Young Startups have been tasked to focus on building reputable brands and creating value in business rather than striving to make money as their priority.
With the general mindset of making money being the current major focus of most up and coming entrepreneurs, speakers at the CFA’s Startups Hangout for the March Edition are of the opinion that creating value and building brands remains the critical factors for achieving sustainable business growth.
Addressing entrepreneurs at the event, Nkemdilim Begho, CEO, Future Resources Software Limited, stressed that creation of value in a business, as well focusing on how to build the brand should be the primary objective for Startups.
Begho said money should never be the primary objective when starting a business, as this would not provide the ingredients to building a sustainable business in the long run.
“Whenever, I ask up and coming entrepreneurs why they want to venture into business, if they tell me money, I tell them it doesn’t work that way. I always tell them to focus on creating value and building a brand, which has helped me till this moment”, she said.
“When I started my own business, it was never easy. I didn’t pay myself salary for over five years let alone thinking of hiring any employee. In spite of all the challenges, I kept on going”, she added.
The Future Resources Limited boss, however, charged the Startups to be strategic with pricing whenever a client shows interest in their services.
Begho explained that most times, clients do not know exactly what they want and the inability to explain in detail to them in a simple language they understand makes this become an issue.
“Some clients don’t even want to pay for your services. Some will under-price your services. You, however, need to be strategic and charge exactly what will work for you. If you charge less than the real cost, you will never grow your business.
“On the other hand, you need to understand what value you are offering to your client and be able to explain in simple terms the ‘what, when and how’, before implementing a clients project”, she opined.
“When you communicate these things at the initial stage, it becomes easy to avert hurdles in the process of implementation”, she said.
Continuing: She charged all the entrepreneurs to always develop skills at every point in their career and make it a responsibility to grow day after day.
“The only way I get impressed with my employees is when they grow on their job, develop skills and learn fast from me. This way, I get impressed with their performance and that is what all entrepreneurs should be doing”, she concluded.
In his words, Atul Kshetry, a successful business mentor who has led IDM Services Plc through a fast track diversification process, said focus and patience would go a long in way in the entrepreneurial journey.
He explained that Startups have the wrong focus on business, which is commonly driven by money, at the same time jeopardizing integrity.
“When you start a business, be rest assured that the minimum years of getting returns is five, sometimes seven or even ten years and that means, patience. When you don’t have patience, then, it becomes a problem.
He, however, tasked entrepreneurs to make their employees shareholders in their businesses and by so doing, some level of integrity will be injected into the business.
On hiring staff, Atul’s maxims are “sincerity without ability is useless; ability without sincerity is injurious; but ability with sincerity is priceless”, so, go for staff with ability and sincerity when hiring.
“I have always made sure that integrity rules in every busines that I get involved with, meanwhile, making employees shareholders in the company triggers a sense of belonging and responsibility”, he concluded.
CFA’s Startups Hangout is a monthly program sponsored by CFAtech.ng, an online technology media, where entrepreneurs meet, learn, and network.
The Next edition of the CFA’s Startups Hangout holds on the 21st of April, 2017 at Adna Hotel, GRA, Ikeja.
For more information visit: http://startups.cfatech.ng
TikTok Picks Oracle to Provide ‘Secure’ Cloud Tech
Enterprise software giant Oracle announced that it has been chosen to become TikTok’s “secure” cloud technology provider.
According to Oracle, this technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video-conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.
Oracle’s announcement comes after TikTok parent ByteDance last week said it will not be selling the video-sharing app’s US operations to software giant Microsoft.
This after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order on 6 August, blocking all transactions with ByteDance in an effort to address “national emergency” issues.
On 14 August, the US president issued an order that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the US operations of TikTok.
Since then, US companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have been lining up as potential buyers for the popular short video app.
As the trade war between the US and China rages on, the US government has accelerated its efforts to purge Chinese apps and technology companies that it deems untrustworthy.
Trump and his administration raised national security issues, alleging the Chinese-owned company will share sensitive user data with the Chinese government.
“TikTok picked Oracle’s new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it’s much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first generation technology currently offered by all the other major cloud providers,” says Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison.
