The ideology that one can only be a master in one field has been proven wrong, repeatedly. Sandra Ginikachi Stephen is one of those who have broken out of the norm. From being a trained Animal and Environmental Biologist, she veered off to an entirely new field where she currently works as a Visa Processor in a destination company.
Sandra, exploring more options available to her, is also involved in event styling and utilises her paper craft skill for interior and outdoor decoration. She has, through constant practicing, developed and mastered these skills for profitability.
Sandra acknowledges that her experience during work has instilled some indispensable values in her. “Working has impacted me in diverse ways. It has given me a sense of responsibility to my community and nation at large. Now I want to learn more, so I could give more. Working has also taught and is still teaching me patience.”
During the course of working, Sandra has also acquired some level of direction socially. “It’s brought some sort of focus to my social life. Now, I always have a target concerning my circle. How would this person assist in actualizing this? What solution can he/she proffer? How passionate is he/she with giving back to the nation and so on?”
Due to her remarkable career advancement, Sandra could be easily mistaken as one who had a background in her chosen field. However, she is quick to clear this perception. “What I do presently is way different from my course of study, I must say. I studied Animal and Environmental Biology but currently I am doing the job of a hospitality and tourism person. Not related in any way one would say.”
Regardless of the fact that Sandra may have deviated from her course of study, she indicated she still has interest to explore career options in that line and considers her experience so far as an advantage. “Even though I still look forward to taking up a career in my field, I count this a plus.”
In fact, she refers to career switch as a turn that could eventually lead one to their required career destination. “I wouldn’t call it a change in career but with reference to the word ‘career path’, my current job is one of those turns we take.”
Speaking about her work benefits, Sandra highlighted that asides the financial rewards, her job also creates an opportunity to build skills for personal growth. “There’s a whole lot of growth and benefits accompanied with my job. Here, if you are focused, you’d develop skills that would help you successfully start up your own destination management firm with massive financial benefits attached”
Spotting tolerance as one of the major lessons she has learnt at work, Sandra noted that it is a vital quality one needs to survive in any organization. “Tolerance. Working in any organization requires a measure of tolerance and this one is not exempted. Experiences have taught me to be tolerant. Whatever happens at the workplace ends at the workplace.”
Sandra also identified lessons that have contributed to her personal development. These lessons have equipped her with a wide range of skills and ethics that are relevant to her both as an individual and especially as an employee. “In my course of working, I have developed character. I have learnt and still learning the art of professionalism both within and without the work environment. My job is “risk”. The first thing I learnt on resumption was learning to unlearn whatever I thought I knew. Even those occupying managerial positions still learn on the job. I have also learnt team work.”
Financially, Sandra admitted she has had an impressive progression of income. “My work has helped me maintain a consistent financial lifestyle. Coupled with other financial benefits accompanying.”
Despite her regular job, Sandra has her side hustle to back her up. She stated that her side hustle is birthed from her love for paper crafting. “I am a creative person. I love crafting. And taking it as a side hustle has had this way of keeping me active. It makes me ask questions like “how can this/that be done more creatively”. I even apply this to my regular job.”
She added that having a side job has liberated her from any chance of monotonousness that could lead to boredom and at the same time provides another source of income for her. “More so, for someone that gets bored easily, it helps me see the brighter side. I wouldn’t also leave out the juicy feeling of having an extra flow of income.”
In the aspect of work disadvantages, she stated that they were minute compared to the advantages. “More advantages than any disadvantage I can think of. My job bears up so much risk that could cost the company a lot of money. But you’d admit that every other job does too.”
A challenge that Sandra classified as a positive one is the competitive spirit of workers in the organization who have given themselves to self-development in order to retain relevance. “I wouldn’t call it a challenge or should I say it’s a positive challenge. It is an organization where all or most of her staff are fighting to maintain relevance. Everyone working to be better every day in his or her different sections. More like positive energy.”
