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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Credibility enhances revenue growth – Okere

The Group Managing Director, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), Mr. Austin Okere, has identified credibility of a company as a means of enhancing its revenue base.

Speaking during an MBA Class talk to the Columbia Business School (CBS) recently,
Okere noted that why CWG decided to go public was to entrench its credibility among stakeholders based on transparent reporting, which in turn would enhance its revenue growth.

Okere shared insights on what informed the decision of the company to go public, was to achieve a deeper culture of transparency through more complete regulatory reporting, and enhance the company’s credibility with stakeholders.

This, he said, enhances revenue growth, provides the opportunity to raise capital for growth and expansion, as well as offer stakeholders a means of achieving stock liquidity at fair value amongst others.

According to Ryan Peterson, one of the anchors of the case development, CBS took the initiative to write case studies on successful entrepreneurial businesses on the continent to dispel the myth that there are no sophisticated businesses on the
African continent or worse still, businesses could only thrive via corruption.

Mr. Peterson also observed that over the past decade, leading African business schools have adopted the traditional case method, but that a majority of the cases being American or European based did not provide much practical learning for the African students or any familiar role model figures that could aspire new investors.

“As it turned out, we couldn’t have picked a better company to lay these stereotypes to rest. The company has thrived in difficult circumstances because of an entrepreneurial culture that embodies the work ethic, personal responsibility and integrity of its founder,” Peterson.

CWG, as said by Peterson, distinguished itself from the competition by consistently delivering on promises to customers and is one of Nigeria’s 50 fastest growing entities.

“A representative from Cisco told us that the firm is ‘probably the most entrepreneurial company in Nigeria, certainly the most entrepreneurial in the Information Technology (IT) sector,’” Peterson added, stressing that the founder of a competing firm, who has since sold his business to a larger international player, expressed similar respect for his former rival at CWG.

Commending Mr. Okere’s presentation to the MBA class at Columbia Business School, Chairman, board of investments, Mauritius, Mr. Maurice Lam Pak Ng, said that it was informative listening to him.

“He is a great example that domestic entrepreneurs can be a success in spite of all the difficulties of doing business in Africa” he declared.

And for the Director, Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Center at CBS, Prof. Murray Low, Mr. Okere’s presentation, perhaps could be best summarized as overwhelming reception to the case study.

“By the way, I have used the case along with the video in both Tanzania and Kenya for audiences of entrepreneurs, faculty and MBA students. They all find it very inspiring!! It is a real pleasure to have you with us at Columbia,” he said.

ITRealms Online recalled that Mr. Okere has also been invited to give similar talks at the United States International University (USIU) in Nairobi and London Business School in the coming months.

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