated that “the largest innovations that have impacted the running of BNSL Limited, and the industry at large fall into three categories.
These include process innovations, technological innovations and product innovations. Within BNSL our internal process innovations increase transparency and efficiency, while reducing waste and reinforcing the quality of our products. We accomplish this by leveraging communications systems and enforcing data integrity company-wide, as well as conducting highly sensitive physiochemical tests in house or in collaboration with our partner Laboratories on incoming raw materials and outgoing finished goods, respectively.”
She maintained that “Within the industry, organizations such as Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) have increased the transparency and efficiency of sourcing for international customers by providing a portal through which premix suppliers can bid for customer orders around the world. Technological innovations within BNSL and industry wide include the procurement of state-of-the-art blending mixers capable of achieving particle size homogeneity; as well as laboratory equipment for the identification and quantification of vitamins and minerals.”
BNSL Limited’s most recent awards include: “Most Outstanding Human & Animal Vitamins & Minerals Retailer 2021- Nigeria” by Global Business Insight. “Most Outstanding Human & Animal Vitamins & Minerals Retailer 2020- Nigeria” by MEA Markets. “Best Human and Animal Vitamins and Minerals Retailer 2021- Nigeria” by Corp Today Magazine. “Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) Award of Excellence”. And lastly, “Gerald Clark Blue Ribbon Award for Food Fortification”.
DELE OLAIYA: Value-Driven, Thoroughbred Professional With A Midas Touch
Ayodele Israel Olaiya is the Principal Partner of Dele Olaiya & Associates – a firm of Estate Surveyors and Valuers. He is an associate member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV) and a registered member of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON).
A consummate professional with a passion for excellence, his business interest spans across real estate, consulting, construction and cement distribution among others. With an MBA from the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) and also an alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School, Owners Managers Program (OMP15), Oaiya holds a certificate in Real Estate Finance from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Boston, USA.
As a fresh graduate of Estate Management, he kicked-off his professional career at the Bishop’s Court, a property firm situated in Lagos, before he joined Emefiele Ehi & Co and later Demola Adetola & Co. After some years of diligent service, he joined Jide Taiwo & Co as estate surveyor and rose through the ranks to become the Head, Letting Department at the firm.
In search of his Golden Fleece and quest for new challenges, Olaiya resigned gracefully from Jide Taiwo & Co and joined Intercontinental Homes Savings and Loans Plc. He was nicknamed ‘Midas’ being the bulwark of the marketing division of the establishment with a knack for exceeding sales targets and registering ‘high net-worth’ clients with his usual broad smile.
He was the Head of Marketing at Intercontinental Homes and Savings for four years up till December 2010 when he resigned. In 2012, he fulfilled his long-term vision of setting up a professional real estate firm with the establishment of Dele Olaiya & Associate.
His resourcefulness and passion to impact humanity positively has earned him the rank of Fellow in a number of professional bodies which include the Certified Institute of Auctioneers (FCIA), Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC) and the Professional Excellence Foundation of Nigeria.
On how the journey has been since he ventured into private business, he described it as a fascinating experience which involves a deliberate process of building a team of like minds which has helped the company to provide quality and innovative products and services that are premised on tested and trusted values towards meeting customers’ ever-evolving needs.
With a vision to evolve into a global real estate brand that is worthy of its stakeholders’ trust and admiration, Olaiya explained that the firm base its operations on global best standards which involves a well-developed value chain process that clients’ briefs pass through before contracts are sealed.
Today, the portfolio of the firm is composed of services comprising valuation of real estate, property management, facility management, agency sales and letting, as well as property development.
He noted that “The following drivers are the pillars that are responsible for our early rise and the pace we have kept ever since inception; integrity, excellent service delivery, continuous innovation and development, maximizing stakeholders’ wealth and customer satisfaction. Over the years, we have made some remarkable and commendable achievements in the real estate industry. However, we have a strong commitment for continuous development and we are working towards making greater impact.”
Tenacious and purpose-driven, Olaiya is a member of the FIABCI International Real Estate Federation, a member of the Nigeria-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce & Industry, as well as the Nigerian British Chambers of Commerce. He was a member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers, Tink Tank Committee to the National Assembly between 2018 and 2020. To further widen his scope as an entrepreneur, he is currently studying law at the University of London.
How Mixta’s Bridging Home Ownership Gap Across Africa by Deji Alli
Deji Alli is the Chief Executive Officer of Mixta Real Estate PLC, a pan-African real estate development company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria with subsidiary operations in Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. Prior to this, he served as founding CEO of Asset & Resource Management Holding Company Limited, a role which he stepped down from in July 2015. Deji’s career also spans Prudential Portfolio Managers Limited, UK and the African Development Bank (ADB).
Alli holds a BSc degree in Accounting and a postgraduate degree in Finance from the University of Lagos. He is also an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK. He was conferred the National Honours Award — Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 2014 in recognition of his contributions to the Nigerian financial services industry.
