As part of efforts to support Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, the MTN Revv Masterclass held a question and answer session, tagged Y’ello Clinic to offer informed business advisory to participants. The virtual session featured 11 panelists and was moderated by the Executive Director, Retail Banking, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Olu Akanmu.
While fielding questions on financing a business, the Chief Financial Officer, MTN Nigeria, Modupe Kadri explained the importance of SMEs to identify its industry, customers, the problem to be solved and how to solve them. He listed equity and loans as part of ways to fund a business that is hinged on a profitable idea.
Speaking on technology as a tool for business success, the Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN Nigeria, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, said, “The question is no longer whether we should promote adoption of technology tools and solutions. The question is can we afford not to do so? Whatsoever sector that you are in, the need to use technology to drive your business cannot be overemphasised.”
Furthermore, she informed that MTN is continuously exploring opportunities to build capacity in the SME segment. “We have developed specific propositions for SMEs that address their needs. We also provide ICT services that are adjacent to our core services. We have vertical specific propositions that are targeted to education, health, agriculture, and we do these solutions to support their client engagement, create digital access for their staff, and also to improve their operations. We have aPABX solution hosted in the cloud. You don’t need to invest in an independent PABX solution”, she said.
With hands-on experience in retail penetration and brand visibility, the Chief Sales and Distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, AdeKunle Adebiyi highlighted other ways of adding value to a business including offering complimentary services.
“Your mien can determine whether you can be patronized. You must look clean and dress well, not expensive clothing but good dressing. Repeat purchase will come with your attitude and the quality of your service or products,’’ he said.
The Chief Customer Relations Officer, MTN Nigeria, Ugonwa Nwoye also revealed that paying attention to the feedback from customers can improve the brand identity and maintain customer satisfaction. In the same vein, Olubayo Adekanmbi, the Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, remarked that social media followers provide pointers to SMEs as to how a business is perceived by the public, especially the target audience. According to him, SMEs can introduce loyalty cards with promised discounts on future patronage to retain customers.
In juxtaposing technical and behavioral competencies, the Chief Human Resources Officer, MTN Nigeria, Esther Akinnukawe said that the quality of staff lies in behavioral competencies which are personal attributes. In addition to relying on good recommendations to hire employees, the SMEs were urged to conduct background checks on candidates and their guarantors.
Other panelists emphasized the need for SMEs to manage stakeholders like the government and the community and obey the rules governing the area of operation.
Following the completion of nine high-impact masterclass sessions, The Revv Programme has trained over 10,000 Small business owners. On November 26, 200 SMEs will join MTN’s first accelerator programme, Y’ello 200 where they will enjoy exclusive access to a broad range of technology and productivity tools and expert advisory for six months.