Wema Bank SME Business School Trains 156 SMEs in Port Harcourt

Small and medium enterprise (SME) owners and other participants at the just-concluded Wema Bank SME Business School held in Port Harcourt have lauded the bank for the capacity development initiative.  A total of 156 participants comprising SME customers and non-customers of the bank attended the 4th edition of the Wema Bank SME Business School, which was designed to impart business management skills and first-rate entrepreneurial knowledge to SMEs operating in the South-South region of the country.

 

The Wema Bank SME Business School was launched in Lagos in 2021 to boost the capacity and skills of SMEs and help them to achieve their objectives. The second edition took place virtually, while the third edition happened in Abuja. The fourth edition which recently held in the South-South geopolitical zone of the country, has further helped to equip SMEs in various parts of the region with the requisite business management knowledge and skills to effectively run their enterprises and respond to the ever-evolving challenges of today’s business world.

 

A participant, Uche Onochie, commended Wema Bank for the knowledge-laden program, which she said had broadened her perspective on SME management. “Wema Bank is trying for me; they have made me what I am today. They are the reason why my business is where it is today,” she said.

 

Another participant and SME owner, Udoh Mfon Peter, expressed gratitude to the bank for the highly impactful program. He added that it was one of the most beneficial things that happened to him. “It was a real MBA, a live MBA program,” he said.

 

For Dr. Mercy Abu, the program was packed full of the requisite ingredients for business success. “I thought I knew a lot before this program, but I can tell you I have more knowledge after this,” she said.

 

The just concluded SME Business School, which took place in Port Harcourt, had a robust curriculum that spoke directly to the issues that have held SMEs in the country back. The faculty also comprised of experienced and highly knowledgeable subject matter experts across various aspects of business management.

 

Among the topics covered were a Macroeconomic Review of Nigeria; Business Strategy and Innovation by Reap and Arcenciel; Sales and Marketing by Matt Anthony Consulting; Financial Management and Taxation by Deloitte; Personal Branding by Nexford University; and Business Risk and Reputation Management by Parminder Vir, OBE. Arthur Nkemeh and Oluwaferanmi Owolabi of Wema Bank PLC also made presentations on Financial Literacy and Customer Experience Management respectively.

        

After the programme , Arthur Nkemeh, Head of SME Banking at Wema Bank PLC, expressed his appreciation:  “We appreciate our partners and facilitators for the programme. Most importantly, I would also like to thank the participants who took time off their busy schedules to be with us in the programme.”

 

“We will continue to organize programmes such as this that will deepen access to capacity development for SMEs in the country. For our customers, we will continue to offer them superlative banking experience that cuts across both financial and non-financial services,” he said.

 

The Wema Bank SME Business School 4.0 was held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Ken Saro Wiwa Road, Port Harcourt from November 14 to 18, 2022.

 

 

Wema Banks comes tops in the 2022 Nigeria Bankers Games

Wema Bank, one of Nigeria’s most innovative banks, emerged the overall winner in the just concluded 2022 edition of the Nigeria Bankers Games with a record-breaking 22 medals. At the end of the games, reputed as the most prestigious sporting competition in the Nigerian banking industry, the bank stood at the top of the medals table having garnered a total of ten gold, seven silver and five bronze medals.

The organizers of the sports fiesta, Media Vision Limited, Nigeria’s leading sports marketing and activation company, in a letter to the bank, congratulated the bank for the feat and commended the Wema bank staff for representing their bank creditably.

“We congratulate Wema Bank for emerging Overall Champions of the Nigeria Bankers Games for the first time with a total haul of 22 medals – 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 5 Bronze. Special commendation must also go to the staff of your organization for their performance, dedication and professionalism throughout the tournament. They have represented your brand excellently and Wema Bank’s involvement was crucial to the success of the tournament,” said Opeoluwa Adeyemo-Anjorin, the Group Head of Media Vision Limited.

