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Unleashing the Power of Telecoms in Ethiopia: Winning Strategies for New Entrants (By Liban Gaashaan)

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Unleashing the Power of Telecoms in Ethiopia: Winning Strategies for New Entrants (By Liban Gaashaan)

Unleashing the Power of Telecoms in Ethiopia: Winning Strategies for New Entrants (By Liban Gaashaan)

Unleashing the Power of Telecoms in Ethiopia; Telecom firms need to understand the unique challenges and opportunities of the Ethiopian market and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Ethiopia, one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, is becoming a promising destination for telecom firms looking to expand their business operations. With a population of over 100 million and a growing demand for telecommunications services, the country is attracting an increasing number of new entrants into its telecom industry; however, entering a new market is never easy, especially in a highly competitive sector like telecoms. As a new entrant, building a viable business in Ethiopia requires a carefully planned and executed strategy. In this article we will discuss effective strategies for new entrant telecom firms to build viable businesses in Ethiopia.

Unleashing the Power of Telecoms in Ethiopia: Winning Strategies for New Entrants (By Liban Gaashaan)

Unleashing the Power of Telecoms in Ethiopia: Winning Strategies for New Entrants (By Liban Gaashaan)

Firstly, understanding the market is crucial. Comprehensive market research is essential to understand the local market dynamics, consumer behavior, and competition. Telecom firms need to understand the unique challenges and opportunities of the Ethiopian market and adjust their strategies accordingly. It is important to develop products and services tailored to the local market needs and preferences, for example, affordable rate plans and services such as mobile money transfer.

Secondly, establishing partnerships and collaborations is crucial for success. Entering strategic partnerships with local companies can help new entrants to navigate the complex regulatory environment and overcome the challenges of doing business in a new market. Partnering with local firms can also provide access to local networks, knowledge, and resources, which can be invaluable for building a strong market position.

Thirdly, investing in network infrastructure is a key strategy for building a viable business in Ethiopia. The country has a vast and diverse geography, and building a robust network infrastructure that can cater to the needs of the entire population is crucial. Building a robust telecom infrastructure is an expensive undertaking, to say the least, and it takes a very long time, so a strategy that new entrants and existing players can use is to create a consortium that will build and maintain the telecom infrastructure for all players. This approach will reduce the cost of building and maintaining the network for everyone while allowing firms to invest in growing and expanding their network coverage and capacity to ensure they can provide reliable, high-quality services to their customers.

Fourthly, offering innovative and affordable products and services is critical to success in the Ethiopian telecom market. Ethiopians are price-sensitive, and affordability is a significant factor in their purchasing decisions. Therefore, telecom firms should focus on offering affordable packages that meet the needs and budgets of the local population. Additionally, introducing innovative products and services, such as mobile money and other value-added services, can help to differentiate telecom firms and create a unique selling proposition.

Finally, investing in talent and building a strong workforce is essential for success in Ethiopia’s telecom market, one that is often overlooked.  Telecom firms should prioritize hiring and training local talent to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to provide excellent customer service and support. Investing in employee training and development will also help to retain top talent and build a strong and motivated workforce.

In conclusion, the Ethiopian telecom market offers significant opportunities for new entrants looking to expand their business operations. However, building a viable business in the market requires a carefully planned and executed strategy that takes the unique challenges and opportunities of the local market into account. By understanding the market, establishing strategic partnerships, investing in network infrastructure, offering innovative and affordable products and services, and building a strong workforce, telecom firms can build successful and sustainable businesses in Ethiopia’s fast-growing telecom market.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of ValueX Partners.

About the author:
Liban led the launch of three high profile wireless telecoms companies in North America and Middle East to successful implementations. Liban specialises in modelling the customer experience system to deliver the brand promise consistently across key customer touch points whilst producing high employee engagement scores. He is a certified PMP practitioner and trainer and in this capacity has successfully delivered multi-billion dollars, multi-year public infrastructure projects in North America.

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ValueX Partners

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ENVIRONMENT

Nigerian Company MMNL to invest $50 Million to scale up its Tubular Batteries Production to 100,000 with backward integration in Next 5 years

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Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited (MMNL); also ventures into multiple business verticals in backward & forward integration

Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited (MMNL); also ventures into multiple business verticals in backward & forward integration and into the Mining segment to stay ahead of its competitors

Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited (MMNL); also ventures into multiple business verticals in backward & forward integration

To cater to the rapidly growing demand of Nigeria’s energy sector; Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited (MMNL), Nigeria’s largest tubular battery company is aiming to double its expansion capacity to 60,000 pcs per Month in the next financial year. The company is planning to invest around $50 million in capacity expansion, new greenfield projects in the energy backup segment, R&D, Mining & Beneficiation, Plastic container and carton manufacturing units along with brand building and channel partner engagement to accelerate its ambitious growth target. 