Sandra advised young people to seek continuous growth and not dwell on past knowledge. She recommended constant improvement for anyone aspiring to advance career wise. “We all are still finding our feet. No one, even those at the top would ever admit that they have reached the apex. Everyone is trying to do more and be more. That is all you need to do – do more everyday. Do not settle. People are watching, opportunities are lurking and looking for the relentless. It will all work out someday. Even better than you ever imagined it.”
Having read Sandra Ginikachi Stephen’s interview, we hope that more people will work towards building themselves and mastering their craft to the highest level.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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There is a popular Latin phrase, ‘quid pro quo’, interpreted as ‘favour for favour’. This implies that something always goes for something and nothing is ever given without a reciprocated effort. At first, the phrase was used in the sixteenth century to refer to a substituted medicine for another but with the passing of time; the phrase became more generalized and used even for business.
Now, especially in the corporate world, quid pro quo can be referred to as exchange of goods, services, favours, or any other kind of value. Sometimes, clients would prefer an exchange of something valuable for their money. On the other hand, corporate organisations, through their workers, are often willing to satisfy their clients’ demands as a way of retaining their patronage. Many a time, these organisations impose this task of meeting clients’ needs on their workers in order to keep the company running.
The attitude of ‘something for something’ is not only displayed by clients, but swings both ways and many other ways actually. Employers seek value in all the projects they embark on, employees want something in return for their creative ideas and input, vendors want something for their services, sellers want money for their goods while buyers want value for their money, investors are particular about what they get in return for their investment and the list goes on.
The concept of quid pro quo played out in Furo’s experience…
After several years of being unemployed, Furo finally got a job opportunity in a well-known and reputable bank. She groomed and brushed up herself in every aspect she could think of just to beat not just the work ethics but also set a high standard for other workers to follow. During her waiting period, she had attended seminars and workshops to increase her skill and knowledge about the banking industry. Furo was convinced she was more than ready for this job.
Few months into her resumption, Furo, who was assigned to the marketing department, was given a target to raise 10million naira within six months. She courageously took this as a challenge and began to work towards it. Three months had passed and Furo realised she was not making much progress with her goal. She had talked to family and friends who she felt were rich but was only able to raise 2million naira, which was far from the target. Other prospects were quite sceptical about putting their money in her bank.
Another month passed and Furo was at the verge of frustration. Everyday she woke up tormented by the nightmare of being fired for not meeting the target. Nobody at work ever asked how she was faring with the 10million naira goal but everyone wanted results. None of her strategies seems to work and more pressure mounted on her.
Having heard of the story of Belema who had hit her goals in the space of one month, Furo was too much in shock to believe. She approached Belema to find out how she was able to pull it off without much stress. Luckily Belema was honest and open about her means, which was simply to approach the ‘big boys’ in town. Since Furo was clueless where to find such people, she had to depend on Belema to link her up with them.
Within a week, Belema connected Furo to a wealthy entrepreneur who owned several ventures in major cities in Nigeria. Belema had told her he was in his early fifties but he looked younger and nourished. He smelt of wealth and walked around with authority. Furo spent the next couple of days trying to convince him about the benefits are attached to the account she was proposing for him to open with her bank. She had thought she was making headway until he began to speak.
“Furo, I’ve heard all you have to say and I must commend your ability to simplify all these banking terms,” he said, acknowledging her.
“But the amount of money you’re asking me to put in there is a lot you know, even though I can afford it,” he continued.
As he spoke, he drank a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice that he had asked his steward to prepare.
“I know,” Furo responded to break the short silence. She wanted to get this deal signed without spending the whole day watching him drink and talk.
“The thing is, I want something for this huge sacrifice I’ll be making. Like I told Belema, the only reason why I am considering this is because of her plea and the tight situation you’re in,” He said and took another sip of his juice.
Furo was a bit embarrassed that Belema had given him too much detail. Nevertheless, she braced herself for any outcome.
The prospect leaned forward, looking straight into her eyes, “You know what, I will open that account but on one condition,” he said and paused.
“Which is?” Furo asked, looking a bit perplexed.
