Home Brands The future belongs to companies who see the poor as customers- Dr. Olaniyan
Brands - September 13, 2018

The future belongs to companies who see the poor as customers- Dr. Olaniyan


Dr. Olaniyan.

By Amechi Obiakpu

The need to rejig the current economic framework to give room for growth and development not only to individuals but to companies and by extension the country, has been underscored.

And to ensure this, organisations must now shift from the old ways of doing things to command a bolder and result driven approach by observing that the future belongs to the poor.

The above statement was made in a paper presentation by Dr. Rotimi Olaniyan, Principal Partner of Advantage and Senior Faculty member, Nottingham Business School in Lagos recently. Dr. Olaniyan spoke on the theme: Towards A Commercial Strategy for Nigeria, and the Role of Brands in Redefining Nigeian Identity.

Quoting from the late Professor CK Prahalad, Dr Olaniyan said the Harvard strategy was very unequivocal in his book on serving the bottom of the pyramid, that the future belongs to those companies that see the poor as

customers and suggests that what is required is how we re-format business models to take advantage of the very constraints that would otherwise have been seen as obstacles. “There is also a need for better framing of the development agenda in countries such as ours, as much as there is need for a better framing of our national identity . We require a more eloquent, salient, well seated and foundational premise for the search for economic prosperity and an equally compelling philosophical basis for justifying the way forward”.

“Continuing he said: “Brands have the power to give people meaning and identity and across the world today brand managers are accepting the new responsibility that their brands have of co-creating worlds of reasoned identities along the lines of shared values with today’s conflicted and anxious consumers.

“The only two times we witnessed significant portfolio growth within the last twenty years were at the introduction of the telecoms industry and more recently with the fleeting flurry of e-commerce businesses introductions all of which now seem to have been a bubble.

“If anything, the recent recession has revealed just how vulnerable and undercapitalised the branded ommunications industry currently is and several players are living more on reputational hype than cold financial fundamentals. So, there is a problem requiring of inorganic solutions.

“It seems fair to suggest that several of us have become concerned with the decline that we are now witnessing with the Nigerian economy. No matter which side of the political or economic argument that one might stand on, it is clear that something is wrong and not quite the same, and now we see the gathering of a storm that portends a class and elite war.

“Truth is, it is an indictment on all economic actors and actions within the country that we have not created enough wealth to  go around,” he lamented.

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