Tony Elumelu inspires me - Professor Porter

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SAN FRANCISCO, August 07, (THEWILL) - Renowned Professor of Harvard Business School, Professor Michael Eugene Porter has described Mr. Tony Elumelu, immediate past Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Chairman Heirs Holdings, as being a source of inspiration, stating that he will become more involved with Africa.

Professor Porter, who is generally regarded as the father of modern business strategy and the world’s most influential thinker on management and competitiveness, disclosed this in Lagos on Saturday August 6, 2011, at the 10th edition of Tony Elumelu Lectures Series (TELS) organized by UBA.

Porter said the antecedents, pan-Africa vision and agenda of Mr. Elumelu has helped to shape his views and perception that the continent can be transformed by a new generation of committed leaders epitomized by Elumelu.

Delivering a lecture titled “Creating and Sustaining Strategic Competitive Advantage” before a capacity crowd at the UBA House, Porter emphasized the need for wealth creation, stating that businesses can truly grow when product and services are offered to the target markets or customers uniquely and at a premium.

He advised businesses and their managers to ensure that their strategies align with customer needs. According to him most businesses aspire to be the best but there is nothing like the best company rather what is obtainable are good and profitable companies with unique products and services tailored to meet consumer needs.

“Strategy is about choosing what you want to do and sticking to what you choose to do. There must be trade offs. You can’t be everything to everybody,” said Professor Porter.

Speaking at the occasion, the Group Managing Director of UBA Mr. Phillips Oduoza commended Professor Porter for his work in the area of business strategy. He said the ideas espoused at the occasion validate some of the strategies adopted by the UBA Group.

“We would work harder in actualizing these strategies even as we reorganize to implement the holding company structure,” maintained Oduoza.

In his remark during the lecture, Mr. Elumelu, urged business leaders to internalize the concept of economic shared values by building into their strategies, the elements of long term focus, superior value and sustainability.

He advised the UBA Group to stay the course on its Africa expansion strategy.

TELS is a quarterly Leadership Development Forum, conceived to engender and produce well rounded executives from within the UBA Group who will not only impact the financial industry space where they work, but influence the larger society positively.

It is a forum where Senior Executives of the institution from across Africa and the rest of the World gain knowledge from the wealth of experience of famous and distinguished African business leaders with a track record of success in their chosen endeavors. The medium provides a melting point where valuable insights and acumen are shared by these carefully selected speakers.