Organisations must hinge their plans on the potential of the future and not on previous success, according to Segun Ogunsanya, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Airtel Africa Plc.
Ogunsanya in his remark at the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) ‘April 2023 Sharing Experience Series’, with the theme: “Leading to Impact”, on Friday in Lagos said this was necessary to capture futuristic market opportunities for profitability.
According to the Airtel CEO, companies must compete for the future in capturing market opportunities and must always be prepared to take on new challenges and risks as the opportunity arises.
He noted that while future trends for telecommunications was in artificial intelligence, automation, education and healthcare services without borders, companies must continue to evolve with the power of telecommunications.
Ogunsanya added that Airtel would continue to partner with government, regulatory agencies and civil societies to spread network coverage to rural areas to further drive connectivity.
“We will continue to deepen penetration in countries of operations and support lives in the country where we operate.
“In Mozambique, Airtel has about six women out of 12 in its leadership and has just launched a women in tech programme to encourage women take active part in technology.
“Beyond that, it is the right thing to have vast opinion from different gender and races for better quality and perspective. So, companies must encourage diversity for the value and good outcomes it adds to a company,” he said.
Ogunsanya advised businesses to align their values and purposes to gender, environmental and other sustainability practices beyond making profits to make impacts and transform lives.
According to him, Airtel has committed itself to transforming lives in Africa by connecting people via its services and is bound by this greater purpose which is immensely gratifying beyond making money.
He said that the company would continue to foster digital financial inclusion across Africa and further its mission to encourage female participation in the technology space.
He also stressed the need to maintain a healthy balanced work-life by consciously creating time for what was truly important and delegating others where necessary.
The Airtel CEO emphasised the need for brands to be able to effectively market themselves by providing incentives (either emotional or functional) and do all they could to tie the passion of their customers to the brand.
“You must learn to tie the passion of your customers to what you are selling and at Airtel, we look at music and entertainment as the connection to our brand.
“Sometimes you give freebies to encourage adoption and you must renew the love customers have for your brand to remain fresh in their minds everytime,” he said.
Ms Bisi Adeyemi, President, NBCC, said the ‘Sharing Experiences Series’ was designed to provide a platform for accomplished leaders in the organised private sector to share their experiences.
“These leaders could share experiences in the areas of entrepreneurship and professional career fueled by passion, audacity, and innovation.
“We have had the honour of hosting Mr Atedo Peterside, Mr Jim Ovia, Mrs Adenike Ogunlesi, Mr Aig Imoukuede, Mr Karl Toriola, and Mrs Ireti Samuel-Ogbu and now Dr Segun Ogunsanya.
“His vision and dedication have been instrumental in shaping the telecommunications sector in Nigeria, and we are honored to have him here today to share his valuable insights with us,” the NBCC president said.