Niyi Adenubi is the Co-Founder and Executive Director, Institutional Business & Investor Relations of VFD Group Plc, a proprietary investment company based in Lagos. Adenubi, a trained investment banker with over 10 years of hands-on experience in Private Equity, Venture Capitalism, and Financial Advisory started his banking career in his mid-20s in London and at various instances, he has played specific oversight on Corporate Governance and Financial Advisory roles to numerous firms both in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom, most notably with the Royal Bank of Scotland and ATOS Consulting.
In this recent interview with Eleni Giokos of CNN Marketplace Africa, Adenubi, bares his mind on a range of issues including the success of the Group’s digital bank, V bank, and expansion plans.
At what point did you begin to think of starting a firm?
In my mid-20s, I was an investment banker in London. After about three or four years in investment banking consulting, I started thinking about my country and the continent. I started thinking of how to build businesses and create values in that space. My only expertise is investment banking so very quickly I set up an investment management firm called Paragon Partners and since that time we created 10-year strategies to build out initially a financial service holding company now a diversified investment company looking at financial services, power, education, and media – which is VFD Group.
Reading through the VFD Group corporate strategies, it is interesting to see a word about holding a positively socially conscious ecosystem. Do you really go in with this socially conscious kind of agenda?
I think the balance is extremely important. When we came up with those concepts, for us sustainability was very important. So, we want a sustainable business that is profitable but is also socially conscious. We are building people; we are lifting people out of poverty; we are giving people a chance to access capital either debt financing for their businesses or equity financing for their businesses as they go on to employ people. And those things matter to us because without that sustainability you cannot build that ecosystem and a country that has viable jobs for the young population. That was very key to what we were trying to achieve. However, if you do all those things and you do not make money you are also unsustainable
In terms of market shares, what are you aiming for and what is the next phase for you?
Some of that information is private and confidential but what I will tell you is that we are on track till half year 2021 to gain about 15% of the total banking market for our platform and once we do that we’ve ascertained that V bank is already a success. We would go from there to build. The initial plan was 15% to 20% of the initial banking market and either way, we are on track to meet that target even before half year next year.
What is the most exciting sector for you right now, where are you seeing the best opportunity coupled with the social impact you say. Where are you seeing the best alignment at the moment?
I will say easily it’s in financial technology. I know that’s been oversold but I think the story of Africa cannot over-sell the concept of involving 80% to 90% of the entire population bringing them into the financial space and banking sector. Till today, I think we still have about 40 million accounts, out of a population of 200 million. We will probably look at the power sector too as it is also an interesting space; Fintech also, definitely; and as we go along, we continue to transition.
Clearly, you and your team are thinking of the long term so what is the plan in 5 to 10 years, do you want to be a Pan African banking giant or group across many sectors?
We want to be a Pan African Investment company. We are already looking at Ghana and we have started a conversation in Ghana. We are looking to deploy a small payment bank in Ghana using the V Bank platform. From Ghana, we also looking at Kenya- it’s a very exciting market. We definitely have ambition for Africa and if we get lucky in our lifetime, we will go global, but I am quite hopeful that we can land in Africa.
Adidas Terminates Contract With Kanye West Over Controversial Remarks
Adidas has parted ways with famous U.S rapper Kanye West over his anti-semitic remarks
The largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, Adidas has parted ways with famous U.S rapper Kanye West over his anti-semitic remarks.
The company, which signed a $1.5 billion partnership deal with West, said it does not tolerate antisemitism or any form of hate speech which was displayed by West earlier this month.
Adidas said in a post, “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
The sportswear manufacturer had come under increasing pressure to drop the controversial musician following his unnecessary comment or risk customers backlash.
Addidas split with the U.S rapper would see the company ending production of West Yeezy branded products which encompass sneakers and clothing, and will also stop every form of payment to him and his company.
Why Did Adidas Terminate Kenye West Partnership Deal?
Earlier this month at his YZY 9 Paris Fashion Week show, Kanye debuted his clothing brand of “White Lives Matter” shirts which he posted on Instagram but was later taken down by the platform citing anti-Semitic remarks.
West later moved to Twitter, where he posted a photo of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and himself doing karaoke.“How you gone kick me off Instagram” he captioned it.
He continued to publicize his anti-Semitic comment despite an outcry to stop. Before calling it a day that day, he wrote, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.