“The spirit of sportsmanship and quality of competition exhibited on and off the field of play by the players and supporters of your bank were indeed commendable and aligned with our vision for the Nigeria Bankers Games,” Adeyemo-Anjorin went on to say.

Chief Human Resource Officer, Wema Bank,  Ololade Ogungbenro, commended the staff for the dedication and discipline they exhibited throughout the duration of the games which, in turn, resulted in their emergence as the overall champions of the tournament.

“We are excited, not just for emerging the overall champions of the tournament, but also for the dedication and discipline our staff exhibited at the tournament. It is these attributes that earned the bank the coveted position on the medals table. Some of the reasons the bank participates in sports competitions such as the Nigeria Bankers Games are to boost the staff’s physical and mental fitness as well as foster discipline and bonding with one another,” said Ololade.

She informed that it is the bank’s love for sports that prompted it to participate in the games, having held the Wemalympics, Wema Bank’s inter-regional sports competition in October, where employees from different regions of the country competed for medals in various sporting events including football, athletic events, table tennis, scrabble, chess, arm wrestling, electronic games, among others.

“Our staff are our greatest asset, which is why their health and fitness matter to us. We believe that, in treating employees right and giving them a platform like this, we are putting them in the best shape – mentally and physically – to keep delivering premium customer experience to the public,” She further explained.

 

Nigeria’s Bankers Games is an annual sports festival for employees of Nigerian banks and is aimed at improving work-life balance, providing a platform for networking and employee engagement as well as promoting bonding and healthy workforce.

 

Alleged Fraudulent Transaction In The Aiyetoro Branch of Wema Bank 

 

Wema Bank Increases Benefits On Its Royal Kiddies Account For Children

 

Wema Bank, Nigeria’s Leading innovative financial institution, has rolled out a new benefit for parents and children on its bespoke children’s savings account, Royal Kiddies Account (RKA), in a new campaign to encourage savings and financial prudence.

From November 1, 2022, through January 30, 2023, parents who set up a standing instruction via ALAT or in-branch for the automated funding of their children’s Royal Kiddies Account with a minimum of N10,000 per month, will be eligible for the annual educational award for 20 account holders.

Also, by consistently increasing their Royal Kiddies Account savings, account beneficiaries are automatically positioned to earn more interest, as the RKA offers an attractive interest rate that is 1% higher than the standard savings interest rate

Administrators of the Royal Kiddies Account (parents) are also allowed to deposit dividend warrants and cheques in their child’s or children’s name, and can view and fund the account from anywhere, 24/7 using the ALAT app

Wema Bank’s Divisional Head, Retail Business, Dotun Ifebogun, commented on the campaign, stating that the latest initiative demonstrates the bank’s dynamism in providing innovative solutions that empower customers across all segments and strata and deepens digital adoption and financial inclusion.

This campaign will further boost digital adoption and financial inclusion and emphasizes parents using ALAT to create standing orders. It enables account administrators to perform a variety of advantageous tasks from anywhere at their convenience. “The addition of ALAT to the list of account holder benefits enhances the Royal Kiddies Account’s uniqueness,” he stated.

Dotun added that the campaign was also launched to encourage parents and their children to adopt the habit of regular savings and to provide for their children’s future while rewarding them for their continued loyalty

 

About Wema Bank

Regarded as Nigeria’s most innovative bank and the longest-surviving indigenous Financial Institution in Nigeria, Wema Bank Plc has over the years, diligently offered a range of value-adding banking and financial advisory services to the Nigerian public for 77 years. Incorporated in 1945 as a Private Limited Liability Company under the old name of Agbonmagbe Bank Limited, it commenced banking operations in Nigeria in the same year. Wema Bank subsequently transformed into a Public Limited Liability Company (PLC) in April 1987 and was listed on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange.

