9mobile Nigeria: Unlocking The Future With Innovative Enterprise Mentorship Programme

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The story behind the current energetic resurgence of 9mobile Nigeria and the current exploits of the Telco brand in enterprise mentorship, confirms the popular saying that it takes an ordinary team with wise beliefs to achieve extraordinary feats even when there are initial setbacks.

Motivated By A Dream

No one can deny the fact that every remarkable dream can be nurtured back to life even when there are preliminary impediments. The dream can be reenergized back to life with determination and unwavering passion. The magnitude of the dream grows in direct proportion to the level of nourishment it receives. As the revered Nelson Mandela once stated, “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Re-engage to Succeed

Listening to The Chief Executive Officer of 9mobile Nigeria, Juergen Peschel, at the company’s last annual Channel Partners Conference in Lagos, revealed that the telecommunications company has invested more than N70 billion in its modernisation was touching and quite remarkable. It is indeed a clear case of a brand poised to reclaim its position in the hearts of consumers.

Commenting further, Peschel affirmed that the firm is on the path of a resurgence following the enormous investments into its network operations and a strong commitment by the board and management to aggressively reclaim lost market share.

Making a presentation on the theme, “Re-engage to Succeed,” Peschel, said: “9mobile is on the path of resurgence. We are taking back lost territories in the market and forging ahead to reclaim our innovative position and industry leadership.”

Eyes On Higher Service

While most brands bourgeoning brands are usually preoccupied with the razzmatazz of showy commercials and promotions, 9mobile has revealed that it is not resurging for ordinary quests. The visionary brand has been inspired to focus on helping the Nigerian business community.  In recent times, the Telco brand has been focusing on helping aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals stand firm on Nigeria’s slippery business terrain that had previously threatened the market share of the Telco brand years back.  The brand, through its Business and Networking Mentorship Programme, The Hack, is passionately fostering growth, innovation, and long-term sustainability of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises in Nigeria’s slippery economy.

The Focus

In a dynamic world where innovation is the currency of success, 9mobile, a prominent brand in Nigeria’s telecom sector, has taken a forward-thinking approach to business growth. Beyond offering top-tier services has embarked on a journey to empower young entrepreneurs and professionals through its unique Mentorship Programme.

In the energetic landscape of Nigeria’s business sector, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often touted as the backbone of the economy. Recognizing their immense potential for growth and job creation, it is commendable that 9mobile, a leading player in Nigeria’s telecommunications industry, has taken a proactive step to empower SMEs through its innovative enterprise mentorship program, ‘The Hack.’

THE Hack

Looking at the programme closely, The Hack is an enterprise initiative from the stable of 9mobile where small and medium entrepreneurs are taught business fundamentals that will help scale their businesses, and it is FREE.

The goal is to bring together in one space, entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses, network, and learn strategies or business hacks that can be applied to their everyday hustle.

The Hack has been held in Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Kano, and most recently, the train moved to Ilorin, as the brand introduced Hack on Campus at the University of Ilorin. This event gave students the chance to learn from seasoned professionals and level up their business skills with the free business growth and mentorship series by 9mobile.

  The Hack On Campus

 At Illorin, Nigeria’s youth-centric telecommunications brand, 9mobile, tasked students of the University of Ilorin with the need to build a personal brand for themselves, their business, and career growth in the future.

9mobile brand ambassador and reality TV Star, Beauty Tukura, expanded the training into vital areas like personal branding and how it plays crucial roles in positioning a company and the entrepreneur. She highlighted that visual Identity, which includes logo, colors, fonts, having an online presence such as a website and on social media, and developing a communication style and tone are the building blocks in personal branding.

Tukura, the 43rd Miss Nigeria, informed the students that some key steps must be taken to successfully build their brand and grow their business. “You need to identify your target audience, and it begins by defining your ideal audience, understanding their behavior, and then tailoring your message to resonate with them. As your brand evolves, you will need to maintain brand consistency, which means using imagery and creatives across your platforms to ensure a cohesive visual identity for your brand. Having your message carry the same tone and feel on communications ensures the consistency of your brand,” she said.

