FCMB: how to grow businesses during pandemic

By Collins Nweze

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has advised Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) owners to leverage technology and logistics to grow their businesses.

At the virtual capacity building programme for SMEs organised by the bank with the theme, “Leveraging Digital Technology & Logistics to Grow Your Business”, speakers urged SMEs to use technology to boost productivity, service delivery and performance of their organisations despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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The event, held by the bank’sTraining Academy and SME Advisory Unit was tagged, Business Empowerment and Sustainability Training (BEST) Masterclass.

The free online seminar, which recorded over 2,016 participants, focused on various issues, such as innovation, digital technology solutions, business model opportunities and adapting to the new normal.

In his presentation on the topic, “Digital Technology Solutions for SMEs: Charting the Path to the Next Normal”, an Associate Partner with Mckinsey & Company, Mr. Chika Ekeji, said though COVID-19 is disrupting businesses, the continent could respond to the disruptions with four plans.

These, he said, are  a shift in business model, sustaining business and restoring operation, shaping a new business and restructuring company or industry.

Chairman, FASMICRO Group, Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, a special guest spoke on the importance of “Innovating for Growth & Improving Supply Chain with Technology”, stated: “There is a need for everyone in business to evaluate why they are in business which brings the market friction between demand and supply to equilibrium.

To stay relevant in business, business owners are required to solve market frictions and those with the acquired skills have the capabilities to release products that can overcome the frictions. If you have a great product – great things will happen.”

Ekekwe added: “The ability of business owners to serve customers and deliver goods to them can be achieved through partnership with logistics companies who leverage technology toreach customers.

By following this model in the right way and choosing appropriate tech solutions, business owners can gain visibility, transparency and save cost, which will in turn help them stay within the marginal cost of production”

The Executive Director, Business Development of FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith, said the bank recognises the role and impact of SMEs and understands the impact of the pandemic on their operations

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