 

Wema Bank To Support SMEs In Port Harcourt With SME Business School 4.0

Wema Bank Hosts its 4th SME Business School in Port Harcourt

 

Wema Bank Plc, the pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank, ALAT, has once again demonstrated its unwavering commitment towards developing the capacity of SMEs in Nigeria to scale by launching the fourth edition of its SME Business School in Port Harcourt.

 

Designed to help build capacity for SMEs in the country, Wema Bank’s SME Business School was launched in Lagos in 2021. The second edition took place virtually, while the third edition happened in Abuja. Now making its journey to the South-South geopolitical zone of the country, the initiative has helped to equip SMEs in various parts of the country with the business management knowledge and skills required to effectively run their enterprises and respond to the ever-evolving challenges of today’s business world.

 

According to the Divisional Head, Retail Business at Wema Bank, Dotun Ifebogun, the Wema SME Business School was birthed in a bid to close the critical knowledge gap in the SME space in Nigeria, and each edition of the programme takes place in a different part of the country to ensure that SMEs all around the country participate and benefit.

 

He mentioned that the 4th edition of the Wema SME Business School, which holds in Port Harcourt and starts on Monday, November 14, 2022, would impart contemporary business management skills and knowledge to growing businesses operating within the South-South region of the country. “We intend to make them champions and successful enterprises, thus supporting the economic growth of the country,” he said.

 

He disclosed that the bank has collaborated with top-notch consultants from renowned organizations within and outside Nigeria, including Deloitte, Facebook (Meta), and Nexford University, to serve as facilitators on the programme and ensure that the participants get an immersive and invaluable learning experience.

 

Dotun further noted that the initiative would be a meaningful addition to SMEs seeking to scale and strengthen their market positions.

 

“As an SME-friendly bank, we understand that starting and running a business in Nigeria is no small feat, and there are lots of challenges that SMEs face. 

 

“We started the Wema SME Business School to equip them with relevant and practical knowledge that will guide them in the effective running of their businesses and to surmount any challenges that they encounter.

 

“Through this, we can tackle problems such as poor access to finance, poor market access, technological disruptions, and macroeconomic uncertainty. All in all, we will equip them with fresh ideas and insights that will help them to take their businesses to a higher level,” he said.

 

Businesses interested in leveraging this opportunity and participating in the Wema SME Business School 4.0 can register by clicking HERE. 

 

The Wema SME Business School is one of the various beyond-banking initiatives offered by Wema Bank PLC to complement its bespoke financial offerings for SMEs.

VR glasses

ALAT By Wema wins Overall Best Mobile App in Nigerian Fintech Awards

ALAT By Wema, the first fully digitalized bank in Nigeria, has been named the Overall Best Mobile App in the Nigerian FinTech Awards 2022, beating the other FinTech apps nominated alongside it in the category in the platform’s shortlist. The announcement was made at the award ceremony in Lagos, on Friday 4 November 2022.

 

In its 10th year, the Nigerian Fintech Awards was founded by Fintech Africa, one of Africa’s oldest and most influential publications on financial technology to honour excellence in product designs and service delivery in financial technologies. The Overall Best Mobile App, won by ALAT By Wema, according to the organizers, is in recognition of the digital bank’s contribution to the Fintech world.

 

ALAT By Wema, the first fully digital bank in Nigeria, was launched in May 2017 by Wema Bank Plc, the country’s oldest indigenous commercial bank, to drive transformation and redefine experiential banking in the Nigeria’s banking sector. In its first year, ALAT by Wema gained over 250,000 customers who were responsible for the well over NGN 1.6 billion ($4.48m) deposits. In 2018, the bank closed in the N1 billion ($2.78m) mark in terms of deposits into savings accounts.

 

Olusegun Adeniyi Chief Digital Officer, Wema Bank expressed his joy at the award, saying that the honour is only the icing on the cake of transformation that ALAT By Wema has brought to the banking industry in Nigeria.

 

“We are delighted at being named as the Overall Best Mobile App by the august platform, which is dedicated to honoring excellence in financial technologies and services companies and products. The award is complimentary to the excitement that the multi-award-winning app has brought to its numerous individual and corporate subscribers.” 