 Still at the campus programme, the manager of Digital Marketing at 9mobile, Obehi Ehimhen, showed the students the profound impact of technological innovation on streamlining human activities, easing repetitive tasks, and marketing SMEs.

Manager, 9mobile Enterprise Marketing, Oluwasegun Daodu, took it further when he urged the students to expand their ‘side hustle.’ “The students need to evaluate their business’s current performance, embark on comprehensive market research to uncover new opportunities, integrate expansion goals and strategies into their business plans, project financial estimates, secure additional capital for expansion, and explore potential funding avenues”.

The Hack Success Stories

Before taking the Hack to the campus, the massive impact of this project has been experienced in many cities.

In Kano, the telecoms company had a practical training session on the first day and an exhibition on the second day, where the SMEs displayed their products for sale at no cost to them.

The Kano edition titled “Beyond the Talk” was a granular attempt at simplifying essential business concepts for burgeoning entrepreneurs.

The Head of Regional Sales, North at 9mobile, Babangida Mukaddas, took the SMEs on a journey in customer loyalty and told them that while many of their strategies as business owners might focus on marketing, business continuity, and the working capital of their businesses, one of the hardest things that they will not be able to do is to buy customer loyalty.

“Entrepreneurs must put a lot of processes in place to nurture customer loyalty, and at the heart of this is relationship selling which is one of the key things business owners must do to entrench customer loyalty,” Mukaddas explained.

In a very engaging session, he highlighted five critical steps in relationship selling that attendees must utilise to be successful and pointed out that understanding customers’ needs is the first step to building a solid relationship with them.

In Gbagada, Lagos, The Hack was a  one-day boot camp with an interactive session where young entrepreneurs can pitch their business ideas and network. Commenting on the initiative, Director of Marketing Communications, 9mobile, Saidat Lawal-Mohammed said it was another of its interventions in developing the SME space by empowering entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills. “There are lots of young entrepreneurs managing small and medium enterprises in the country, and we want to support them by providing a platform for those who are eager to grow their businesses to network, learn strategies and hacks that they can apply to their daily hustle and convert to sales,” she said.

In Abuja, Saidat Lawal-Mohammed also stressed that 9 Mobile was happy “to assist entrepreneurs, including aspiring ones across the country, with the knowledge they need to grow their companies with our innovative platform, The Hack. And given that Abuja is home to many entrepreneurs, we are eager to have this second edition there,”

According to Lawal-Mohammed, ”9mobile will continue to support entrepreneurs, start-ups, and MSMEs, and will not waver as an enabler of individuals and businesses.”

In an era where corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an essential element of a company’s identity, 9mobile is setting a precedent. By launching a mentorship program, they are not only showcasing their commitment to the community but also embodying the idea that businesses should contribute to society’s overall well-being. Through mentorship, they are giving back in a way that transcends traditional philanthropy, offering valuable guidance, resources, and support to budding entrepreneurs.

Nurturing Entrepreneurial Talent

By fostering mentorship programs, 9Mobile is directly contributing to the development of innovative thinking and entrepreneurship. The exchange of ideas and experiences between mentors and mentees encourages fresh perspectives, creative problem-solving, and the incubation of new ventures. This, in turn, fuels the innovation ecosystem in Nigeria, driving economic growth and competitiveness.

By also nurturing the skills and talents of entrepreneurs the brand is helping to create a pool of capable and confident individuals who can contribute to the success of not just 9mobile, but the broader Nigerian business community.

It is noteworthy that the heart of ‘The Hack’ is a commitment to nurturing entrepreneurial talent. By providing mentorship opportunities, 9Mobile is not just empowering business owners; it’s cultivating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. These mentees become equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to drive their businesses forward, fostering a more vibrant and dynamic business ecosystem in Nigeria.

