Small and Medium Scale Enterprises operating in Nigeria need to pay greater attention to business intelligence in their quest to survive and deliver impactful products and services in the country, Ms. Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer of MainOne has said. She made the recommendation while featuring as a guest on a radio program, Fidelity SME Forum in Lagos.
According to Ms. Opeke, SMEs, individuals or teams trying to build their startups into multinational companies need to first find their niche, develop a comprehensive business plan and prove that they can deliver great services and add value to their customers.
“In a country like Nigeria where there are a number of challenges, if you are trying to build a multinational company, you have to add value to your customers, surround yourself with good mentors and, depending on your size, have a board of directors that can provide guidance,” Ms. Opeke said.
Drawing from the experience of MainOne, which started operations over 10 years ago, Ms. Opeke underscored the immense opportunities that exist in Nigeria, especially in the services space and identified quality service delivery as one of the elements that remain missing in the country.
The need to grow Nigeria’s SME base has remained topical considering the potential impact of SMEs on the economy. A research report published by professional services firm, PWC suggests that at present, SMEs contribute 48% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, account for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment. Despite the significant contribution of SMEs to the Nigerian economy, challenges still persist that hinder the growth and development of the sector.
In response to the technology needs of SMEs, MainOne has developed a set of services to enable businesses resilience especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our business supports SMEs through technology” Ms. Opeke said. “We have a product called SME-in-a-Box and Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) packages which we rolled out last year. These products enable small businesses enjoy the same quality of services that larger corporates have to support their operations,” she added.