Ford Motor’s India head Anurag Mehrotra has quit the company to pursue other career opportunities, days after the United States’automaker said it would stop making cars in the Asian nation, taking a hit of $2 billion.
Mehrotra, according to his LinkedIn profile, has spent over a decade with Ford in India across multiple roles, including marketing, sales and most recently as president and managing director.
September 30 will be Mehrotra’s last day, a source with knowledge of the information told Reuters.
Mehrotra did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ford India said in its statement it has put its director of manufacturing, Balasundaram Radhakrishnan, in charge of overseeing its restructuring in the country.
Ford’s decision to stop making cars in India ends its more than two-decade long presence in a market it no longer sees as profitable. The move will affect around 4,000 employees, the company has said.
Ford is the fifth major automaker to cease vehicle manufacturing in India since 2017, following exits by General Motors and Harley Davidson from a market that is dominated by Asian rivals.
Despite being in India since the mid-1990s, Ford has less than two per cent share of the passenger vehicle market and was using about 20 per cent of its total production capacity of 440,000 cars a year across two plants.
Ford said earlier this month it plans to wind down production at its western India plant by the end of this year and at its southern India plant by the second quarter of next year.
Theannouncement has upset hundreds of its factory workers, some of whom protested the decision this week.
Cadbury Nigeria Recognised For Human Resource Management
Cadbury Nigeria Plc announced that it had been recognised as a top employer by the Netherlands-based Top Employers Institute, even as it stressed the importance of employee well-being.
Cadbury Nigeria, a subsidiary of Mondelēz International, made the announcement in a statement released on Wednesday as part of the celebration of its third annual purpose day.
The consumer goods manufacturer said it held a webinar for its employees anchored by experts in healthcare management.
The Managing Director, Cadbury Nigeria, Mrs. Oyeyimika Adeboye, said the company takes the well-being of its employees seriously, adding that they would give their best if they had the right mental attitude.
“That is the reason we organised the webinar by bringing in experts from Helen Keller International to speak to us on well-being, as part of our Purpose Day,” she said.
Adeboye added that the growing importance of holistic well-being made the company focus its annual Purpose Day activities this year exclusively on well-being in the areas of mind, body and connection.
The Country Director, Helen Keller International, Ms. Philomena Orji, was quoted as saying during her presentation, “Helen Keller is dedicated to scaling up evidence-based, cost-effective solutions to improve care practices and ensure that basic health interventions reach vulnerable people, with a focus on women, youth, and children.”
BOC Gases Nigeria Plc Rebrands to Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria Plc Following Acquisition
BOC Gases Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s leading manufacturer of industrial and medical gases, has changed its name to Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria Plc following an additional 60 percent acquisition by TY Holdings Limited in August.
TY Holdings Limited acquired a 60 percent stake owned by BOC Holdings UK to take its total stake in the company to 72 percent.
The company disclosed in a statement signed by Ayodeji Oseni, the Company’s Managing Director.
The statement reads, “The change of name is sequel to the purchase of 60% of BOC Gases Nigeria Plc, which was formerly controlled by BOC Holdings UK (a member of the Linde Group) by TY Holdings Limited. This has also resulted in the change of the Company’s logo and trademark.
“The Company has obtained a new certificate of incorporation from the Corporate Affairs Commission.”
MFS Africa Acquires Baxi, Expand Operations Into Africa’s Largest Economy
MFS Africa, the largest pan-African digital payments hub, announced it had signed an agreement to acquire Baxi, one of Nigeria’s largest independent SME-focused electronic payment networks. The deal, which is subject to approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, will be the second-highest fintech acquisition in Nigeria to date.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy is the largest remittance market in Africa with one-third of intra-Africa remittance flows. MFS Africa’s presence in Nigeria to date has been limited given the country’s small number of mobile wallets. With the acquisition of Baxi, MFS Africa will expand its pan-African network into Nigeria, connecting Nigerian businesses to the continent and the rest of the world.
According to MFS Africa Founder and CEO Dare Okoudjou, he said, “this deal is a pivotal step in our journey. By combining Baxi’s network of SMEs operating as agents with our pan-African network, we aim to take Nigeria’s SMEs to the rest of Africa and the world. Our expansion into Nigeria brings us one step closer in our mission of making borders matter less,”
Baxi was founded in 2014 by Degbola Abudu and Folu Majekodunmi, the electronic payment network provides a cash-in/cash-out offering as well as value-added services — account opening, money transfer, bill payment and more — to the last mile. Through its network of more than 90,000 agents, Baxi has already processed over USD 1 Billion in transactions this year.
