FirstBank Chair Tasks Entrepreneurs on Long-term Business Focus

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Ugo Aliogo

The Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, has called entrepreneurs to think creatively and build businesses for the long-term, while working to produce the right products for the Nigerian market.

She stated that there was need for government to set-up infrastructure in areas where the economy has comparative advantage, such as the fashion industry, adding government can build a fashion village which would house a large cluster of fashion designers.

Awosika disclosed this recently in Lagos at the First Bank of Nigeria 2017 Small Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) symposium organised in partnership with the Lagos Business School (LBS). She said the bank has always been a critical component of nation building. She added that as a financial service institution, the focus for FirstBank considers the landscape and realises that the country is in time where there is need to invest in growing the next generation of entrepreneurs who would build businesses that are aimed in shaping the future of the nation, while also focusing on building strong customer base.

She explained that the nation is blessed with young entrepreneurs who are willing to try things out, venturing into new areas of businesses which people have not considered, adding that entrepreneurs should focus on the right pricing, and consider the dimension of the market.

“Your quality and branding is important. You must be committed to deliver the value that will make your customers to stay with you. Business is need driven, therefore business decisions should not be emotional driven. We also need to create a component of critical thinking into our education system. We need to build our educational system into a thorough fare beyond the pipeline that leads everybody look for work in a thorough sense,” she noted.

Awosika added: “We must create an environment that supports the different pipelines. I hope they leave and rethink their entire business in a way they can build for the long-term with an understanding that they need to create jobs for a country with such large body count especially in world where technology is clearly eliminating jobs. There must be re-training of mindsets to create new kinds of jobs and re-training of people with skills to fit into the next generation of jobs that will be created in a fast changing world.

“This is a good sign for Nigeria because it means that you got a whole crop of people who are afraid to try new things. If we have an individual creating solution that comes global, that is great for our country, therefore we need as many people as we can have the desire to create businesses been thought beyond the passion because the discipline, the knowledge and the empowerment that creates the process that helps you to build a business from an idea to a successful solution is where we need to invest.”