SMES MUST REINVENT TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE SAYS SEKIBO

Ifie Sekibo, managing director/chief executive, Heritage Bank Limited, has advised small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to reinvent themselves in order to remain competitive and overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Speaking on ‘Converting ideas into reality with focus on SMEs,’ Sekibo stressed the need for SMEs to continually embrace partnership and function as an integral part of a value chain.  “For SMEs to succeed, they must continually re-invent themselves. One big plus for SMEs is that they are quite small, and they can easily change. Cooperation is key at this very time. As I advocate always, competition is good but complementing each other is better. It comes with value chain principle,” Sekibo said. “When you plan yourself in a value chain, you gain more because the big dinosaurs need the small SMEs to survive. The economy of Nigeria needs the SME to survive.

 

I recommend that partnerships are developed in the space of SMEs. A one-man business finds it difficult to survive in an economy that is changing on daily basis or even hourly. If you want to remain viable, your dreams being viable, partnerships are good way to go.” Sekibo also counselled SMEs on the need to adapt to the realities of a new world occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the increased adoption of electronic channels (e-channels) for productivity and product marketing. “The truth is that even after this pandemic, we can never return to the normal way because this is the new normal and in our desperation to find solution, mistakes abound, failures will set in and most of us will hide from our failures other than face it,” he said.

 

“We will blame everybody for it and some of us will throw in the towel. My advice for SMEs at this critical time is that since this is a failure not caused by you or anybody, you should accept the failure. Let us begin to make amends. We are having a conference today and it is on e-channel. Can we begin to sell our products by e-channel? Can we begin to sell our ideas on e-channel? Can we begin to work at home and still be as productive and disciplined as we should? Those are the new normal. So, if we know the new normal, then we should courageously face it and go on.”

 

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Heritage Bank will increase wallet of business transactions with Lagos State Govt - George-Taylor
Akinola George-Taylor, Managing Director of Heritage Bank Plc, and his Team, paid courtesy visit yesterday to the Governor of Lagos, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, at the State House, Alausa yesterday.

The Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Akinola George-Taylor has disclosed that the bank would continue to increase the wallet of its business transactions with Lagos state government.  

He gave this assurance yesterday when he led a team of the bank on a courtesy visit to the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the government house, Alausa, Ikeja.

George-Taylor commended Sanwo-Olu’s administration, whilst aligning with the great works in Lagos State.

“We are here to introduce ourselves as the new management of the Heritage Bank and being that we have had a relationship with the state (Lagos) for a number of years now, we felt it was necessary to come and present ourselves to the Governor; to say thanks for the business that we enjoyed with the government and that we align and commend the great work he is doing for Lagos State.

“And of course, as bankers, we want to try and increase our own size of the wallet of the business that we do with the government and to extend our best wishes to him and his government. It was a courtesy call to say thank you and wish him well in the next coming elections,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the Governor, Sanwo-Olu said his administration was poised to do more as it continued to play its roles in providing an enabling environment, improving the ease of doing business and being forward-looking in its dealings with financial institutions.

The governor also said that his administration will continue to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship with financial institutions in the State.

He said: “Lagos is the Centre of Excellence and the commercial, economic nerve centre, so we cannot but ensure that we have a very forward-looking mutually beneficial relationship with all of our financial institutions and of course, Heritage Bank is not an exception.

“I want to implore you and your team to be intentional and think something fresh; think something different that can indeed stimulate us. You can rest assured that we know how important it is to spread our businesses and to ensure that everybody gets a part of it knowing that you and your staff will also have a corporate responsibility on the Personal Income Tax component. It is expected that we will continue to play our roles and play our parts.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu congratulated the Managing Director and his new team on the huge and great responsibilities that shareholders and other stakeholders in Heritage Bank have reposed in them,” he said.