Sunday, May 11, 2008

Doing Business in Nigeria

Doing business in Nigeria is challenging!

In the newspapers, we read about massive amounts of money being allocated for laudable projects. Unfortunately, a lot of times, these projects do not see the light of day. Corruption or poor project management stalls or kills some of these projects.

The effect is felt by everyone particularly entrepreneurs. For those power projects that were not executed, budding companies have to spend a lot of money on electricity. For those road projects that were not executed (or executed poorly) we experience traffic, wasted man-hours and vehicle wear and tear.

For us at Debonair, these experiences stare us in the face on a daily basis. Our operation is heavily reliant on logistics, advanced planning and capital. As the CEO, the responsibility rests on me to keep all our customers satisfied. Even when hundreds of customers have been served and one complains, the onus is on me to overcome all challenges to satisfy that one customer.

However, this is not always so easy. One main challenge we experience, like any other entrepreneurial venture is funds. For instance, we have a liability that will crystallize tomorrow and at the same time we need to stock up to satisfy our customers. Which do we attend to? Where do we get the funds?

These are some of the questions that entrepreneurs have to face and money management skills (and most importantly, God!) are very vital for any business owner.

As I write this, raising funds are uppermost on my mind. I believe and know we will do it.

My sign off tonight is that though doing business in Nigeria is tough, there are great rewards when you get it right.

Tough times never last, but tough people do! To all those facing challenges today, lookm towards the future and believe in God!


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