 

He informed that ALAT By Wema, which matches customers’ lifestyles, is helping its subscribers save more with access to exclusive group and personal savings, free debit cards, and up to four percent annual interest in savings. 

 

Adeniyi said that since its launch in May 2017, ALAT By Wema, the branchless and paperless bank has reduced the stress of having to walk into a branch to open an account by providing a seamless sign-up process using a mobile phone, PC or tablet. The ALAT By Wema app, unlike other banking apps, provides all the banking services the customer could ask for.

 

“All banking apps only offer some banking services, typically airtime purchases, bill payments and transfers. For example, even with a banking app, customers usually still need to go to a physical bank to get a debit card and activate it, submit documents and often, get some kinds of customer support. This is not the case with ALAT, which was built from scratch to be entirely digital, making all banking services available to the customers anywhere they can access the internet.”

 

 

Agusto Upgrades Wema Bank Funding SPV Series II Bond to ‘Bbb+’, with a Stable Outlook

 

Ratings agency Agusto & Co. has upgraded Wema Bank Funding SPV Plc’s (‘’the Issuer’’ or ‘’the SVP’’) Series II Bond (‘‘the Issue’’ or ‘’the Bond’’) to ‘Bbb+’, with a stable outlook, from the previous ‘Bbb’ score. The Issuer is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up by Wema Bank Plc (‘’the Bank’’ or ‘‘the Sponsor’’) for the issuance of debt securities.

Agusto in its latest rating assessment released on Tuesday said it upgraded the rating of Wema Bank Funding SPV Plc’s Series II ₦17.7 billion seven-year fixed rate bond to ‘Bbb+’ as a result of significant improvement on key metrics of assessment.

‘‘The rating assigned to the bond is hinged on the Sponsor’s upgraded rating of ‘Bbb’ and is a notch higher given that 45% of the bond proceeds was invested in a 13.53%,  7-year Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bond and held in the custody of the Joint Trustees,’’ Agusto & Co. stated in the report.

It further noted that ‘Bbb+’ assigned Wema Bank affirmed the leading financial institution’s improved profitability, satisfactory asset quality and liquidity profile.

‘‘In the unlikely event of a default, this provides some recovery prospects. The upgrade in the rating assigned to Wema Bank reflects its improving profitability metrics, satisfactory asset quality and liquidity profile,’’ the report added.

Commenting on the report, Wema Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ademola Adebise, stated: ‘‘Wema Bank welcomes with excitement this latest positive assessment. This important rating adds to the series of positive outlooks that credible independent global ratings agencies have given to our bank which affirms the resilience of our bank as a stable financial institution. We are buoyed by these positive affirmations to recommit delivering innovative banking and financial solutions that foster inclusive growth for individuals and businesses, and more importantly pushing further Wema Bank’s frontiers as a major enabler of national economic growth.’’

Agusto & Co. explained that the rating validity for the bank subsists up until 10 September 2023, but noted, however, that constraining these positive factors are the elevated operating cost profile, the harsh regulatory environment and prevailing macroeconomic headwinds.

Wema Bank’s fascinating upward trajectory was acknowledged recently when it emerged as the best performing bank in the first half of year 2022 financial year with a weighted average score of 2.83 points ahead of 12 other banks. The Nigerian banking performance HY 2022 prepared by Nairametrics showed that Wema Bank surpassed others on several key metrics including total asset growth, loan book growth, profit growth, cost-to-income ratio movement, and return on average equity.

In similar vein, global rating agency Fitch affirmed Wema Bank’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B-‘ with a Stable Outlook, Viability Rating (VR) at ‘b-‘ and National Long-Term Rating at ‘BBB (nga)’, in July 2022. Amongst the key rating drivers (KRDs), Fitch stated that Wema’s IDRs were driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by its VR. The VR reflects Wema’s small franchise, high credit concentrations, aggressive loan and balance-sheet growth and funding weaknesses. It also reflected good asset quality and expectation of a significant improvement in capitalisation and leverage, due to a material rights issue due to be concluded by end-2022.

