Computer Warehouse Group Plc (CWG) will make history on November 15, as the first company to be listed on X-Gen, the new trading engine being unveiled by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
X-Gen is the same engine that is used on the NASDAQ.
The listing of the shares is expected to boost the market capitalisation of the NSE with about N14 billion, while CWG would be the highest capitalised security in the ICT sector of the exchange.
The NASDAQ and the NYSE have also recently witnessed a boom in Technology listings with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn. Twitter has also recently revealed her listing plans.
This seems to be the golden age of technology companies, as the stocks have done outstandingly well post listing. For instance, Google’s shares have gained a whopping 773% post listing while LinkedIn and Facebook have gained 160% and 29% respectively (as at October 04, 2013). Twitter seems set to follow in this trend with quarterly revenues up 105% to $139m from a year ago.
Here in Nigeria, CWG’s story has not been different. With seed capital of about N160,000 in 1992, CWG received a valuation of N6.97billion in 2009 from Vetiva Capital for her private placement.
The issue was oversubscribed; with Private Equity firm Aureos Capital LLC taking up a major chunk, defying the gloomy atmosphere of the global economic downturn at that time.
The valuation resulted in an increase in invested capital of 4,400 times, meaning that an initial investment of $1000 in 1992 would have yielded a whopping $4.4m within just 20 years.
This achievement put the company in the bracket of the one of the best global value creators.
CWG seems to be on track to repeat this feat on her listing, at a target share price of N5.48, almost doubling her private placement price of N3.40 in 2009 albeit in a very difficult environment characterised by significant slowdown in global economic growth.
It is therefore not surprising that that the Ministers of Finance, Trade and Investment and Communication Technology recently joined hands with the CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange to aggressively canvas for more Technology listing towards achieving the goal of the NSE to reach a market capitalisation of $1trillion within a decade.
Austin Okere, CWG’s founder and chief executive officer, confidently declares that “our best is yet to come”, amidst comment from sceptics that all previous Technology listings on the Nigerian Stock Exchange have lost significant value.
He said “the value of the stock is affected by performance and perception of potential. The stock also reacts negatively to swings in revenue, preferring predictability in forecasts”.
“CWG has over the years built a large proportion of her turnover into annuities from deploying her own Intellectual Property (IP), to enable financial inclusiveness in Mobility, such as the recently announced Yello Diamond Account, which will bring banking services to over 55 million Mobile phone subscribers, and the MTN XaaS product, which will provide Financial services in the cloud for the over 1000 Microfinance banks and their customers on a pay as you use basis”. He added.
The product rides on cloud computing to bring competitive advantage to relatively smaller banks which would otherwise have been disenfranchised.
According to him about 12 of the large banks in Nigeria run on the Finacle Core banking Application, which CWG jointly promotes in West Africa with the application developers, Infosys of India, processing over 60% of all financial transaction in Nigeria and used by the likes of FBN, UBA, Stanbic IBTC, Fidelity and FCMB amongst others.
CWG has taken advantage of her early mover status in the surge in ICT outsourcing demands to provide the service for the largest telecommunication company and the largest Downstream Company in the Oil & Gas sector in Nigeria.
This further assures annuity income that smoothes revenue swings and brings predictability to income.
According to Austin, about 80% of the company’s revenue is from repeat business, and new customers are more likely to be from referrals.
CWG is a strong player in the ATM business, providing and supporting over 30% of the country’s ATM installed base in conjunction with Wincor-Nixdorf of Germany, global leaders in the field.
Being a skills intensive business, CWG has set up an Academy to train brilliant youngsters to boost her talent pool.
Currently, the CWG Academy trains over 200 graduates per year in Nigeria and Ghana, and is set to start in Uganda by mid next year.
The company currently employs over 650 people, of which about 80% are engineers, with extra certifications in Cisco, Oracle, IBM and other Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) platforms. The Company is ISO 9001:2008 certified across all her operations.
The stellar performance of the Company has been rewarded by her peers and regulators with such awards as Top 50 Technology Business Companies in West Africa, ICT Solutions Provider of the year, ICT Company of the year, and the CEO as ICT Personality of the year 2012.
CWG has garnered a track record over the years as one of the most admired companies in Africa.
In 2009, the Columbia Business School in New York published a case study on the Company and appointed Okere as an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), while in 2012, the Legatum Entrepreneurial Center of MIT Boston, published a video and written case study on the Computer Warehouse Group as well.
For the second year in a row, CWG was awarded the Most Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Technology Company of the year in 2012.
The company has continued to support her host communities by ingraining social responsibility as an integral part of her business model, with focus on the education sector.
In the quest to be the leading Pan African ICT Company, CWG has actualised her geographical expansion plans with operation in four African countries; Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon, and virtual operations in 17 other countries. The Company has 18 offices and support centres across Nigeria, including Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt.
The company seems well set to achieve her vision of being the number one IT Utility enabler in Africa by 2015.
FG to Boost Artificial Intelligence
Federal government on Tuesday announced that it has developed initiatives for the adoption of Artificial Intelligence technology in Nigeria.
The establishment of a Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Nigeria (CFAIR) is also expected soon.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said that AI applications enable innovative solutions, improve risk assessment, better planning, and faster knowledge-sharing.