Following the acquisition’s close, MFS Africa will build Baxi into a key node on its digital payment network, allowing customers to make regional and global payments to and from Nigeria. MFS Africa will also expand Baxi’s proposition for offline SMEs to select markets within MFS Africa’s footprint of 320 million mobile wallets across more than 35 African countries.
Previous restrictions to mobile network operators’ participation in mobile money services have restrained the sector’s growth in Nigeria. To serve the more than 55% of Nigerian consumers currently excluded from formal financial services, Nigerian fintechs that have built strong agent networks are the crucial interface to reach Nigeria’s ~31m financially underserved and ~67m financially unserved populations. Supporting and nurturing SMEs is crucial to Nigeria’s economy, as they contribute 50% of Gross Domestic Product and provide 76% of jobs. With its presence in 36 Nigerian states, Baxi fills a critical gap by providing unbanked Nigerians and informal SMEs access to financial services.
The focus areas of both companies are complementary. Baxi simplifies and integrates online and offline payments for SMEs and merchants in Nigeria through its omnichannel distribution network. MFS Africa simplifies cross-border payments, integrating payments via one hub.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the MFS Africa team to expand our service offering for individuals and SMEs. We believe that we’ve barely scratched the market’s potential. Only 3% of Nigerian SMEs have access to credit products. By teaming up with MFS Africa, and with the strong support of our local commercial banking partners, we can offer more value-added products and services, such as cross-border payments, to support Nigerian SMEs in their growth,” said Degbola Abudu, Baxi CEO.
Baxi acquisition is MFS Africa’s third acquisition in five years, seeing the pan-African payments giant expand into Africa’s largest economy, where its presence to date has been limited given the country’s small number of mobile wallets. Capricorn will be called MFS Africa but its core product, Baxi, retains its name.
Both parties declined to disclose the value of the deal, however, Capricorn Founder and CEO, Degbola Abudu, in a call with TechCabal said the deal is the second-largest of its kind in Nigeria’s fintech space, behind the $200 million Stripe paid for Paystack last year.
MFS Africa was founded in 2009 by Dare Okoudjou, a Beninese national, while Nigeria-born Abudu started Capricorn in 2014, with Folu Majekodunmi. The acquisition creates a larger, more versatile company that fuses interoperability between money operators and a super-agent network reaching the mass market.
MFS Africa’s big vision is to have a presence in all 54 African countries, serving 500 million people and millions of small businesses, according to Okoudjou. He said, “if you have a phone or POS, it should be enough to transact with the rest of Africa and the world, we’re building the foremost, currency-agnostic, real-time hub for payments on the continent, to enable people to transfer money the way they can call each other.”
Often, MFS Africa’s continental expansion plan has involved partnering with money operators and making minority investments in other fintech companies across Africa, as in the case of Julaya, Maviance, and Numida.
However, Okoudjou explains that the company opts for full acquisition when both parties consider that a more effective way to achieve their shared long-term ambitions.
“The more we spoke with Dee, the more we realised what we could achieve with a full acquisition instead of being only investors in which case there could be misaligned incentives.”
Okoudjou further explains that the need to “bolster our presence in Nigeria” given its unique market features—the prevalence of offline payment touchpoints over mobile-first transactions—drove MFS Africa’s interest in Capricorn.
“In other markets, one or two partnerships with mobile money operators could see us reach 60% of digital payment users in the country. However, mobile money isn’t that widely adopted in Nigeria. Instead, agent networks such as Capricorn’s have grown rapidly.” He says.
For Abudu, the future of the mobile payments landscape in Africa is a game of few, where consolidation is the way forward, and attempting to scale alone would require more capital expenditure and a longer time to execute.
“It’s a good time to partner with a company that brings a real pan-African presence and we see synergies across our operations. They offer a wide range of value-added products and services like cross-border payments while we have access to SMEs in Nigeria, one of the biggest markets in Africa. We believe that we’ve barely scratched the market’s potential. The deal brings many things that allow us to grow very quickly.
“We’ve been able to build a large business with relatively small capital but now we want to be able to compete, not just in Nigeria but also across Africa, the deal with MFS Africa gives us leverage to take Baxi and the model that’s been so successful in Nigeria to other African countries.” Says Abudu
MFS Africa plans to engage with Nigeria’s central bank and other regulators to seek any other additional licenses needed to operate its full-service offerings—such as remittance, micro-lending, insurance—while also exploring commercial partnerships in the country.
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