“Well, in business nothing goes for nothing. You must always have something valuable to exchange for every transaction,” he smirked. “Let me just go straight to the point. In exchange for this transaction between your bank and me, I want some of your sugar. I want you, Furo.”
Furo was taken aback. It was only then she recalled what Belema had told her about these big boys asking for something in return, in this case, her body.
“Furo, I can go beyond opening that account to changing your life. Are you willing to take the ride with me? Go think about it,” he said.
That day as Furo left his house, she was in a state of dilemma. Would she succumb or get fired? She was not quite sure of her next move….
Unvoiced perspective, telling the corporate stories that are rarely told…
Let’s hear from you, what should Furo do?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Innovations start with great thinkers and a team of like minds, which takes quite some serious work to assemble, especially in the Niger Delta Region of Port Harcourt. That is the story of Olotu Square, a rare light, beaming and leading a teeming population of young people along the path of technology and innovative solutions to problems.
Olotu Square is one of the foremost innovative hubs in Port Harcourt, established to build capacity in the technology space. The brand grooms young people with various talents and skills and has made remarkable impact in just three years. Olotu Square through its work has been tackling the problem of unemployment by training young people and engaging them with projects from paying clients.
Olotu Square was established in 2016, and the name is derived from two words; Olotu which means “a champion” or “a leader of warriors” and Square which means gathering or together. The brand name Olotu Square meaning “Community of Champions” has so far lived up to its name. In the past few years, Olotu Square has become a community of Startups & Technology Developers driven by a common interest to change the narrative of the Niger Delta and Africa at large.
Olotu Square started out as a software technology company with the mission to develop software for organisations. Bruce Lucas who conceived the vision after attending an economic and youth conference in Malaysia founded the company. Intrigued by his experience in Malaysia, he was moved to implement the same initiative in his own community. After he returned home, Bruce converted his office space into a community for potential developers and aspiring young people striving towards becoming the next Zuckerberg or Elon Musk.
Barely a year after launching Olotu Square in 2016, the company gained support, endorsements and a national recognition the next year 2017. They have moved on to host two Google programs successfully that was sponsored by Google, and other training programs as well. Within that period, the hub also birthed its first Startup Gerocare, an Uber kind of solution but for healthcare delivery.
Olotu Square has grown to become a recognised indigenous hub providing business support, mentorship, incubation, and valuable business network to Startups. They continue to serve as a community for tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. The brand keeps championing different notable projects with the vision of creating a better future for the next generation.
To achieve the best Startup and Technology success stories in Africa.
They believe collaboration is the way to build the future.
They believe they can create a future where there is equal opportunity to thrive and ample resources are within the reach of everyone no matter the location.
They dream of a future where innovations reign supreme in every corner of Africa and everyone has access to different levels of support to birth their dreams.
Their work culture revolves around,
- Equality and
Olotu Square is committed to doing more work than talking; they are a brand to watch in the coming years.
Here is a list of what they do;
- Trainings & Fellowships
- Youths, Jobs & Engagements
- Graphics, UI/UX Designs
- Software Development
- Digital Marketing
- Tech Systems Designs/Automation
- IT Infrastucture Management
- Developer/Tech Support
From our research, it is exciting to state with confidence that Olotu Square is looking forward to a great future of achievements and groundbreaking initiatives that will reverse the perception of the public on Nigerian youths in general. They have the capacity and work force to reach unimaginable heights.
Written by Nwaerema Cyprian J
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There has been an over told story of bossy employers who make the work place unpleasant for their employees. While often times there is another side of the story that is not told – dealing with insubordination.
Many times employers are faced with the daunting task of handling employees who seem difficult to handle. This has always been a problem but such pictures are rarely painted, leaving some employers helplessly silent for the fear of not communicating the wrong message.
In organizations where some employees express a deep form of insubordination, it weakens the effectiveness of other team members and most times leave the management wobbling in thoughts. These stiff-necked employees could be likened to horses forced to the stream but refusing to drink.
Insubordination could be in different ways; there are times when employees fail to carry out tasks demanded of them by their employers or superior due to some factors, or question the management’s authority, or bluntly refuse to obey company policies. Chike’s story is the perfect display of insubordination.