Empowering the Next Generation

Investing in mentorship is not just nurturing mentees today, it is fundamentally, an investment in the future. Big brands like 9mobile understand that the leaders of tomorrow need guidance and support today. By providing mentorship opportunities, they are equipping young entrepreneurs and professionals with the skills, knowledge, and networks that can be transferred from one generation to the next. This empowerment extends beyond individual growth to drive societal progress, as these mentees become change-makers in their own right.

Building Resilience and Sustainable Growth:

Sustainability is a buzzword in today’s business landscape, and for good reason. 9mobile’s mentorship program isn’t just a short-term initiative; it’s a long-term strategy for sustainable growth. By nurturing local talent and promoting entrepreneurship, they are contributing to economic stability and prosperity. This approach aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, underlining 9mobile’s commitment to creating a better future for Nigeria and its people.

Sustainable resilience is essential for SMEs to weather economic downturns and crises. ‘The Hack’ equips businesses with the skills and strategies necessary to navigate challenges successfully. Whether it’s managing cash flow, pivoting in response to market changes, or developing crisis communication plans, mentees are better prepared to overcome adversity and emerge stronger.

Flashback

Looking back, the story of 9mobile has always been up and down. When Etisalat landed in Nigeria at that time, it was with accentuated fanfare. It was not hard to know that a new telecommunication giant was in town. The brand, campaigns, and positioning were quite revolutionary, innovative, and refreshing. The company started business in October 2008, riding on the “0809uchoose” campaign. For the first time, Nigerians were able to choose their phone numbers with the digits of their preference. That was the buzz of the moment, and it drove word-of-mouth marketing for the brand, in addition to high-budget advertising.

 Then the challenge came. Etisalat Nigeria had to change its brand name, after almost a decade of building the brand. Etisalat Nigeria has been a brand-driven telco, attempting to build a movement and culture, rather than building only patronage. So, the telco firm adopted 9Mobile as its new brand name with its concomitant challenges.

By dropping the Etisalat brand, the telco will be losing brand equity – the commercial value of perception built around the brand name over the years through advertising and promotions.

The 9ja Spirit

 The new company was not being taken over by an international group; it is being taken over by Nigeria and Nigerians. This implies that a lot of work needed to be done to align 9Mobile to some strategic imperatives and take a brand positioning that should even be superior to that of the Etisalat brand.  9Mobile is indigenous in structure and management and needs to build its own brand credibility afresh. And the company did it. This is the summary of the challenge that 9mobile has overcome. And the brand is now ready to go places. It is from the strength of overcoming these challenges that the brand can tell SMEs that we have through different dense thickets with thorns and we can hold your hands and guide you to greater success.

Moving into the expansive realm of consolidated branding, a place where creativity and talent flourish, 9mobile is embracing the power of dreams that will leave an indelible mark on the lives of countless consumers.

Looking Ahead

Big brands like 9mobile are not just in the business of providing products and services; they are actively shaping the future of Nigeria’s business landscape. Through their Business and Networking Mentorship Programme, they are investing in the next generation of leaders, fostering innovation, and driving sustainable growth. As a result, they are not only enhancing their reputation but also leaving a lasting impact on the communities they serve.

As ‘The Hack’ continues to empower and uplift small and medium-sized enterprises across Nigeria, its impact is extending beyond individual businesses. It’s contributing to the overall economic development of the nation, unlocking a future where SMEs play an even more significant role in driving prosperity and innovation. In this way, ‘The Hack’ is not just a program; it’s a pathway to a brighter and more prosperous future for Nigeria.

The current trend reveals vividly that 9mobile is steadily adjusting its brand positioning and gaining a competitive advantage. The consistent implementation of a winning strategy is driving the brand. Although it could be quite challenging to forecast the final result, it is obvious that the 9mobile brand exudes a whimsical brand attitude that clearly fits into a thriving customer-centric culture. The brand will definitely fly, and soar above others in chance of time.

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