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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Oluwa is involved.......Paying Customers

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that I had a business plan.  I assumed that was a given. It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose or overly elaborate and don’t think mine was because I have an MBA, IT WASN’T!

A business plan is meant to be a working document not a one off one, you need to visit and revisit as you go. Things change, customer needs change, technology changes and so on, so if you have that static document that you filed away years ago, you better go and dust it and review it (I feel like I am talking to myself here…. Hehe!).

So back to the Dangote story, where were we? Ah the sharks.

The projects that saved my life…….

Even before Tony’s last day in Dangote Tony’s angels got the memo from camp E* – “You have been redeployed to the office of Mr. K* on the 3rd floor, with immediate effect!” Lobatan. They were going to have us for toast. What to do now?! You know what though, when the K-switch sang “Oluwa is involved” he must have been referring to me, because just when I was ready to move downstairs Oluwa indeed stepped in.

Everything starts from the 9th floor, so we were always in the know. We had been seeing this man, Mr O*, hold meetings with the telcos and submit reports and findings to Ahaji Aliko. A few times, he asked me to help with reports (he hadn’t built his team yet) and I did. Dangote was looking to diversify into wholesale fiber distribution, they were about to build Alheri, which later became DANCOM technologies. At the same time, Folake Ani-Mumuney had come on board and was leading a Dangote rebranding project. I had a few encounters with her as well, while on the 9th floor.

Right about this time, Alheri kicked off and Mr. O* was building his team. They needed someone on the team to handle the CUG project (Closed User Group; staff members on the CUG could call each other at no charge) that was being implemented across the group. My friend Zainab told me about this and spoke to Mr. O* on my behalf. This was the project that saved my neck! He stuck his neck out for me by presenting a justification to Aliko and submitted a transfer request for me to join the DANCOM team. This was how I left the cement business unit and resumed with DANCOM.  Whew! The project was important to the group and touched every single person, so there was no way “you know who” could kick against my transfer.

On the other hand, Folake stuck her neck out and put in a request for Tony’s angel number two, Utibe to join her team.  She was planning a media reveal for the new logo and needed volunteers from different business units to partake in the planning and distillation of the new brand ethos, I volunteered. There was an intranet project as well that was to be implemented across the group which I got involved in. My hands were full, but I enjoyed every minute of my time on these projects.

There is definitely a God somewhere!!

Life Skills Learnt

  • Service Management: We had to do a lot of service level agreements with the Telcos, we sent out RFPs (request for purchase) often and so on. I also got to go for an ITIL foundation training.
  • Branding: Working on the rebranding project with Folake exposed me to a lot of new things as well as the importance of branding.

2013…… 17 June 2013

Nothing gives me greater joy than getting feedback from a satisfied customer. Today, I got one of those and I am going to ride on those words for the rest of the week! Yessir!

I can say today was one of those fruitful days, I had an early morning delivery and got a last minute request for party packs to be delivered today. At first I was thinking, it’s short notice, I had plans to go to the hub, yada yada, but I gave myself brain and boned the hub for today. This was a paying customer! Nothing compares to a paying customer.

You won’t believe it if I told you I haven’t started the Abraham Lincoln book *covers face*. There’s just so much to do and so little time. Whenever I get in from my daily runs, my boys latch on to me and tail me around the house.No kidding! Can’t complain though, I am blessed to have them and it’s their right to demand for their own time. I had some cooking to do as well, before my nanny uses indomie noodles to finish my children, I try to fix their lunch as often as possible (all she has to do is warm), but on days when she needs to use her initiative, she defaults to indomie. I cannot understand it. I have to do a timetable and insist that she sticks to it.

I got the most fantastic customer service treatment I have experienced in a while today at the Akin Adesola branch of GTB. The guys there are really courteous and willing to help. I wonder if it is because their banking hall is so large and so the pressure is reduced or their branch manager is really good. I bet it’s a mix of both.

Entrepreneur Tips
  • Do everything within your power to keep your paying customers!
  • Celebrate your successes no matter how small.
  • Your business plan should not be a once and for all document, review it as you go.
  • Above all keep calm, Oluwa is involved!