Chike got fired two months ago at the office, this got almost everyone talking about it and wondering why it had to be Chike. He was so composed and effective at some point he was considered efficient. He earned the manager’s trust with his ability to complete a task with less supervision. Almost everyone at the office maintained the expected degree of their KPI’s but he will always go beyond the expectation. His effort to the company’s growth was commendable. Seeing his level of commitment, the management seemed it right that more responsibilities were assigned to him.
With a new project at hand, the management sought diligently for a perfect person who will show great deal of commitment, to produce the project’s desired result, so Chike came to mind (“to whom much is given, much is expected”).
The project’s estimated lifespan was 6 months, which required tendering of a weekly report to the department head. After three months of the project’s commencement, Chike had not tendered any report concerning the progress of the project. Gradually, he began to question most of the management’s decisions and would not carry out any duty he did not feel up to. At certain occasions, he was asked about it and there was nothing tangible that he could offer. The management considered this as an insubordinate behaviour.
Measures were taken and it was decided that most relevant responsibilities should be taken off Chike’s desk. This was not a way of silencing his voice, but rather creating an open door policy to make other employees learn.
Do you think the management’s decision was too harsh? How would handle such behaviour in your organisation?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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EMPLOYEE INSIGHT: “THERE IS NO FORMULA OR STRAIGHT FORWARD APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO RELATING WITH PEOPLE IN THE WORKPLACE”–ANONYMOUS
A paramount skill every employee, irrespective of their positions, should acquire is the ability to work excellently with others in the work place. They must be willing to start the learning process of establishing good work relationships with fellow colleagues. With willingness, any employee can be trained and taught this vital skill.
Our interviewee, a maintenance planner and scheduler in a bottling company, argues the opinion that one human relationship approach can work for everyone in the work environment. He stood on the fact that human beings have different features and each person is unique in their own way. Find out more about his work ideologies…
Giving an insight to his job specification, our interviewee, shared in details, “My role is to ensure machine availability and reliability are achieved through planning and scheduling or coordinating maintenance activities. This means that I try to ensure that all the machines needed for production are available and are in good condition at all times especially when needed. This is to keep all machines in check so they don’t breakdown abruptly when they are in use and that they also perform at their best”
For a clearer understanding, he enlightened us some more about the dynamics of his work. He took us through the different procedures he undergoes to achieve success in his daily job.
Expatiating he said, “Planning involves assessment of the job to be done, assess the resource availability, and ensure the right tools are available and spare parts. If skill set is needed, you try to inform those responsible for the job. I practically provide both intellectual and physical resources and also schedule them as need be; fix a time duration and issue out a work order which is basically a permit to work”
Our interviewee has had a slight career change which most would refer to as a promotion. Having started as a technical engineer for a company that served as a supply chain for his present company, our interviewee was found worthy and was retained when the time came. “I started as a technical operator for a company that supplies for my present company and then was promoted to a maintenance planner”
He specified that his chosen career path, maintenance planning and scheduling, is in line with his course of study, mechanical engineering. This has given him some level of advantage in his field.
“I studied mechanical engineering in school and maintenance is a major aspect of it. Although there are some electrical aspects too, but it is mostly a mechanical work. Mechanical engineering, however, is a broad course with many areas of specialty and that includes what I am currently doing, maintenance.”
Speaking on his work experience so far, our interviewee shared some impactful insights about his work life. He highlighted that he has developed a deep sense of responsibility, an eye for details and diligence.
“I personally think working is an avenue for each person to learn. By learning, I do not just mean learning a profession or career but I mean the discipline work teaches one, that sense of responsibility. There is a whole lot of training working gives to every man. Therefore, for me, working has helped my sense of responsibility, diligence and has taught me how to pay attention to details. It has also helped my thought pattern because I get to work with a team of intellectual people. It has expanded my thinking capacity, broaden my horizon, increased my exposure level and has built my confidence level as regards facing challenges.”