Mixta’s Growth Strategy
One of Mixta’s competitive strengths is the ready access to a vast land bank in Nigeria’s most promising city. This has helped the company weather the storm better in the face of a difficult operating environment that prevailed between 2019 and now. Mixta carefully cultivates lasting relationships with host communities, allowing them to remain stakeholders going forward. Another strategy that has been advantageous to the firm is its build-to-order construction approach which significantly minimises market risk and ensures inventory for homes is kept at the barest minimum. With this approach, Mixta pre-sells/ makes off-plan sales to customers which helps the firm determine the phasing and types of homes to be built.
Home Ownership Offer
Mixta Africa focuses on affordable housing as its business model is to create communities within which it develops affordable housing. Given this, more than 85% of all homes Mixta has delivered are within the affordable and middle-income segments. Furthermore, Mixta provides flexible payment plans and alternative financing solutions, one of which is Mixta Flex, the company’s mortgage driven home acquisition solution that combines the company’s capacity to deliver homes within the affordable price points with the NHF’s capacity to provide mortgages at these price points. Under this scheme, the required 10% equity contribution can be spread over a period of up to 24 months.
Impact of Mixta in Africa
Mixta Africa has executed developments of housing communities in 8 African countries and has an operational presence in Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria. Mixta has an understanding of local markets and adopts best practice principles to deliver projects to international standards. The estates and communities developed by Mixta have state-of-the art infrastructure. Mixta has successfully completed and delivered over 14,000 units to date
Challenges of home financing in Nigeria
Some of the challenges facing home financing in Nigeria on both the demand and supply side include the lack of accessible and affordable housing finance products to eligible homebuyers. A way forward may include automating the underwriting process to reduce cost for loan originators, exploring new funding sources outside traditional commercial banks such as securitisation of loans etc., and introducing special purpose bonds to attract institutional investors, firms and individuals to participate.
The future of Mixta Real Estate PLC
We will focus on scale opportunities by developing affordable and low-middle income housing. This will be facilitated by executing key strategic partnership arrangements that addresses key financing, delivery and sales challenges.
We have deepened local market operations in the Oil and Gas Industry – Huub Stokman
Huub Stokman is the Chief Executive Officer of OVH Energy, he is a proven business leader with over 25 years professional experience which spans across petroleum downstream value chain, sales and marketing, terminal/logistics operations as well as B2B business for fuels, lubricants, aviation fuels and bitumen. He spent over 20 years at BP and later Head of Puma Energy International, Angola before his appointment at OVH Energy where his industry-wide experience has yielded an overall growth for the company in Nigeria.
Growth strategies at OVH Energy
We are a customer-centric organisation, and our strategy has always been to delight our customers by constantly seeking better ways to serve them. The construction of our mid-stream Jetty was borne out of the need to address supply inefficiencies in the industry which the customer ultimately had to pay for. Similarly on our retail sites, we always listen to the voice of the customer; in addition to our broad range of fuels and lubricants, we partner with leading brands to keep expanding our nonfuel services to meet as many needs of customers when they come to our retail sites.
OVH Energy and contribution to local content
Our uniqueness stems from our people and our brand. We go above and beyond to ensure the customers get the best service every time. Our licensed retail brand, Oando, along with our own Oleum branded lubricants and O-Gas brands are all well-known in Nigeria, so our stakeholders place a high level of trust and have high expectations when dealing with us. We ensure we keep that trust by operating at the highest safety and integrity standards.
We remain committed to the local content initiative; we always seek to procure goods and services from local vendors first and only look abroad where there are no suitable alternatives locally. Also, our business has helped to deepen, and in some cases create local markets by empowering local distributors and resellers of our products. A case in point is the domestic LPG market which we have been at the forefront of deepening the usage of gas as a cleaner fuel for over a decade by deploying LPG skid plants at our locations across the country. Recently we commissioned Autogas skid plants in Lagos and Abuja to support the government’s gas expansion initiative.
OVH Energy’s operation in downstream and midstream oil and gas sectors
OVH Energy will always play a critical role in both the downstream and midstream sectors in Nigeria. Our mid-stream Jetty since its launch has become a critical national facility by ensuring that petroleum products can be supplied seamlessly to meet rising demand levels. The supply efficiencies through the jetty continues to reduce demurrage costs for the whole industry. We will continue to explore avenues to improve the capabilities of the jetty to further drive efficiency. Also, we keep optimising our retail network across the country by raising customer service standards both in terms of operational excellence and service offerings.
OVH in the future
We will continue to run with our vision of being the marketer of choice, providing trusted petroleum products and services to customers. As a customer centric organisation, our focus is on customer needs and wants. We will on the gains we have made over the past few years and continue to grow our service offerings to keep up with the ever-evolving customer needs.