Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On Konga’s Queer Dual-CEO Structure


“Effective from May 1st, Yudala will now operate under the name KONGA, with dual CEOs in the persons of Nick Imudia who will be in charge of online among others and Prince Nnamdi Ekeh who will be responsible for offline.” Nairametrics.

According to that Nairametrics article, Konga and Yudala have been merged into a single entity effective May 1 and will operate with dual CEOs. Mr. Imudia will lead “online” and Prince Ekeh will lead “offline”.

I understand why Konga might prefer the dual-CEO structure. Prince Ekeh built Yudala and established offline coverage that remains critical in Nigeria. Surely it must be difficult to envision a scenario in the merged company where he is not in charge or running a significant portion of the business.

On the other hand, the opportunity to generate more value by combining Konga’s online brand and know-how with Yudala’s offline coverage was one of the biggest reasons for this merger. I believe those synergies will be best realized if both entities are fully integrated into one company and with one person responsible for setting and executing strategy. The company needs to have one set of objectives and integrated systems, and I think having two CEOs for “online” and “offline” makes this less likely to work smoothly.

For clarity, I am not saying the dual-CEO structure will fail. Many companies have pulled it off successfully and Mr. Imudia and Prince Ekeh may be able to. I am a big fan of business and e-commerce in Nigeria, and I hope they can make this work.

Cheers, to Konga!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Life Lately: On Dangote, P1 Updates, and A Blast from the Past


I have made peace with a few things. One is that I will not write frequently this year. Another is that many of my posts - when I manage to write - will be about INSEAD. One way to put a positive spin on this is that most people who know me want to read about how I am engaging with this year...

I tried really hard two days ago to write about Dangote Cement, and how interesting it is that their revenue went up 30% in Nigeria despite selling 16% less cement in 2017 (at some of the highest profit margins in the world). But - as is so often the case, I could not rationalize spending all that time writing about Dangote given all the other things I had to do: cases to read, cover letters to write, assignments to turn in, CVs to update for the umpteenth time, career next steps to think about, alumni to reach out to, etc etc. It is an endless list, to be honest...

All hail the king!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Life Lately - What I've Been Up To...

Perpetual state of mind - LOOOOL
I made sixteen posts on this blog last year. That was the lowest number in the nine years since I started the blog. I did a lot of writing last year though, especially essays applying to b-school and to multiple scholarships…

I thought I would write more this year, but I now know that will not happen. For one, the reality of a one-year MBA is proving to be very different from the idea of one. All the blogs I read and the many alumni I spoke to told me this would be an intense year, but I still managed to underestimate the intensity. Between classes, tutorials, pre-read, cases, and group work from Monday to Saturday – your life outside INSEAD starts to disappear.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

INSEAD 18D: And So It Begins...



I wrote about my first few days at INSEAD, for the INSEAD MBA blog. First few paragraphs below, and a link to the full post here. It was edited a bit and parts of my original writing were lost in the editing, but for consistency - I will not be posting the original version.

"First, I had an almost-spiritual event on Tuesday. After aspiring to study here since 2012, I walked on the Fontainebleau campus for the first time! I wandered dreamily around the grounds, read posters from 1957 announcing the founding of the school, and met future classmates from four continents. I left campus in awe, reassured that I had chosen correctly.

A long road led here since earning my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. After reading Jack Welch’s Winning in 2010, I became interested in international businesses and how its many parts worked together to create shareholder value. As I worked at P&G on brands seeking to touch and improve the lives of the world’s consumers, I realized the potential of businesses to transform society in addition to generating shareholder value. I then decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Business Administration, to establish a foundation across the different areas of business and facilitate the achievement of my career objectives."

Again, full post is here.