• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Building sound business structure with a board of directors

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Worldwide, it has been proven that for a small business to manage growth, the right people must be put in place and a board of directors helps in establishing the necessary processes and procedures to actualise a company’s goals. These were the words of Chris Ogbechie, a professor at the Lagos Business School, as he came on board as chairman of Domino Information Company Limited (DICL), recently.

DICL, a firm in its fifth year of existence, has been adjudged the 12th fastest growing SME in Nigeria this year. To sustain its speedy growth, achieve greater heights and manage expected future growth, this month, the firm established one of the tenets of good corporate governance structures by establishing a board of directors.

Uzo Nduka, chief executive, DICL, the driver of the innovative information inventiveness the firm is known for, said the company was ripe enough to bring on board men and women with good skills sets/experience to help solidify the company’s structure. Fully conscious of the company’s goals and aspirations, five distinguished board members were chosen to guide the company’s next level of growth.

Nduka said after the inauguration of the board and first board meeting, “the newly inaugurated board of DICL has offered its direction and guidance regarding the various strategic actions that need to be executed to move the company forward at a quicker pace. We have five new highly respected individuals who have joined us as board members, with Chris Ogbechie of the Lagos Business School as board chairman, Alfred Idogho, a retired general, Emmanuel Etomi, Ekere Essien and the only lady, Altine Jibrin, all with proven track records in various fields of endeavour. This is quite a strong and formidable board and the number one strategic action discussed at length is enhancing the governance system and structure of the company to strengthen it as one of the leaders in the SME sub-sector.”

Affirming that, Ogbechie said the firm had taken a step in the right direction, saying “one of the challenges of small businesses as they grow is ensuring that they have the right structure in place, that they have the executive capacity to sustain the growth and grow even further.

As the 12th fastest growing company in Nigeria and as an information company that is known for innovation, it is important that DICL maintains that momentum. It has to move even beyond the shores of Nigeria.”

He added: “If a business wants to move to the next level, then it must have a proper structure and having a board with people who are not members of the family but can add value would help the business actualise its visions and dreams.”

He, therefore, urged small business owners to realise that what made them succeed today might not necessarily make them succeed tomorrow, saying “to evolve as a company, as you grow, you need to put the right processes in place and a board will help do that. Even in Lagos Business School, we keep telling businesses of the need to have a board.”

According to him, having a board can help a business increase its chances of accessing funds from institutional lenders or investors. “Banks deal with other people’s money and they need to ensure that whoever they lend the money to can make good use of it and repay.

If a business goes to the capital market to raise funds, prospective investors want to buy shares of a company that would stand the test of time and would be able to pay their dividends. Providers of funds look at the people behind the company, to know if the members of the company’s board are credible, reliable people with good track record before releasing their money,” he said.

To him also, a board helps a company stand the test of time by providing guidance in succession planning.

 

OLUYINKA ALAWODE