“The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jews also You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone whoever opposes your agenda [sic]”.
The tweet has since been deleted after being flagged for violating Twitter rules.
With the recent termination of his deal with Adidas Forbes reports that West could lose his billionaire status as there are speculations that his wealth could plummet to below $ 1 billion.
It would be recalled that Investors King on October 18, 2022, reported that West made a move to purchase Parler an American alt-tech social networking service to promote free speech due to his recent restriction from Instagram and Twitter.
Samsung Launches Its Lastest Mobile Device, ‘Galaxy A04s’ in Nigeria
Samsung has unveiled its latest mobile device, the ‘Galaxy A04s’ in the Nigerian market
Multinational electronics manufacturing company Samsung has unveiled its latest mobile device, the ‘Galaxy A04s’ in the Nigerian market.
The new device comes in various colors such as Black, Green, White, and Copper, and is packed with a 3GB, 4B RAM with 64GB and 128GB internal storage, Investors King understands.
The A04s also supports Dual SIM and is built with a glass front, plastic back, and plastic frame. It features a triple camera: 50 MP (wide) + 2 MP (macro) + 2 MP (depth) while on the front there is an 5 MP (wide) camera.
Samsung’s launch of this device reinforces the company’s commitment in providing affordable yet quality devices that address the daily needs of consumers.
Following the launch of its latest device in the Nigerian market, Managing Director, Samsung Nigeria Charlie Lee said, “Today is quite remarkable as we introduce Galaxy A04s, ‘The Eagle’. People want a device that is convenient, safe and affordable.
“They want a device that is a one-stop shop to enjoy watching movies, playing games and be productive at the same time.
“Galaxy A04s, another pocket-friendly mobile device from Samsung has been launched in Nigeria to edge out competition, ahead of other emerging markets.
“The Galaxy A04s is an impressive device at excellent value that builds on our growing Galaxy A Series portfolio”.
“With the Galaxy A04s, our customers can experience next-generation performance, demonstrating Samsung’s commitment to providing accessible devices without compromising on quality.”
Following the current economic situation ravaging the country, Joy Tim-Ayoola, HOD MX division added that Samsung through a pay small small scheme called Flex Pay has provided the opportunity for consumers to buy the device and pay in 3-12 months’ installment with as low as N11,000 per month.
She also stated that users of the device can also repair their screens for as low as N12,500 with no limits to frequency or time. Samsung’s launch of its A04s is coming a year after it launched the A03s in 2021.
Dangote Industries Wins ECOWAS’ Brand of The Decade Award
Dangote Industries Limited has won ECOWAS Outstanding Indigenous Conglomerate of the Decade
Africa’s largest business conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited has won ECOWAS Outstanding Indigenous Conglomerate of the Decade.
It was a show of accolades as the Dangote brand was named the number one brand by all standards with its Sugar and Cement production which has contributed tremendously to the infrastructure development not only in Nigeria but Africa in the last 10 years.
Speaking at the event which was held in Lagos, John Ajayi, Publisher/CEO of Marketing Edge Publications noted that the award to Dangote brands are in recognition of its leadership and domination in the various market segments and categories which span several countries in Africa.
Mr Anthony Chiejina, Group chief, branding & communications officer, Dangote Industries noted that Dangote Industries remains at the forefront of African enterprise and that the brand, since its inception, has touched the lives of many by providing their basic needs.
Some of the awards won during the Marketing Edge Magazine’s 2022 summit included Outstanding Indigenous Conglomerate won by Dangote Industries Limited, Cement Brand of the Decade as well as Sugar Brand of the Decade
Investors King had earlier reported that Dangote Industries Ltd. (DIL) won the most admired brand in Africa for the fifth consecutive year in a row.
During the award presentation, Group Chief Commercial Officer of Dangote Industrial Limited, Mr Rabiu Umar said “The company had risen a notch higher as a global brand with the export of Dangote Fertiliser to many countries of the world. People now identify with the brand and in all the countries where we operate, Dangote Cement has become a reference point.
“We are touching lives by providing their basic needs and empowering Africans more than ever before, creating jobs, reducing capital flight, and helping the government to conserve foreign exchange drain by supporting different industrial and infrastructural projects of African governments.
We fervently believe that only Africans can develop Africa, and this gives us a stronger sense of relevance in all the countries where we have our operations”. He concluded.
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