While sharing some lessons he has learnt over the years as an employee, he identified one major factor in any workplace, which is people. Our interviewee believes there is no precise method for handling different people with different backgrounds and orientation.
“One major lesson I have learnt in the course of working is that you have to know how to deal with different people. There is no formula or straightforward approach when it comes to the workplace because you are interacting with several people with different characters, different likes and dislikes and different temperaments. One just has to learn how to relate with different people and maintain a good relationship with everyone. Adaptability is another lesson I have learnt while working.”
Our interviewee regards regular income from the workplace as a benefit that should enhance one’s ability to plan their financial life better.
“Having a regular salary helps me to plan and I believe that is one benefit of working. So I am able to plan my expenses a little bit better and hope to improve even more.”
Like a coin, a job has two sides – advantage and disadvantage – to it. These two are common traits in any work life, which virtually every worker faces. Our respondent enumerated some of the disadvantages that accompanied his job; they ranged from stress, down to the daily demands and problems he has to solve.
“A disadvantage with my job would be the stress. It can also be time consuming, energy draining and really demanding. If something goes wrong, you are trying to think of how to fix it, trying different ways. Even after the close of work, your mind keeps running from one machine that is down to the other in search for a solution.”
Laying more emphasizes on his challenges at work, he added, “Some days I leave work and I am so stressed out. Also, sometimes some people can be very difficult to work with”
With how demanding his work is, our interviewee indicated he could not consider having a side hustle due to the time constraints.
“No I don’t have a side hustle,” he said. “I’m very much involved in church. Therefore, when I am not at work, I am in church. In the end I don’t have time to include any other demanding activity, like side hustles.”
Concluding his interview, our interviewee shared an unusual advice for those planning to travel the career journey. He advised young career beginners to follow the leading of the supernatural being, God, rather than hurryingly follow public opinions.
“Advising on a career path, I wouldn’t come from the area of ‘be diligent, pursue your dreams, know your area of strength etc.’ I believe most people have heard that speech before. What I would say is whoever you are; follow the Lord and the need of God for your life. Do not rush, because we are not competing with anybody. Do not take decisions because every other person is doing it. Wait, take your time, ensure this is what the Lord will have you do, and follow the leading of His spirit. I have found out that that is the best way to live. Simply trust God and everything will fall in place.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Age is often considered as just a number and one of the common assumptions about it in the corporate world is that people concern themselves with work goals and never who is older. Like we know, the workplace comprises of different age generations of people who are expected to work together with mutual respect. However, at some point, there is set to be a clash between colleagues in different generations and even those in the same age bracket. This could affect communication thereby stifling work efficiency.
Most times age diversity in the workplace is considered the best recruiting strategy despite the strife it causes. It remains an inevitable fact that the corporate world is made up of a mixed multitude who will never have the same features. Due to this, people, whether young or old, would constantly find ways to deal with work relationships.
In every organisation, there are different demands each age generation makes to another but one thing they all seek from each other, is respect. Both old and young colleagues desire to be respected by their team members. Often times, the older generations tend to seek more respect and usually detest being answerable to a younger colleague whose attitude they find unpleasant. Most of them consider taking orders from a younger person very insulting and could even resign if their boss is younger than they are.
On the other hand, the younger generation most likely would prefer if the age constraint is removed from the picture and everyone considered as equals. They would prefer to express themselves and relate with everyone on the same level without age being a barrier. With this mentality, when they are promoted to higher positions, they often do not give preference to age and could easily be seen as rude. Either ways, people in the workplace are left to deal with this dilemma every working day.
Here is a short story to drive home the point.
Kachi watched her supervisor, Miss Ibinabo, walk in majestically in that her noticeable Christian Louboutin heels that always announced her arrival. She grimaced as she heard her lashing out at everyone who seemed to be slacking on their task. Whenever she yelled at one person, her voice echoed over the entire place as though she was addressing everyone. When she spoke she expected a rapt attention which most of them gave subconsciously because of her commanding voice.