Wema Bank’s Webinar to Share Strategies of Growth for Tech Start-ups and SMEs in Nigeria

Wema Bank, Nigeria’s most innovative bank, has announced that the next edition of its quarterly webinar, aimed at assisting the small and medium-scale enterprise (SME) and early-stage start-up segments of its customer base, will hold on Friday, 21 October, 2022 by 10 a.m.

 

Arthur Nkemeh, Head of SME Banking at Wema Bank said the webinar, themed, “From Start-up to Unicorn: Strategies for Sustainably Scaling a Tech Company in Nigeria,” will focus on the strategies that start-ups and SMEs in the tech space in Nigeria can adopt to develop the capacity needed to withstand the challenges facing the tech industry around the world.

 

“We have seen many tech companies in Nigeria and around the world struggle to raise funds, lay off their employees and slash their workers’ salaries in recent times. We want to utilize this webinar to share insights with the tech start-up and SME community in Nigeria on the strategies that they can adopt to navigate these challenges and build structures that will ensure that they will continue to grow.”

 

He further said that the October webinar will address some of the biggest challenges facing the tech start-ups and tech-enabled SMEs in the country – such as managerial capacity, talent acquisition and retention, access to credit and partnerships, among others – and find the right path to profitability.

 

“The year 2022 has been very challenging for many tech companies, not just in Nigeria, but around the world. However, we have seen, with the success being recorded by some tech companies within and outside Nigeria, that most of the challenges facing this sector are surmountable if the companies are given the right boost. The webinar will avail tech startups and tech-oriented SMEs ups with the tools that they need to grow.”

 

Nkemeh informed that Ashim Egunjobi, Managing Partner of Octerra Capital; Oluwole Oyeniran, Enterprise Technology and Performance Leader and TMT Leader for Deloitte in West Africa; and Eyitayo Ogunmola, founder and CEO of Utiva, have been confirmed as guest speakers at the webinar.

 

The Head of SME Banking at Wema Bank noted that Wema Bank’s quarterly SME Webinar series, which is aimed at facilitating the growth of the SME and early-stage startup sectors in Nigeria, is borne out of the bank’s understanding of the role these sectors play in the Nigerian economy and the immense potentials that they hold.

 

“According the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the MSMEs sector has over 37 million MSMEs, employs over 54 million skilled and unskilled labour and contributes about 54 percent to GDP of the country. Tech start-ups, on the other hand, have been at the forefront of innovation across various sectors in the country. Wema Bank sees these contributions as cogent and makes these start-ups and SMEs worthy of all the support they can get. The quarterly webinar series is one of the ways Wema Bank demonstrates its support to the growth of these all-important businesses,” Nkemeh concluded.

 

FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30th SEPTEMBER 2022

 

 

WEMA Bank Plc. Reports Gross Earnings of N93.85bn, a 52% growth rate For The 9 Months Ended 30th September 2022.

 

LAGOS, NIGERIA – October 28, 2022 – Wema Bank PLC (Bloomberg: Wema NL) (“Wema’ or “the Bank”), announces its unaudited results for the 9 months ended 30th September 2022.

 

The bank recorded Gross Earnings of ₦93.85bn, a y/y increase of 52% (9m 2021: ₦61.57bn). Interest Income up 57% y/y to ₦78.48bn (9m 2021: ₦50.04bn). Non-Interest Income up 33% y/y to ₦15.38bn (9m 2021: ₦11.57bn). Profit before Tax (PBT) was ₦9.46bn a y/y increase of 31% over the ₦7.21bn reported in 9m 2021. Profit after Tax (PAT) also increased y/y by 31% to ₦8.19bn (₦6.24bn in 9m 2021).

