Enobong Kennedy is the marketing director- Emerging Markets and Africa, ZOLA Electric, is a leading renewable energy technology company solving Energy Access and Energy Equality in emerging markets.
She is a well-versed marketing professional and an accomplished senior executive with over 14 years of specialized experience growing and managing businesses.
Enobong possesses interdisciplinary experience, having worked in the financial, technology, digital marketing, and logistic sectors.
She is reputed for providing last-mile solutions in the world of sales and marketing. She is a venture builder and a pioneer of several businesses.
Over her decade-long career, Enobong has worked with a broad range of organisations from start-ups to enterprises and cultivated multiple market segments from the base of the pyramid, all the way upstream.
Enobong brings a wealth of experience to Zola Electric from companies such as the United Bank for Africa, Kobo360, and Mall for Africa. A thoroughbred professional, who spends her spare time mentoring women-led enterprises, promoting economic advancement for women and youth. She is currently a mentor for the Seedstars Mentor Network.
As a woman, she has faced several challenges, being in sectors dominated by men, but she remains undaunted.
“One of the challenges we face as women in the workplace is the lack of assertiveness. It comes naturally to men to take charge and domineer while women wait for the opportunity to be presented to them,” she says.
“But I personally have not allowed myself to be held back, and never allow the gender limitation in my career,” she further says.
“My over 14 years of corporate experience spans across several industries and over 10 countries and yet I have not worked with many women in the c-suite roles,” she adds.
Speaking on some of the secrets behind her career milestone having worked across sectors, she says her wins are more inclined to social impact and data than anything else.
“As a marketing professional access to the right data can help you target the right customer segment, therefore, increasing return on investments for your organization,” she explains.
“This strategy allows me to take calculated risks in brand building,” she notes.
When asked why many businesses in Nigeria, especially SMEs, fail within the first three years, she gives several reasons.
“Most founders build products and services that appeal to only them, and I have been guilty of this,” she states
According to her, lack of proper understanding of the market is a major factor why businesses fail within the first three to five years.
“It is ok to adopt a new business idea as seen in the western world, but we must understand that the African market is a different ball game, especially as we lack sufficient data to understand the customer segment.”
She points out that navigating the barriers in the Nigerian landscape is also a big challenge. “Other reasons why businesses fail, especially in Africa, are the lack of infrastructure, intra-trade opportunities, lack of finance and an unwillingness to diversify,” she says.
Enobong is currently studying for an MBA from the London Business School, also has a BA in Marketing from Anglia Ruskin University. She is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK. She serves as the vice president of Marketing & Communications in the Black in Business Club & the Africa club of London Business School.