Widely acknowledged as one of the leading African entrepreneurs – and recipient of the Forbes Africa Award and Euro-knowledge Award in 2020, for his philanthropy – Mr. Ahmadu, founder and Chairman of Nigerian Fintech firm Innovate1Pay has called on business leaders to contextualize their 2021 strategies, in light of the lessons learnt from the disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. He emphasised the importance of people-centric leadership, and the financial inclusion enabled by Fintech, as key elements for an optimal economic recovery in 2021.
“2020 tested most business models severely. Leaders have had to rely on frequent and effective communication with their organizations”, said Mr. Ahmadu. “We have witnessed a more forensic attention to the details of business models, and tighter cost controls than before the pandemic. Under immense financial pressure, and few available options, businesses realized the importance of collaborative support, from partners and suppliers, as well as the true value of the human capital within their organizations and the goodwill of their customer base.”
“Managing businesses remotely has reinforced the value of innovation, empowering decision makers at all levels of an organization, and the transformative power of emerging technologies”, Mr. Ahmadu added.
Mr. Ahmadu further added “In Africa, where formal infrastructure can often be inadequate, Fintech played a prominent role in empowering migrant workers to send monies to their loved ones under lockdown. Civil society, especially the significant African diaspora, was able to come together and extend support to the needy, despite limitations on physical movement”.
“Fintech emerged as a prime example of the huge positives that appropriate innovation and technology deliver. But the implications are much wider. As the global economy reopens, the most important insight we can draw from 2020 is the impact of a people-centric approach and technology, to get us through an unprecedented crisis. Leveraging these strategies effectively will continue to be our strength, if we are to thrive in the new normal”, Mr. Ahmadu concluded.