“In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) customers on their satisfaction with the top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google Cloud…Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score.”
“As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” says Oracle CEO Safra Catz.
“Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are 100% confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.
“This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”
Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others
inq. Holdings Limited, artificial intelligence service provider, has acquired Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire.
It plans further acquisition in Cameroon subject to regulatory approvals.
Mr. Valentine Chime, managing director, inq. Holdings Limited, said the 100 per cent acquisition of the Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in the three countries was in pursuit of the company’s dream of building pan-African network that will help in creating better future through digital solutions.
Domiciled in Mauritius, inq. Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund, a fund dedicated solely to communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Formerly known as Synergy Communications, the latest acquisition has grown inq.’s regional footprint with operations in 12 cities in seven countries across Africa. It has existing operations in Botswana, Malawi and South Africa with an additional investment in Mozambique.
“Under the inq. banner the company will embark on the next phase of building a unified Pan-African cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud,”Chime said.
According to him, with operations in major African cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gaborone, Lusaka, Ndola, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Abidjan and Johannesburg, the inq. team prides itself on global best practice methodologies customised to local customs in each of the 16 cities, covering different sectors including banking, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, mining, health, real estate, information technologies, public sector and logistics.
“Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and inq. is perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions,” Chime said.
HP Lauds TD Africa, Says Tech Experience Centre will Unlock New Wave in Nigeria
As Nigeria looks forward to the official launch of the Tech Experience Centre, globally renowned tech giant, Hewlett Packard Inc. (HP) has heaped praises on the management of TD Africa for spearheading the project, noting that the centre will herald a new technological wave in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by Ife Afe, managing director – Nigeria and District Manager – Central Africa (CAF).
Equally important, HP is one of the global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that will be represented in the Tech Experience Centre located within Yudala Heights at 13 Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Consequently, Afe has expressed delight with the development, even as she disclosed that the launch of the centre will bridge the gap to complete technology adoption for millions of Nigerians.
She said: ‘‘I do believe Nigerians are early adopters of new and exciting technology. Having a dedicated space where people can view and experience cutting-edge technology across rich and diverse portfolio is an important step towards complete Adoption.
‘‘Technology is about transformation. This tech centre will serve as a bridge, taking people from the imaginative stage to the experiential stage, thereby unlocking a new technological wave.
“I am very glad that TD Africa is taking this bold step and I look forward to the great collaborations that will flow out of this initiative.’’
Furthermore, the HP Senior Management Executive reiterated the strong interest in Nigeria by the tech brand.
‘‘We are strong believers in the Nigerian project and the boundless potential inherent in the population when exposed to cutting-edge technology.
“We also value the foresight and vision of our long-time partner and co-developer – TD Africa. We are proud of this project and are confident of its success and positive impact not just in the sphere of business but also in human capital development,’’ Afe enthused.
On what to expect from HP in the Tech Experience Centre, she revealed that a lot is in store for every visitor.
‘‘HP is in the business of making life better for everyone, everywhere, hence revolutionary innovation in Health care, Security, Gaming and Printing Solutions will be showcased in the Technology Centre. Cutting- edge, sustainable, diverse and relevant innovation in technology.
‘‘This brings technology closer to home. I believe that the ambience of the Tech Centre will cater to a wide spectrum of users: CEO’s, Government officials, entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, students, gamers etc. It will be the crucial meeting point of people and technology.
“Our wide spectrum of products and solutions will cater to all demographics – from first time users to specialists, professionals, gamers to moviemakers, work or play,’’ she affirmed.
The revolutionary Tech Experience Centre, the first of its kind in Africa, is set for launch on Thursday, October 1st 2020, incidentally the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary by 12noon, with the launch streamed live online for the benefit of tech enthusiasts.
Expected to officially commission the centre is the Minister of Communica99tions and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami.
The Tech Centre is widely expected to boost Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology race and shore up the country’s march to technology independence.
For the first time, Nigeria will play host to the latest global technologies including those not normally available in Africa, offering all classes of visitors a first-hand experience of new gadgets, solutions and infrastructure that would have previously required a visit abroad, thereby saving corporate organizations, government establishments and individuals money or scarce foreign exchange expended on these trips.
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