 

Being the First Company to produce the Tubular Batteries in Nigeria; MMNL have had its fair share of challenges & hurdles. Over the past 5 years, MMNL has conquered several obstacles including a lack of skilled manpower, a duopoly of supply chain vendors, hurdle of sourcing raw materials, unstable power supply, exorbitant hike in electricity tariff & gasoline price and machinery and scarcity of spare parts in the region. Despite of providing thousands of employments of opportunity; battery manufacturing sector is struggling for survival and desperately in need of government policy support such as raising import duty of foreign importers and export duty for raw materials.

Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited (MMNL); also ventures into multiple business verticals in backward

These problems would often demoralize and demotivate any company in tubular battery manufacturing sector and make it unviable for any business to operate in such a situation. Despite their 14 years of manufacturing experience in Nigeria, it found itself in a despondent situation which has led the company to explore other verticals to optimize the supply chain cycle. MMNL has taken several initiatives to address the stated challenges. For example, to address the issue of lack of skilled manpower, the company has conducted hundreds of technical training sessions to locals to enhance & upgrade their skill set and it is continuing to invest in manpower training. Similarly to ensure a steady supply of raw materials, the company has ventured into the mining business, beneficiation plant and other business verticals like plastic container & carton manufacturing. The company has also launched its dedicated service centre to resolve customer issues.

 

“Despite several challenges; the company has achieved stable production of 30,000 units per Month by 2024. MMNL is proud of the fact that it is the first & only Made-in-Nigeria inverter battery company which dominates over 35% to 40% of market share. It means every 5 batteries sold in Nigeria; 2 batteries are from MMNL”, said Mr. Amit Kumar, CEO of Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited. “As an Industry leader; company is continuously striving to delight the customer with quality and innovation in the product and making significant contributions in local employment opportunity as well as saving foreign exchange” 

Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited (MMNL); also ventures into multiple business verticals in backward & forward integration and into the Mining segment to stay ahead of its competitors

MMNL is bound to focus on completing its end-to-end supply chain cycle with a backward and forward integration expansion to proliferate its growth plan and to survive in the highly volatile environment. MMNL has already invested $25 million in Battery production, lead & Oxide manufacturing plant in Shagamu, Ogun state. MMNL’s current production capacity is 30,000 units of inverter batteries. Company is all set to boost its battery production capacity to 60,000 at the start of the new financial year and over 100,000 production capacity by opening a new battery greenfield production plant by 2027-2028 along with backward integration including lead-zinc ore mining and beneficiation. 

 

To make the brand available and accessible for the end customers across Nigeria, MMNL is also expanding geographically across the country, forging multi-channel partnerships, executing its retail strategy and to make use of eCommerce & digital channels.

 

Being an Industry leader with 14 years of manufacturing experience in Nigeria; MMNL has certainly created a high entry barrier for both existing and new players which are considering to start their tubular battery manufacturing operation. Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited is a shining example of how a true leader can sail through turbulence of political, economical, social & technological hurdles.

 

About Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited (MMNL)

Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited (MMNL) is the largest tubular battery manufacturing company

Metal Manufacturing Nigeria Limited (MMNL) is the largest tubular battery manufacturing company.  MMNL is the most trusted and ‘Proudly Made in Nigeria’ brand with over 14 years of industry experience. Recently; MMNL won 3 awards in a row 1) ECOWAS Inverter Battery Company of the Year 2) ECOWAS Inverter Battery Manufacturing Company of the year and 3) ECOWAS Renewable Company of the year. MMNL provides over 1000 direct and indirect local employment opportunities.

The Company also got pioneer status accreditation from Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). Currently MMNL is present across 6 major locations along with a strong network of channel partners consisting 3000+ Installers, 1000+ Dealers and 100+ Distributors and over a half million of satisfied & happy customers.