Abdullahi Usman Gambo, director of IT Infrastructure Solution, NITDA, spoke at a workshop in commemoration of International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
He noted that AI would open up opportunities for access to information and also help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) in the 2030 Agenda.
Gambo said: “Artificial Intelligence is poised to revolutionize the way we go about our daily lives – from governance to business, legislation to medicine to defence, etc. We can all agree that AI is humanity’s new frontier.
“We have developed initiatives for adoption of emerging technologies such as AI, strengthen cybersecurity, digital skills for digitally excluded citizens while enhancing the regulatory and market environment to increase access to ICTs, and promote seamless access to information.
“We believe AI and associated emerging technologies will completely enhance the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of information gathering during the exchange of data or the ways of communication,” he said.
Delivering his paper, Yushau Shuaib, publisher of PRNigeria, described access to information as the right of the citizens to accurate, transparent, and timely facts and figures.
The former National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman stated that governments at all levels have obligations to communicate with people, while the public has the right to know and criticize authorities through constructive engagement.
The media executive, however, appealed to Nigerians not to use social media platforms for fake news dissemination.
“The merits of new media on affordability, accessibility and instant delivery are occasionally marred by the fact that social media is sometimes used to spread fake news”, he said.
Shuaib called for collaboration of stakeholders in ensuring appropriate legislation through public awareness campaigns in order to improve access to universal information.
Samsung Unveils Technologically Advanced 2020 Consumer Products
Samsung Electronics Nigeria has unveiled its 2020 consumer products range. The launch which held in Victoria Island, Lagos showcased the latest in its revolutionary and innovative QLED and Crystal UHD Television Series along with Wind Free Air Conditioners, Side by Side Refrigerators and Drum Washing Machines.
Keeping with its resolve to utilize its transformative ideas and technologies to shape the future and inspire the whole world, Samsung has once again demonstrated its determination to continuously redefine the living space and entertainment of its customers.
According to Mr. Caden Chiyeon Yu, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics Nigeria, “QLED uses exceptional and revolutionary technology which offers an unparalleled visual and auditory adventure from the comfort of your living room. QLED series is available in 4K or 8K and from 58″ to 98”, and was designed with options to fit any space and budget”. For Crystal UHD Television, Mr. Yu said, with cutting-edge Crystal Display, the new Crystal UHD TV will bring high-resolution content to life in a whole new way, delivering a viewing experience like never before in a mainstream UHD TV.
Also showcased at the launch were the new Windfree Air Conditioner, Drum Washing Machines and Side by Side refrigerators. The Windfree Air Conditioner is designed specially with the latest technology to provide coolness in quick time while ensuring that users don’t experience any chills through out its use. It also has an in-built digital inverter which reduces energy consumption by 73 percent. .
The newly introduced drum washing machine of 2020 from Samsung is very efficient and is built with eco bubble technolgy which allows it to provide cleaning of very dirty garments or clothes without the use of water. Futhermore, the new Side by Side Refrigetor was built with Spacemax technology which has enabled Samsung to offer more spacious interior without increasing the external dimentions or compromising energy efficiency.
Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Oluwaremilekun Adesola-Ogunsan, Head, Consumer Electronics, Samsung Nigeria stated that “Samsung understands the economic diffulties currently being experienced in the country and has consistently produced pocket friendly premium consumer products. We are very consistent in our approach as we understand that our customers like the good things of life and we have provided that without compromising our standards”. “So I can say boldy that there is a Samsung for everybody regardless of your income stream” She added.
In 2019, the Samsung consumer range of products received universal praise for its innovative quality and design and numerous pioneering features. This year Samsung has added even more beneficial features which its customers will appreciate in great deal.
CWG Plc Empowers Small Businesses in Nigeria with SME Solution
Pan-African Information and Communications Technology Company, CWG Plc has said the essence of its Enterprise Resource Planning Solution (SMERP) that runs on the cloud is to empower small and medium enterprises in Nigeria and offer them the required tools to manage their entire business.
Mr. Dolapo Orogbemi, Product Manager for SMERP, who disclosed this recently to the media, noted that with SMEs contributing massively to Nigeria’s economy and creating both direct and indirect jobs, SMERP was designed intentionally to help SMEs thrive.
“Since inception, it has been the number one goal for us here at CWG because we have always identified the potential for SMEs once they are provided with the right support.
Thus, SMERP was designed to make available enabling tools for all SMEs across Africa at a relatively affordable price and to also make their business operations lean where they can save more resources to increase profitability,” he said.
Dolapo explained that in support of SMEs, SMERP has provided an effective ERP tailored to the SME market, providing services such as Inventory Management, E-commerce platform, Accounting, Point of Sale and Customer Relationship Management tool.
He argued that one of the major reasons SMEs don’t survive beyond the early stage of their business is due to inadequate funding to scale the business and this has become a default gap in the SME sector.
But with the CWG’s SMERP solution, SMEs can take proper records of their day-to-day business transactions to present to financial institutions as proof of profitability and project business growth for them.
According to him, SMERP’s competitive edge is based on value to the SMEs where they can have access to a complete ERP solution at an affordable price, stressing that the solution enables each SME with special requirements to execute their business needs.
For more information on SMERP kindly visit www.smerp.ng to start a 14-days free trial.
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