The Fidelity SME Forum Online began in April 2020 as a medium through which SMEs could be empowered against the background of the uncertainties and instabilities brought on businesses and households by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the month of May 2020, there was a decision to have the SME Forum Online focus on industry niches and this proved to be a brilliant idea as the episodes have been back to back successes.
The first was a focus on the Food Industry and the guest on the show was Mr. Olagoke Balogun, CEO/Co-Founder, So Fresh Nigeria who spoke on ‘How To Thrive in a Tough Economy – Key Insights for Food Companies’. One of our key insights from this session was that in this industry, hedging the business against volatilities in the cost of inputs for instance, which the sector has suffered on account of the pandemic, is a major success factor. This hedging can be done by stocking up on non-perishable items such that when movements in the cost of such items occur, the effect on the business is zero or at best, minimal.
The second episode of the industry niche focus series was directed at the Beauty industry. It featured Kemi Lewis of KLS Natural Beauty Bar who shared insights and experiences on ‘Building a Sustainable Brand in an Economic Downturn: Key Insights for the Beauty Industry’. In the course of her time on the programme, she taught us that having a deep desire to continually provide value is the first step to making sure your brand is solid and sustainable and able to withstand shocks that come with periods of economic downturn.
Our third episode in this series had us speaking with Obi Iyiegbu, Founder of the popular Cubana Group on ‘The Hospitality Industry & COVID-19: Managing The Disruptions to Stay Afloat’. Our key takeaway from his story was that being dynamic enough to evolve as operating circumstances change, is the key to surviving the pandemic and staying afloat. Be it by diversifying your services or making sure you are strategic in the utilization of your staff as brand ambassadors on online platforms for instance, you must definitely keep innovating and evolving to stay afloat.
Ubi Franklin came on the show for the fourth episode and we discussed the Entertainment Industry and ‘How to Grow an Entertainment Business in an Economic Downturn.’ The answer? Having the right systems, structures and partnerships. With these three (3), you can weather any economic storm and build an invincible entertainment business.
We still have a lot more in store and urge you to go read the insights from the past sessions, on @FidelityBankPlc on either Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.
As always, stay focused, stay empowered and stay safe.