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Taking A Global View Could Propel Business Success

By Ababacar Mbaye, Sales Manager, West & Central Africa, Orange Business Services
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The age of digital has changed the way we do business in many fundamental ways, not only in terms of how business is conducted, but also before it is even born.

In a previous age those with a workable business idea would look at how it would meet the needs of the people close to the business and it was in many cases then adapted to meet the needs of potential customers. Once the business was up and running, and if it proved profitable, the business owner could then think about expanding in other cities and even other countries.

Now, however, we can start to think of business ideas in terms of a global scale right at the outset. Could even a small adjustment to a start-up idea enable the capture of a market in neighbouring countries, or in other parts of the world as well?

If so, the business could be geared towards international success from the start. This is particularly important with online businesses and application developers, who can roll out their operations on a far wider scale right from the start. If your app is successful in Nigeria, there is a probability that it may also be useful in Ghana or Cameroon.

In recent years, Nigerians have proven their resourcefulness in the creation of social start-ups and other enterprises that are feeding and creating new consumer needs. The more that entrepreneurs start to take a global approach, the quicker their businesses grow, and the overall economy will grow. Ideally, it should be almost as easy to open a new branch in a new country as it should be in the next city.

The possibilities here are limitless, and Nigerian entrepreneurs should never think that their first-world counterparts have a head start when it comes to creating solutions for consumers’ needs. Each country and region has its own unique attributes, and those who live and work there have a unique perspective on the opportunities that exist or could be generated.

In many African countries, a large portion of the population does not have banking facilities, but mobile phones are used to transact. Business opportunities linked to mobile banking amongst unbanked consumers are not even considered in developed nations, but in Nigeria and neighbouring countries, opportunities are everywhere. Many of these markets remain untested, but there is no denying that the brave entrepreneur or enterprise with a sound business plan could reap substantial benefits from entering markets where fear of the unknown is paralysing others.

A keen eye for shifting markets is essential, as new opportunities could arise at any moment. In the developed world, changing technology made Uber a possibility, where it would not have worked even a few years earlier. In the same way, mobile transactions are driving down the cost of doing business for many consumers, opening the doors to new business opportunities in the finance and banking sector that would not have existed previously.

The potential for businesses to expand in Nigeria is demonstrated by the size and rate of growth already achieved by existing Orange enterprise clients, especially in the financial sector. Starting a new business or digitally transforming an existing one can be a daunting task, with online orders, security risks, spiralling costs, disgruntled clients, and connectivity issues, amongst others all taking their toll.

It is therefore vital to form a strong partnership with a service provider with an understanding of local conditions that can help you build a strong IT platform. It was with this in mind that Orange Business Services recently opened its Nigeria office as a complement to the existing enterprise customer support activities in the country, supporting senior IT decision makers with IT strategies to help them grasp the market opportunities delivered by digital transformation.


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