As part of efforts to build capacity for the consumer goods retail sector in Nigeria, FoodCo Nigeria Limited, a diversified consumer goods company with interests in retail, manufacturing and fast food, has instituted a fellowship aimed at preparing MBA students for leadership in the category.
This is against the backdrop of projected growth in the food and consumer goods market segment, currently the largest in Africa, which is expected to hit $40 billion by 2020.
Announcing the Fellowship, Executive Director of the Company, Ade Sun-Basorun, stated that the initiative was targeted at building capacity for management positions. He added that the FoodCo Fellowship programme had become imperative in order to train a specialised workforce that will drive the expected growth in the sector and help it maximise its potentials.
He said: “As modernisation and a population shift from rural to urban centres continue to stimulate growth in the Nigerian consumer goods retail sector, the FoodCo Fellowship programme aims at preparing a complementary workforce with the requisite skills and disposition to harness the vast opportunities within the sector and transform it into a significant economic bloc.”
He added: “Candidates are selected from MBA or Masters programmes and set up in teams where they are expected to solve real world operational issues including team building, leading others, analysing problems, communicating solutions and progress in both related and non-related fields. Whereas similar programmes place trainees in a learning position where they understudy employees in the hopes of gaining work experience or mandatory credits for their degrees, the FoodCo Fellowship puts fellows in the centre of everyday business decision-making and practice so they can learn while simultaneously impacting the organisation with their personality and wealth of knowledge gained in the classroom.
While calling on qualified candidates to seize the opportunity of the fellowship to gain expertise that will help them meet the challenges of Nigeria’s fast evolving consumer goods retail space, Sun-Basorun disclosed that successful participants will be offered full time employment with the organisation at the completion of their programs.
Since inception in 1982, FoodCo, an indigenous brand, has been deepening innovation in the consumer goods space using homegrown talents and initiatives. The company recently introduced state-of-the-art shopping malls in Ibadan, incorporating supermarkets, restaurants and an entertainment centre to help customers meet their needs within one convenient location.
Last year, the company launched a scholarship scheme to support qualified junior staff in attaining tertiary education in related fields.