Though Miss Ibinabo was promoted to the supervisory position on the basis of her exposure and her creativity at work, she remained one of the youngest in the firm. She was barely twenty-eight and didn’t have as much experience as Kachi and the rest of the employees. Kachi who was ten years older than her always felt degraded whenever she had to sit and listen to Miss Ibinabo speak or assess her work. It wasn’t the things she said that pissed Kachi and other workers but her poor approach towards handling crises and the disrespect in her voice.
Outside the work environment Kachi could bet on her life that she would never succumb to taking orders from anyone younger than she is. She was certain Miss Ibinabo would never dare to speak to any older staff the manner she did if they had met outside the work environment. Everyone one knew her authority ended around the four walls of the company. Once Mr Fred in Kachi’s department, who was in his early fifties, had threatened to slap the madness out of her and termed her childish when she talked down on his work.
Severally Kachi had felt the urge to confront Miss Ibinabo and talk some sense into her but she feared she might be misinterpreted as being envious of the younger lady. So each day, while Miss Ibinabo strolled from desk to desk with those her silence breaking heels, and begin to prove to everyone that she was the one in charge, Kachi would bite her tongue, swallow her words and let things slide. Today was one of those days, she would let peace reign.
Can you work for an employer or work under a supervisor who you are older than? Would the case be different if the supervisor was older? Let’s know your thoughts in the comment session.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Survival is a common instinct among mankind. For this singular reason, man strives daily to fight against all odds, desperately in search for better means of earning some comfort during his lifetime. For most people, getting a job or starting an enterprise, has become a familiar means for making a livelihood.
Our interviewee for the week, Afonya Davies, is one who has taken no chances in ensuring that he utilizes and makes the best out of his earning power, further ensuring his survival. Now after imparting knowledge to his students in the classroom, Afonya rolls up his sleeves to push for the success of his business, Hectofons Ideal Concept, which deals with supplying of granite, sand and leasing equipment.
We were curious to know how Afonya manages to joggle two huge responsibilities – being a teacher and an established businessperson – and still maintain a healthy work life. Here is what we found out.
For over five years, Afonya Davies has been working in the educational sector. Though an alien to this field, since it wasn’t his course of study, Afonya saw it as an opportunity to keep himself busy after school rather than stay idle. “I studied Petroleum Engineering as my first degree but took up the teaching job at that time because I needed to be occupied.”
Regardless of the rigid structure in his profession, in terms of career trajectory, Afonya has remained open minded and has allowed his job influence him positively. “Working has given me experience and training on how to manage people.”
Afonya didn’t also see his job as an escape route from boredom, he has picked up pieces of lessons that are essential to having a better life. “In the course of working, I have learnt patience, integrity, and transparency,” he said.
Nevertheless, he could not help but mention a major disadvantage of his job, “You don’t get incentive from the government like housing close to the school, official car, etc.” He believes these provisions should be made in order to make work easier for teachers.
He highlighted distance as his challenge, stating that he finds it tiring having to drive the long distance and has noticed it affects his efficiency. “I usually get really tired after such a long drive,” he admitted.
Turning around what would have been perceived to be another disadvantage, Afonya didn’t let his spirit get dampened by the size of his salary, he trained himself to spend less and save more in a bid to manage his finances. “In my financial life, working has shaped my saving culture. Since I knew the salary was small I enrolled in a mutual fund to enable me save.”
Speaking of having a side hustle, Afonya admitted he had one, his very own business called, “Hectofons Ideal Concept”. He stated that his reason for setting up this business was to be stable and independent financially knowing he has a family to cater for. “I need to be financially stable to take care of the needs of my family,” he said.
Based on his after-school experience, Afonya advised young people to get a clear direction on their desired choice of career and begin the pursuit before exiting the university in order to overcome unpleasant outcomes afterwards. “They should build a career pathway before leaving school so they are not faced with unemployment,” he advised.
