Airtel CEO urges innovative approach to digital technology
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, has advised business leaders to be innovative and deliberate in their use of Technology, E-Commerce and Social Media.
While speaking as a discussant at the just concluded 45th Annual Accountants’ Conference organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Abuja, Ogunsanya noted that an innovative approach in leveraging technology will help create real value for critical stakeholders of an organization and others in the value chain.
According to him, Airtel Nigeria has pioneered this approach with the roll-out of its Catapult-a-Start-up programme, a unique initiative designed to empower exceptional and innovative application developers in Nigeria.
He noted that the programme has provided a good example of how a company can combine innovation with monetization, stating that Airtel, under the initiative, has empowered and transformed many lives with groundbreaking mobile application services.
According to Ogunsanya, these innovative digital platforms are helping to resolve many issues around diesel delivery, boosting students’ performance at important examinations, empowering job seekers, aiding e-commerce and cementing relationships, among others.
Specifically, he listed mobile application services such as Yuzah, a real time delivery platform that allows the ordering of diesel in minutes; PassNG, an educational service that enables students prepare for important examinations and PushCV, a service equipped to prepare job seekers for opportunities.
Other apps developed under the Airtel Catapult-a-Start-Up include Advertising App, a mobile application that converts mobile phones to a highly efficient and effective advertising platform; MatchUp, a home grown social network that connects people, with strong focus on locality and users’ preferences; Alarm App, an app that alerts users in case of danger and Airtel Insurance, a programme that offers middle and low-income earners the opportunity and access to life and hospital insurance.
Ogunsanya who spoke on the theme Innovative Business Models: Leveraging Technology, E-Commerce and Social Media, also called for circumspection in use of social media, saying that legislation is required to deter invasion of privacy just as laws regarding libel should be modified. He also submitted that regulations will help prevent activities of perverts and other groups with ill intentions across the digital sphere.
Board member, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and Past President, ICAN, Gen. Sebastian Owuama (rtd) and MD/CEO eTranzact, Mr. Valentine Obi also participated in the discourse.