Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, in his keynote address at the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) Sharing Experience Series 2023, described telecoms as an industry that empowers both individuals and organizations, by eliminating certain barriers simply by connecting people.
Speaking on the theme: “Leading to Impact,” He explicated his experience and lessons which he has gathered over time, sharing how his diverse work background has given him a wide-ranging perspective that has helped him lead Airtel as an organization. He also shared practical advice and leadership principles for developing effective and impactful leadership.
He stated in his remarks that “Companies keep competing with the past, and capturing market opportunities requires you to compete into the future without losing focus of the present. It’s either you are satisfied with your previous experiences or you keep looking out for future achievements. It is essential for every individual and organization to have a purpose because something must drive you asides profit making, and you will be amazed at how that will drive you into the height of success that you intend to accomplish”.
Ogunsanya while speaking on the impact of telecoms on driving growth in Nigeria, said that Airtel is able to transform lives by connecting people not only to their loved ones, but also to their passion, experiences and opportunities noting specially, Airtel Africa’s $57Million partnership with UNICEF, connecting schools in the 14 African countries of its operations to the internet thereby granting African Children access to digital learning with 620 schools across Nigeria already connected.
Speaking on how Airtel is fostering gender diversity, financial and digital Inclusion across Africa, he said, “Airtel just launched a program called ‘Airtel Women Network’, to encourage women to take an active part in technology. Through this platform, we are encouraging our women through mentorship and networking, and at the end of the day, we want them to be able to pitch ideas to us and get the resources to fund projects in the long run. I encourage diversity not because it is the right thing to do, but because it adds diverse value to an organization.”
“In the area of driving financial inclusion, through our Payment Service Bank, Smartcash PSB, we are able to connect people in the rural areas to financial activities, and we are also using this platform to drive women empowerment programs where we train women to become PSB agents”, he said.
The NBCC Sharing Experience Series was designed 2 years ago to provide a platform for accomplished leaders in the organized private sector to share their experiences in the areas of entrepreneurship and professional careers. Previous editions have seen speakers like the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, Founder/CRO, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, Adenike Ogunlesi, and others.