 

The bank grew its deposit year to date by 16% as at 9m’ 2022 to ₦1,079.58bn from ₦927.47bn reported in FY 2021. Loans and Advances rose by 10% to ₦461.92bn in 9m’2022 from ₦419bn in FY, 2021.

 

Income statement (N’bn) 9m 2022 9m 2021 (∆)
Gross Earnings 93.85 61.57 52%
Net Interest Income 38.47 28.46 35%
Interest Income 78.48 50.04 57%
Non-interest income 15.38 11.57 33%
Operating Income 51.72 39.17 32%
Operating expense 42.26 31.96 32%
Profit before Tax 9.46 7.21 31%
     
Balance Sheet (N’bn) 9m 2022 FY 2021 (∆)
Total Assets 1,335.36 1,164.52 15%
Loans and Advances

(net)

461.92 418.86 10%
Total Deposits 1,079.58 927.47 16%
Shareholder’s Funds 75.46 70.36 7%
     
Ratio (%) 9m 2022 9m 2021 (∆)
Return on Average

Equity

17.31 15.04 15%
Return on Average

Asset

1.01 0.90 12%
Net Interest Margin 6.57 6.37 3%
Yield on Asset 16.33 11.20 46%

 

Commenting on the result, the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Ademola Adebise said,

 

‘The impressive results are built around three core areas; strong management of our credit exposures despite a difficult economic and regulatory landscape; increased customer acquisition and wallet share of those customers and a stronger focus on the corporate and SME segments. We expect the bottom line to improve even further in the final quarter of the year.

 

Also speaking on the result, the bank’s Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Tunde Mabawonku, explained that the bank’s continuous investment in digital assets is a contributing factor to the strong performance in the last quarter.

 

“It has been a good 9 months with our earnings growing by 52% year on year and earnings per share at 84.9kobo,” Mabawonku said.

 

“This performance is a result of our ability to translate our digital play in two ways. One, by making ourselves the key partner for FinTechs in the country, and secondly by improving customer satisfaction through improved services and features on our digital platforms. ‘In addition, we have managed to navigate the turbulent economic and regulatory spaces with a strong focus on cost management and reduction while also driving business in attractive sectors.

 

[END]

 

 

For further information, please contact:

Wema Bank Investor Relations

Investor.relations@wemabank.com

+234 (01) 2778600

 

Download this document HERE 

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5 Ways to Innovate Your Business and Stay Ahead of the Competition

Dear Business Owner,

What readily comes to mind when people think about business innovation is product innovation. Contrary to this popular belief, business innovation goes way beyond just product innovation.

 

In this edition of the Wema Bank SME Newsletter, we will bring to you the different innovation that you can implement as a business owner to differentiate your company from its competitors and help it gain competitive advantage.

 

1. Product Innovation: Product innovation is the most obvious form of business innovation. It involves the development of a product or service that significantly improves existing products or services in the market. This improvement can be in the functionality's form, design, or look and feel.

 

For a while, it seemed like we had reached peak innovation in smartphone technology, as new smartphone models released by popular brands like Apple and Samsung did not differ significantly in functionality or design from their predecessors. That was until the Chinese company, Royole, in 2018, launched the first commercially available smartphone with a foldable screen, the Royole Flexpai.

 

The foldable smartphone technology is now considered a game-changer and the next big thing in the smartphone industry and other companies like Samsung and Huawei have since rolled out their own versions of the foldable smartphone.

 

2. Process Innovation: While product innovation deals with a tangible or intangible item, process innovation is systemic. It focuses on making meaningful improvements to internal operations, activities, tools, and techniques like production method, delivery method, equipment, and software to reduce cost or turnaround time and boost revenue. You can achieve process innovation through technology and digitalization, and its major aim is to improve efficiency and effectiveness in production and service delivery.

 

At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many Nigerians could no longer visit the branches of banks to perform transactions because of restrictions on movement. Those who did so had to queue up for several hours before being attended to.