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BANKING

The Impact of Supply Chain Disruption on Business Operations and Financial Performance 

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The Impact of Supply Chain Disruption on Business Operations and Financial Performance

Supply chain disruptions are very commonplace in today’s interconnected global economy, affecting organizations in a variety of industries. These interruptions may have far-reaching effects on a company’s financial performance in addition to its commercial operations. In addition to offering techniques to reduce the risks involved, this article seeks to give readers a thorough grasp of how supply chain interruptions affect corporate operations and financial performance.

MEANING OF SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTIONS 

Any incident or event that prevents information, services, or items from smoothly flowing through the supply chain network is referred to as a supply chain disruption.

It describes any situation or incident that stops the movement of products, services, or data inside a network of supply chains. These interruptions may happen at any time during the supply chain, from suppliers of raw materials to final consumers, and can lead to disruptions, shortages, higher expenses, and eventually affect the chain’s overall effectiveness and performance.

Disruptions to the supply chain can be divided into two categories: internal disruptions that occur within the company and external interruptions that occur outside the company.

TYPES OF SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION

Disruptions to the supply chain can come from a variety of sources and take many different shapes. Typical forms of supply chain disruptions include the following:

  1. Natural Disasters: Incidents like hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and wildfires can cause damage to transportation networks, destroy infrastructure, and force the closure of manufacturing and distribution facilities.
  2. Geopolitical Events: The movement may be impacted by trade disputes, tariffs, sanctions, war, terrorism, political instability, and changes in governmental policy. moving commodities across international borders, sour commercial ties, and cause bottlenecks in the supply chain.
  3. Supplier Issues: Delays in the delivery of components or raw materials might result from issues with suppliers, such as bankruptcy or sudden changes in production capacity.
  4. Transportation Disruptions: The supply chain as a whole may be impacted by delays in the delivery of goods caused by strikes, fuel shortages, accidents, port congestion, and other transportation-related problems.
  5. Demand Surges or Drops: Unexpected fluctuations in customer demand, such as sudden increases in orders or decreases in sales, can result in mismatches between supply and demand, which can cause delays in manufacturing and delivery.
  6. Cybersecurity Breach: Information technology system malfunctions, cyberattacks, or data breaches can impair critical data, interrupt the flow of products and services, and offerings.
  7. Quality Control Issues: Recalls, manufacturing halts, and supply chain interruptions may result from issues with product quality, safety, or compliance.
  8. Pandemics and Health Crises: Situations like the COVID-19 pandemic can result in worker shortages, manufacturing closures, travel restrictions, and interruptions to international supply chains.

IMPACT ON BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Disruptions to the supply chain can have a big effect on how businesses operate, impacting many different parts of what they do. Among these effects are the following:

  1. Production Delays: Supply chain disruptions may cause delays in the delivery of components, finished goods, or raw materials, which may cause production to halt or slow down. This may affect a business’s capacity to reach production goals and promptly complete orders from customers.
  2. Increased Costs: Expenses associated with carrying excess inventory, accelerating shipments, finding alternate suppliers, and putting emergency plans in place can all rise as a result of supply chain interruptions. These extra costs have the potential to weaken profit margins and lower overall financial performance.
  1. Customer Dissatisfaction: Customers may become dissatisfied and lose faith in the business as a result of delays in the delivery of goods or services. Customer loyalty and the company’s reputation may suffer as a result.
  2. Inventory Management Problems: Disruptions in the supply chain may result in inventory levels that are out of balance, with an abundance of certain commodities and a deficiency of others. This may result in ineffective inventory management, a lockup in working capital, and higher carrying costs.
  3. Operational Disruptions: When important vendors or partners in logistics are unable to deliver merchandise services as anticipated, it may cause daily operations of a business to be disrupted, affecting departmental productivity and efficiency.
  4. Risk of Loss of Market Share: Prolonged supply chain interruptions increase the likelihood that a company may miss out on sales opportunities, lose market share, and experience other negative effects. Those with more dependable supply chains could have an advantage over rivals.
  5. Legal and Regulatory Issues: When a supply chain is disrupted, there may be legal repercussions, including breaking contracts, missing deadlines, and breaking rules. Legal issues, fines, and reputational harm to a business may arise from this.
  6. Long-term Business Impact: A company’s financial performance, competitive position, and general viability may all be negatively impacted by protracted or severe supply chain disruptions. It might impair the business’s capacity to sustain connections with clients, vendors, and other business associates.
  7. Communication and Collaboration Challenges: Interruptions can make it difficult for supply chain participants to coordinate, make decisions, and solve problems. Both efficient crisis management and general operational efficacy may be hampered by this.