There you go! Handling a day job and personal business simultaneously is Afonya Davies’ means of survival. What’s yours?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need to build a team for your business? We can help you recruit. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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At the sight of clustered school kids in the peak of an afternoon or at the close of school, there is high degree of certainty that an ice cream vendor on a bicycle is available making a good sale of different Fan Milk products. On the menu of many adults who are health conscious but still crave for sweetness, Fan Milk is usually their preferred yoghurt brand. Its variety of products are also listed as one of the most patronised in any dairy outlet.
Since its emergence in the dairy market, there is no doubt that Fan Milk has made tremendous impact in the lives of its consumers and the society. Most often than not, it is considered as one of the most influential brands in its industry which is an attestable fact largely. Interestingly, Fan Milk has gained a large customer base with little or no adverts and has remained a threat to other dairy manufacturers in Nigeria. Today, our review explores the brand delighting the taste buds of many across the country.
It would come as a shock to most consumers that their favourite dairy manufacturer, Fan Milk PLC, has been churning out its products since1963. Though founded by a Danish merchant and industrialist Erik Emborg, the business has always been Nigerian based with the first factory established in Ibadan and a distribution centre in Lagos. The company made its major sales through bicycle vendors who got their supplies from smaller depots. During its early days, the factory depended on imported milk powder to produce it fresh milk and subsequently focused on white milk, chocolate milk, cottage cheese and set yoghurt as its product range.
In a bid to increase its customer satisfaction, in the 1970s, Fan Milk introduced other products such as yoghurt drink, ice-lollies, ice cream and a new packaging technology, Tetra Pak. The company experienced a good financial outcome and recognition due to the success of the new products in the market. To gain more grounds, the company commissioned its second dairy factory in 1981 in Kano and has since then spread to different parts of the country with many depots and outlets to its name. This strategic move increased both its customer base and visibility in the country.
Despite being a Nigerian based company, 96% of Fan Milk’s shares were owned by the foreign partner. Following a decree, The Nigeria Enterprises Promotion Decree, made by the government in the late 1970s, the company opened its investment platform to more Nigerians. As a result, Nigerians acquired 60% shares in the company.
The1980s and 1990s came with some bumps such as the export restrictions, economic difficulties, devaluations and shortages of fuel thereby reducing the company’s speed and influence. Rather than dwell on the setbacks, in 1998, the company began to seek ways to remedy the situation. With the collaboration of the foreign partner and the Industrialization Fund for Developing Countries (Denmark) an agreement was reached which was to infuse more capital to enable the company restructure its finances, refurbish cold rooms, and increase the number of depots. Within that same period, the company introduced Fan Dango, a fruit drink which made irresistible waves in the market. Due to the expansion and rehabilitation programme, the company was again back on track.
Following its desire to improve and reach more customers within the length and breadth of the country, Fan Milk PLC looks forward to introducing a better distribution system that will convert depots to mini distribution centres (MDCs) and franchise outlets. The new product delivery system is called Last Mile Distribution (LMD) and will focus on delivering products ordered via the hotline or online portals to customers in their shops.
Fan Milk has also expanded to other countries in Africa like Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire. As part of its brand impact, the company has employed over 800 workers and has empowered thousands of bicycle vendors and other agents.
It sees a clear vision for itself thus:
“To be the number one producer and marketer of frozen dairy products in Nigeria.”
The company mission statement is stated as follows,
“It is our mission to be a leading manufacturer and marketer of healthy, nutritious and safe frozen dairy and non-frozen dairy food products at affordable prices to the benefit of all stakeholders.”
The company is driven by the following core values;
- Professional Management
- Financial Suitability
- Corporate Citizenship
For its brand success, the company leverages two market approaches:
- Quality products with emphasises on the health benefits.
- Broad distribution chain that covers every kind of consumer regardless of their status and age.
From our research, we accredit the brand’s success to its consistency regardless of the changing times and its distribution approach. With these, Fan Milk has made itself one of the most successful dairy brands Nigeria has ever known.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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EMPLOYEE INSIGHT: “DEDICATION IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE JOB THAT SPEAKS FOR YOU”- ANONYMOUS EMPLOYEE
Depending on how you perceive the workplace, it can be a learning platform for those willing and patient enough to be trained. One of the many things you learn while working is human relations and as we all know, humans could be quite dynamic and different in their ways. This has since been a major challenge for most persons in the corporate world since they have to constantly interact with colleagues in order to achieve the common goal of the company.
