Entrepreneurial Icon gives Nuggets on How to Innovate Disruptively, Sustain Entrepreneurship
Competitive intelligence, focus, culture, dynamism and foresight amongst others, should be the hallmark of an entrepreneur desirous of growing his/her business, be on top of it and sustain his/her dominion in the particular business.
This was the submission of one of Nigeria’s most celebrated entrepreneurs, Engr. Nnamdi Ezeigbo, on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at the 3rd edition of the Covenant University International Conference on Entrepreneurship (CU-ICE) held in the Multipurpose Hall of the Covenant Centre for Entrepreneurial Development Studies (CEDS) on the University campus.
Engr. Ezeigbo, who was the Keynote Speaker at the conference with the theme: ‘Disruptive Innovation and Sustainable Entrepreneurship’, said that the leadership of a company must know what to do and how to go about it. According to the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SLOT Systems Limited, an entrepreneur must have competitive intelligence, which he could utilize to outwit his/her rivals. “You must know what your rivals are doing at every point in time so you would not be left in the lurch,” he said.
“The leadership of a company must focus on the users of her product an not the competition alone; he must imbibe a culture that promotes creativity and new ideas; be dynamic and adaptive; do not disrupt yourself, do not isolate competition; and trade-off is necessary, identify your market segment,” he further explained.
On the strategy for growth, the Keynote Speaker said that to maintain continuous growth of the business, the entrepreneur had to put in put in place strategies to get to the positions he/she needed to reach in one to three years’ time. He added that the strategies must be developed in-house and must be dynamic.
Also, Engr. Ezeigbo said that innovation could be disruptive or incremental. While speaking on disruptive innovation, he asserted that one way a company could compete favourably was to innovate, adding that the kind of leadership in place was also very important to the survival of the business. “Today, if innovation is not properly managed, it could be destructive. A new firm could introduce a new product, which is cheaper and run you out of business,” he averred.
Disruptive innovation, he explained, would not require expertise but entirely new skills and capabilities different from that of the already existing business. He stressed that in disruptive innovation, the market segment would develop gradually, it would make existing companies struggle in the face of innovation and there would be low cost investment and more efficiency to users.
Incremental innovation, he stated, would make use of existing assets and capabilities; it would be exploitative, high risk and high cost; would depend on competence over several years; efficiency of economies of scale; and purely on improvement and operational effectiveness. He affirmed that in incremental innovation, the assumption was that the market was for a long time. “Incremental innovation exploits assets and capabilities; Disruptive innovation explores new ways of creating value,” Engr. Ezeigbo emphasised.
Earlier in his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant, Professor AAA. Atayero, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Akan Williams, said that entrepreneurial education had been one of the core components of the University’s curriculum in her quest to raise a new generation of leaders. Covenant, he noted, recognised that entrepreneurship was a fundamental engine for economic and non-economic development.
Professor Atayero posited that the prevailing socio-economic effects of global warming was beckoning on entrepreneurs to innovatively disrupt the existing business models in response to the demands of sustainable development. He expressed his delight to note that the CU-ICE was focusing on how disruptive innovation could facilitate sustainable entrepreneurship.
The Director, CEDS, Dr. Felicia Olokoyo, had in her welcome address said the event was one of such credence to the fact that “Covenant does not only speak but act entrepreneurship” and, while describing the theme of the conference as timely, Dr. Olokoyo stated that it was the view of Covenant that only entrepreneurs who innovated disruptively in advance and stay abreast of global happenings would stand the test of time and develop sustainably.
According to the Chairman, Conference Planning Committee, Dr. Stephen Ibidunni, debating disruptive innovation and seeking to link it with sustainable entrepreneurship practices in Africa, at this time, was a strategic area of focus. “As a visionary higher institution of learning, Covenant is committed not only to creating knowledge for entrepreneurial advancements, but also to solving germane challenges and proffering solutions to the business economy of Nigeria, and indeed Africa.