Alakija Urges Business Operators to Leverage Technology

Folorunso Alakija

Sunday Ehigiator

The Founder, Rose of Sharon Foundation, Mrs. Folorunso Alakija, has stressed the need for business owners to leverage technology to upscale their skills so as to remain relevant and adjust to the new normal.

She said this recently, at the sixth edition of the Rose of Sharon Foundation (RoSF), Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP), with the theme: ‘Building Personal Competence to Harness Existing Opportunities in the Time of Change’, held in Lagos state and virtually via Facebook.

According to her, “The effect of the pandemic has permanently created a new norm in societies and economies around the globe. However, it’s not all gloom and doom.

“This is because, while some businesses are becoming redundant and losing market share or closing shops, some others are actually springing up and taking over the market.

“Whether we like it or not, the pandemic has changed our lives; the way we work, do business, and even the way we socialise and interact with one another.

“One major landmark of our current environment is the high dependency on technology to transact business, carry out social interactions and conduct religious services.”

“The internet has become the hub where both businesses and social interactions aren’t left out of it. Today, the Rose of Sharon Foundation is not left out as we are adapting to the new normal by holding our Youth Empowerment Program virtually.

“Therefore, for any individual or organisation to stay relevant, they must be ready to adapt quickly to the change, and equip themselves with the knowledge, skills and attitude required for the new phase of life,” she added.

Speaking during the panel session, Business Development, Procurement & Human Resources Expert, Mr. Adeoti Temitayo, described competency as a never-ending cycle that must be updated to remain relevant in the 21st century.

He further stated that, “by 2022, at least 54 per cent of the global workforce would need to update or entirely change their skills to remain relevant in their careers, businesses and professions due to technological advancement and digitalisation.

“Therefore, the future does not belong to the well-meaning; it belongs to those who are very good at what they do”

Speaking on the ability of human to adapt to change despite the magnitude of any challenge, Consultant at Epic Joy Consulting, Mrs. Nkechi Owo said, “life is being reshaped by major trends and events such as globalisation, terrorism, and climate change, and in recent times COVID-19.

“Consequently, life will not give you what you deserve but what you demand. Understanding your area of specialisation and building skills that will enable you to grow as well as succeed in your chosen profession is essential.

“Youth must build digital skills, emotional intelligence, leadership and innovative skills to enable them to access the available opportunities presented by the recent change.”

In addressing the audience, the Head of Partners Relations, Christian Broadcasting Network Africa, Mr. Enoch Oyeduntan, stressed the need for youth to identify their strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats to enable them to employ available technology to develop as well as leverage on their competencies and stand out.

He advised youths on the importance of developing customer relationship skills, saying, “this is essential for succeeding in any career, business or profession.”

The virtual meeting which was anchored by the Senior Coordinator, RoSF, Mrs. Nkem Udechukwu, also served as a platform to empower Nigerian youth with information that will enable them stand out and succeed in their businesses, careers and professions especially in response to the current global economic outlook resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.