IMPACT ON FINANCE PERFORMANCE

A company’s financial performance can be significantly impacted by supply chain disruption in a number of ways, including:

  1. Increased Expenses: Supply chain interruptions frequently result in greater expenses for items like faster shipment, purchasing from more expensive alternative suppliers, keeping extra inventory on hand, or putting emergency preparations in place. The company’s profitability may be directly impacted by these added expenses.
  2. Revenue Loss: Supply chain disruptions may cause delays in completing client orders, which may result in a potential loss of revenue because lost chances to close deals. If there are delays or product shortages, customers can also look for other suppliers, which would mean fewer sales for the business.
  3. Inventory Write-offs: When there are disruptions in the supply chain, inventory levels might become unbalanced, with certain items having excess stock and others lacking. As unsold or outdated inventory builds up and negatively affects the company’s financial condition, this may lead to inventory write-offs.
  4. Contractual Penalties and Legal Expenses: If supply chain disruptions cause a party to miss contractual obligations, there may be penalties and legal expenses. Conflicts involving partners, suppliers, or customers may lead to legal action and more expenses.
  5. Long-Term Financial Impact: Extended or severe disruptions to the supply chain may have a long-term effect on the financial performance of the business, limiting its capacity to produce revenue and sustain long-term profitability. Stock performance and investor confidence may potentially be impacted by this.
  6. Working Capital Restraints: In order to minimize disruptions caused by supply chain disruptions, the business may need to store excess inventory or pay in advance for faster transportation. Money that may have been spent for other company endeavors is diverted by this.
  7. Business Continuity Costs: In order to avoid or lessen supply chain interruptions, businesses may need to make investments in business continuity and risk management techniques. These costs can have an adverse effect on their bottom line.
  8. Stock Market Reaction: When businesses see significant interruptions in their supply chains, investors may react negatively, which could lead to a drop in stock prices. The market capitalization of the company could be impacted if investors lose faith in its capacity to handle risks.
  9. Legal and Regulatory Repercussions: Disruptions to the supply chain may result in legal and regulatory repercussions, such as breaking contracts or neglecting to fulfill duties to customers. A company’s reputation and financial performance can be severely impacted by lawsuits, fines, penalties, and compliance expenses.

STRATEGIES FOR MITIGATION

Businesses can handle supply chain disruption and reduce its impact on operations and financial performance by implementing a number of mitigation techniques, such as:

  1. Diversify Your Supplier Base: Dependence on only one source might make disruptions more likely. Increasing the variety of suppliers helps lessen the effect of interruptions from a particular source.
  2. Supply Chain Insight: Put in place systems and technology that offer real-time insight into every aspect of the supply chain, including transportation, production status, and inventory levels. This visibility aids in identifying anticipate possible problems and make proactive mitigation strategies possible.
  3. Risk Assessment and Management: Perform thorough risk analyses of the supply chain to find possible weak points and put risk management plans in place to lessen their effects.
  4. Contingency Planning: To handle and minimize supply chain interruptions, create and update backup suppliers, logistics routes, and alternate sourcing choices.
  5. Cooperation and Communication: Create effective channels for cooperation and communication with consumers, logistical partners, and suppliers. Having solid connections and open channels of communication will make it easier to deal with interruptions in a cooperative and efficient manner.
  6. Inventory Management: Use agile inventory management techniques to balance supply and demand, keep ideal inventory levels, and lessen the effects of shortages and surpluses brought on by disruptions.
  7. Adoption of Technology: Invest in Supply chain resilience and agility can be improved by utilizing technology like blockchain, supply chain management systems, and predictive analytics.
  8. Financial Risk Management: To lessen any financial effects, assess your exposure to financial risk as it relates to supply chain interruptions and take into account risk transfer strategies such supply chain insurance.
  9. Technology Adoption: Supply chain visibility, traceability, and control can be improved by utilizing cutting-edge technologies like blockchain, data analytics, automation, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT). By facilitating real-time monitoring, predictive analytics, and prompt decision-making, these technologies improve resilience and lessen the effects of disruptions.
  10. Scenario Planning: Create and maintain scenario plans that take into account a range of possible interruptions and how they can affect financial performance and business operations.

