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Thursday, June 18, 2015

LEAP Africa 10th Annual CEOs Forum - Recap

I was prodded by +Esan teniola to do a summary of the just recently concluded Leap Africa CEO event at Oriental Hotel, Lagos. It was a great event and one thing hat struck me the most was their timing. It started on time and did not drag unnecessarily which is something many others should take a cue from. If we say 10am, let it be 10am. It is disrespectful to those who defy the odds to be there on time when organizers of these events, stall because they are waiting for other people.

The networking was rich and this made me realize how hungry Nigerians are for knowledge and networking.

I was one of the late comers, because I had to do my morning show before making my way to the event, but Bukola Hundeyin was there, representing NASME and she has been gracious enough to do this mini recap of the conference.


With Bukola at the event

Theme: Staying Ahead: Maximizing Profit and Mitigating Risks

The LEAP Africa 10th Annual CEOs Forum was held at Oriental Hotel, Lagos on June 09, 2015 with the theme Staying Ahead: Maximizing Profit and Mitigating Risks. The event was compered by Mrs Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi a public speaking consultant. The event took off with an opening remark from the Leap Africa team with a concise report about LEAP Africa and their upcoming events.

There were two main speakers. The first speaker, Mr. Dharnesh Gordon the current MD & CEO of Nestle Nigeria, and Chairman of Nestle Trust Limited and Mr. Guillaume Roux the Group MD/CEO Lafarge Africa Plc. The MD/CEO Nestle made the keynote address and spoke about staying ahead in business by being able to take risks especially in a country like Nigeria. He emphasized that risk comes with opportunity and the Nigerian people are the greatest asset of the country. He said this was evident in how the incident of Ebola was handled and curtailed in the Country. Therefore, the ability to take identify, assess and mitigate risk is important for maximizing profit and staying in business. The sub-theme for the event was in 4 sessions and handled by different speakers.

  • Managing Financial and Currency Risk In the Nigeria & Global Business Landscape. 
  • Managing Supply Chain, Operations and Sales Risks in Nigerian Business Landscape
  • Importance of Insurance and Other Formal Risk Mitigating Strategies in Protecting Your Business
  • Building a Culture of Risk Management: Thinking one step ahead

Session One:

Managing Financial and Currency Risk in the Nigeria & Global Business Landscape was presented by Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, the Executive Director of Finance and Strategy, +Sterling Bank Nigeria.

He defined financial risk as the initial risk you are exposed to, once you decide to start-up a business. Therefore, when starting up business, it is necessary to document your business transactions through financial accounts, audited account and other methods of documentation. This will enable future stakeholders to interpret and have clear understanding of your business background. Also, on currency risk, there must be a risk management plan and system of transferring risk to another company such as the insurance companies.

Session Two:

Managing Supply Chain, Operations and Sales Risks in Nigerian Business Landscape. The session was presented by Mrs. Adepeju Adebajo the MD of Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria. She laid emphasis on supply chain management and the various challenges associated with price fluctuation, finding trusted suppliers and state of infrastructure in Nigeria economy. 

She stated that for entrepreneurs thrive in Nigeria, risk identification and mitigation cannot be overemphasized. For any business to grow, the risk appetite of the business must be critically accessed so as to identify the risk involved and for proper solution.

Session Three: 

Importance of Insurance and Other Formal Risk Mitigating Strategies in Protecting Your Business was presented by Mr. Oluwole Oshin the MD  +Custodian And Allied PLC . He leveraged on previous speakers’ presentation to fully establish the importance of insurance and the identified the various types of risk encountered in business and how insurance platforms can absorb such risk in order to reduce cost of unplanned eventualities.

 Insurance transferred or shared risk can make entrepreneurs stay ahead in business; he stressed. He advised however that when taking up insurance it is always better to go through referrals and insurance brokers to get connected to the best insurance providers. Also, he highlighted documentation of business success, finances as the first step in ensuring access to finance through bank loans.

Session Four: 

Building a Culture of Risk Management: Thinking One Step Ahead. The session was presented by Mrs Clare Omatseye the MD JNC International Nigeria Ltd and only entrepreneur amongst the speakers. She spoke from the point of view of an entrepreneur on the challenges and risk involved in daily operation of business.

She stressed the importance of imbibing a risk management culture; risk awareness should cut across the organization right from top to bottom with employee involvement. Every company should develop a strategy on how to manage their risk. She gave a case study of her organization to illustrate how her organization manages risk through transferring or terminating it from the source.

The sessions came to a close and participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the speakers.

The event came to a close with vote of thanks from the organizers and the exhibition stands were declared open while participants were able to network over snacks.

If you are interested in the speakers presentations click here

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Bukonla Hundeyin runs a virtual assistant services company that offers administrative support and secretarial duties, Customer Service management, social media management and data/file management.