 

To address this challenge and make banking more convenient for their customers, many Nigerian banks upgraded their banking apps and made it possible for their customers to perform almost all banking transactions with the use of a web or mobile app. Today, individuals and businesses can even open bank accounts and apply for loans online, without having to visit a branch or interface with any banker.

 

3. Marketing Innovation: Marketing innovation seeks to capture the imagination of a company's target customers, arouse their interest, and hold their attention well and long enough to motivate them to check out and buy its product or service.

 

In 1984, Nike – which was then a struggling, small US footwear manufacturing company – signed a deal with promising basketball rookie, Michael Jordan, to market its customized brand of athletic shoes, the Air Jordan. Back then, the NBA permitted players to only wear white shoes. However, Jordan went against this rule and whenever he was in the court, his red, black and white shoes stood out and were easily noticeable amidst the sea of uniform shoes that every other player was wearing.

 

As Jordan's fame and success increased, so did the popularity and sale of Nike's shoes. While Nike expected to only make $3 million in sales in the first four years of the deal, it ended up making $126 million in the first year alone. It has proven to be one of the shrewdest and most lucrative marketing partnerships in history. Jordan has since become a billionaire and the richest former athlete in the world and Nike has since become the largest footwear company in the world.

 

4. Technological Innovation: Technological innovation is the application of technology to boost the performance and efficiency of business processes, products, or services. It can involve the application of technology to erstwhile manual processes or the replacement of outdated equipment and software with significantly improved versions.

 

It is important to note that it is not every business innovation that involves technology. We can achieve some innovations without technology. Likewise, it is not all technological improvements that can be classified as innovation. Technological innovation can also overlap with other forms of innovation, such as product and process innovation. Hence, an innovation can be both a product innovation and a technological innovation.

 

Though not entirely new, virtual assistants and chatbots have recently gained widespread acceptance in the business world. Many organizations now deploy them to provide first-level responses to customer complaints and frequently asked questions, digitalizing large parts of the customer support process and reducing the need for human interface (and dedicated personnel) to high-level issues.

 

5. Business Model Innovation: In simple terms, a business model is a company's strategy for carrying out its business, creating and delivering value to its customers and making money. It involves everything from market segmentation to product development and from revenue model to partnerships.

 

For instance, Netflix enables users to stream thousands of movies and TV shows with an app for a monthly subscription fee. Similarly, Coca Cola sells soft drink concentrates and syrups to bottling companies around the world, who then add water and fizz and sell the bottled drinks to final consumers through a chain of distributors, wholesalers, and retailers.

 

Business model innovation is the most radical, challenging, and unpredictable form of innovation, because it involves changing or making noteworthy modifications to an existing business model. For Netflix, this may entail building cinemas where subscribers can physically go to watch movies instead of streaming them via an app. For Coca Cola, it may entail bottling its soft drink concentrates and syrups by itself, which will entail buying over all of its bottling company partners or building its own bottling factories from scratch.

 

You should only go the route of business model innovation if your existing business model is failing or if a different business model offers a much better prospect than your current business model.

 

Key Takeaways

 

Having gone through some of the major forms of innovation that you can implement in your business, it is important to point out that innovation should be a continuous activity and not a one-off event. One-off innovation can give you a temporary edge over your competitors, but it is only through continuous innovation that you can sustain that competitive advantage.

 

With so much information out there, getting intel on a competitor's innovation, is – sometimes – only a few clicks of a button or phone calls away, making it relatively easy for your competitors to figure out and replicate your innovation. Shifting demands of consumers can as well render an innovation obsolete.

 

You also shouldn't rely on one form of innovation. It is important that you continuously explore opportunities for innovation across all aspects of your business, from product development to operations and from marketing to service delivery. That way you will always be one step ahead of the competition and before your competitors can decipher your innovation, you have already moved on to the next one.

 

Chinedu Nnawetanma

RETAIL AND SME