Diamond Bank

Emma Okonji

Determined to empower small business entrepreneurs to continually grow their businesses to meet the demands of customers in a digital era, Diamond Bank, in collaboration with Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Microsoft, Deloitte, MTN, Visa, among others, on Tuesday held the first annual Technology Festival in Lagos, tagged Tech Fest, where the latest cutting-edge technology solutions were discussed and showcased.

Registered attendees at the Tech Fest were well over eight thousand.
Head, Communications, Diamond Bank, Chioma Afe, who spoke about the vision of Tech Fest, said it was conceived by the Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, to impact on small businesses in the country, who are the future entrepreneurs that would drive digital innovation across Nigeria.
“Tech Fest is a dream project of the CEO of Diamond Bank, who is very passionate about using technology to drive businesses in Nigeria. We started the planning since October 2017 and got partners with like minds to drive the vision.

“The vision behind Tech Fest is to prove to Nigerians that technology is the platform to support and grow emerging businesses. Tech Fest is a collaboration of eight partners that are technology focussed in driving innovation and digital banking, and we need more partners that have the same passion with us to further drive the vision,” Afe said.

The essence is to empower businesses with technology because technology is the way to go and technology enhances business growth. The future is digital, hence we have invested in several apps that are driving digital transactions for us as a bank and for our customers, Afe added.

Speaking on big data and the need to empower businesses to use big data technology to drive business growth, Dozie said although big data comes with the challenges of infrastructure and regulation, Tech Fest would serve as a platform to address the challenges by partnering investors who are willing to invest in Nigeria’s technology space.
“The use of data is changing the narrative and businesses are engaging more with big data for quick business decision making.

Diamond Bank has various solutions and applications that are helping businesses to thrive, and we will continue to innovate to address customers’ challenges and to also meet their needs. We are leveraging technology to serve customers better, and that is the vision of Tech Fest,” Dozie said.
We have moved from four million customers some years ago to over nine million customers as of today because we have demystify banking by leveraging technology to provide more than banking services to customers, Dozie added.

Business Group Director, Microsoft Cloud, Ope Olaniran, said Microsoft and Diamond Bank had been long term partners in the area of technology development to drive financial services, and that the vision of Tech Fest would further drive the partnership.

Microsoft is bringing in cutting-edge technology that will provide the right level of scalability for technology startups. Microsoft Cloud for instance, provides automatic scale-up of businesses and enhances business growth. Businesses are largely driven by technology and to achieve this, organisations need to invest heavily in technology, but the Microsoft Cloud will enable businesses use the cloud platform for connectivity and business enhancement, without spending so much money to build their own technology,” Olaniran said.

At one of the panel sessions at Tech Fest, women were encouraged to develop carrier in technology, especially in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where it is believed that they have natural endowment.