Now this task becomes more arduous when you are directly responsible for others within the workspace. You would realise that some people are easier to connect and work with than others. This week we interviewed a HSE Specialist who works at one of the reputable oil and gas companies in Nigeria and whose job specification entails supervision of workers in a bid to ensure they abide by safety rules, in order to maintain a safe working environment.
Even though this is a huge responsibility, our interviewee continues to learn better human relationship approaches with the aim to make the most out of his job. Let us take a glimpse of his work life…
Our interviewee when describing the impact of his work in his life indicated its enormous influence on him so far, “Working has given me a sense of responsibility. It teaches endurance especially with the fact that I meet different people with background and training different from mine. It increases my knowledge about life especially when I communicate with colleagues and those I supervise. The push to be better is also there,” he said.
Amazingly, he had studied a different course while in school and only developed interest for HSE along the line, “I studied Industrial Chemistry but during my Industrial Attachment in the HSE department, I picked interest in the field and equipped myself by undergoing a safety training during my NYSC,” he stated.
As regards his career trajectory, our respondent pointed out that he has been opportune to start with a higher position unlike his counterparts, “Compared to where most persons start from in building their HSE career, I started with a better position,” he indicated.
Though he seem to have had a smooth ride in his field, his experience came with many lessons to be learnt as regards relating with people in his workplace. He said, “I have learnt patience when building safety culture in people and realised that not everyone you are working with has your best interest at heart. At some point, you will get to understand that real life experiences are usually different from what you study in books. Also, dedication is an integral part of the job that speaks for you.”
Concerning his finances, he attested the positive impact working has made in his financial life thus far. “Really my financial life has improved tremendously. However the bad part is that you have to wait till month end to get that joy that good amount of money is entering your account.”
As we know, everything that has advantages also have a downside to it. Our respondent candidly expressed the disadvantages that accompanied his job, “You don’t get to rest as much as you would like. You are cut-off from what happens out there in the world because most times you are at work. There is also the aspect of someone talking to you as they please because they are above you. Blackmail is another thing that goes on around the worksite because certain persons want favours from their bosses,” he said.
Expressing his daily work struggles further, our interviewee said, “Some days you just want to sleep and not go to work but you have to show up anyway.”
When asked if he had a side hustle, he indicated he did and added it is simply based on the love he has for it and not necessarily for extra cash, “I teach in a foundation because I really love to teach,” he said
For his closing remark, our interviewee said, “Being a HSE Specialist is an interesting career that would teach you how to treat your own workers especially if you have it in mind one day to own your company.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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One of the scarcest and presumably the hardest things to find these days in Nigeria is the ‘right’ job. In fact the concept of a right job have far been erased from the minds of many and overtime people apply for any available job. Every now and then thousands of unemployed people steadily cast their net broad and wide hoping to catch a job from the deep blue sea of companies. Asides from being open to any type of job, some people would do anything to get the job.
Due to this high desperation in job search, some recruiting agencies consider it to be a money making venture thereby exploiting many job seekers. Often times, some job opportunities these recruiter present are fake and just a deceptive means of enriching themselves. So while they present irresistible job opportunities to the desperate unemployed crowd, they enlarge their pockets.
In most occasions some job seekers are left indecisive, dangling between missing out and grabbing the seemingly life changing job offer. Several cases have been reported by victim who had the unpleasant experiences. From our research, we spotted a list of companies from the Ngcareer platform who have exploited many job seekers.
Shifting our focus away from exploiting recruiters, job seekers are also part of this as most are usually the first to strike a deal. They literally lure either the recruiting agency or the HR personnel in order to buy their favour.
With this development, it seems as though the job sector is slightly turning into a market where people trade, continuously buying and selling jobs. If things continue to play out this way we then ask the question, do the qualified ever get the jobs right for them or are the spaces sold out?
Let’s know your thoughts.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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