CONCLUSION

Disruptions in the supply chain significantly affect financial results and commercial operations. Companies need to proactively identify risks, improve teamwork, use technology, and create strong contingency plans in order to successfully traverse these issues. Businesses may reduce the effects of disruptions, enhance financial performance, and preserve a competitive edge in the complex and unpredictable business world of today by putting these mitigation techniques into practice.

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BANKING

Five Ecobank affiliates win Bank of the Year 2023 awards and Ecobank Zimbabwe wins Global Award for Financial Inclusion in The Banker’s Awards 2023

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Five Ecobank affiliates win Bank of the Year 2023 awards and Ecobank Zimbabwe wins Global Award for Financial Inclusion in The Banker's Awards 2023

Five Ecobank affiliates win Bank of the Year 2023 awards and Ecobank Zimbabwe wins Global Award for Financial Inclusion in The Banker’s Awards 2023

Ecobank Benin, Ecobank Guinea, Ecobank Liberia, Ecobank Mali and Ecobank Togo were all named ‘Bank of the Year 2023’ in their respective countries.

Ecobank (www.Ecobank.com), the leading pan-African Banking Group, is proud to announce that Ecobank Zimbabwe has won the ‘Global Award for Financial Inclusion’ in The Banker’s Awards 2023. In addition, Ecobank Benin, Ecobank Guinea, Ecobank Liberia, Ecobank Mali and Ecobank Togo were all named ‘Bank of the Year 2023’ in their respective countries.

Five Ecobank affiliates win Bank of the Year 2023 awards and Ecobank Zimbabwe wins Global Award for Financial Inclusion in The Banker's Awards 2023

Ecobank SADC Cluster Head, Mr. Moses Kurenjekwa (2nd right) and Zimbabwe’s Head of Customer Experience, Mr. Tichaona Gandanhamo (2nd left) with The Banker’s Bank of The Year Award trophies for Benin, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Togo. The five affiliates defied stiff competition to emerge the best in their respective markets. They were flanked by officials from The Banker Awards team.

Jeremy Awori, Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, said: “These awards reflect the hard work of all Ecobankers across our Group and could not have been won without the support of our customers and partners. Ecobank Zimbabwe’s Global Award for Financial Inclusion 2023 also reflects the runaway success of its partnership with CARE Zimbabwe and UN Women. It is delivering financial inclusion to over 50,000 rural Zimbabwean women by enabling them to create commercially viable formal enterprises that are boosting local economies. I am also immensely proud of our affiliates in Benin, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Togo for winning Bank of the Year 2023 awards. I am confident that they, along with all our other affiliates, will continue to deliver excellent banking experiences to all our customers.”

Five Ecobank affiliates win Bank of the Year 2023 awards and Ecobank Zimbabwe wins Global Award for Financial Inclusion in The Banker's Awards 2023 .

Ecobank SADC Cluster Head, Mr. Moses Kurenjekwa (2nd right) displays the first ever ‘Global Award for Financial Inclusion 2023’ trophy won by Ecobank Zimbabwe. Mr. Kurenjekwa was accompanied by Zimbabwe’s Head of Customer Experience, Mr. Tichaona Gandanhamo

Ecobank Zimbabwe’s programme provides financial inclusion and revolving loans to Zimbabwean women’s village associations engaged in grower’s schemes, grocery shops, horticulture and more. The sustainability of the initiative is guaranteed as it revolves funds repaid through its programme of flexible lending/credit terms and low interest rates. The runaway success of the scheme enabled it to expand its women entrepreneur beneficiaries from 7,500 to 52,500 during the first six months of 2023. The bank has created a financial ecosystem, with producers, buyers and suppliers using Ecobank’s digital channels for their transactions. In addition, it has created single market trade hubs at local levels, which will eventually be transformed into a regional market trade hub once the businesses grow to export level.

The judges of The Banker’s awards took account of numerous factors in their decision-making.

  • For the Financial Inclusion Award, they assessed banks globally – across both industrialised and developing economies – on how they address the challenge of including the poorest members of society in the financial system. They also took account of how the banks serving this segment perform a social function and their ability to potentially transform these customers into the high-margin customers of the future.
  • The Bank of the Year Awards focused on rewarding and promoting excellence in the banking community and the criteria assessed also included banks’ abilities to deliver returns, gain strategic advantage and serve their markets.

Ecobank’s awards were presented at The Banker’s 2023 Awards Ceremony, which was held on 30 November 2023 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, London, UK.

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