Mr. Babatunde Adeniji is the CEO and Co-Founder of Upside Aviation Limited, he talks to Business Africa Online on the challenges facing the aviation industry, impact of public private partnership(PPP) and role of alliance in the aviation industry. Excerpts:
BAO: Tell us about Upside Aviation Limited and the role you play?
Tunde: Upside Aviation limited is a Joint venture between GHI Assets Limited and Triad Business Solutions that provides customised management solutions to help Airlines and the Air Transport industry achieve their strategic and tactical objectives of generating greater revenue, enhancing service quality, driving innovation and lowering cost as well as delivering better business processes in terms of efficiency, economics and expertise.Our offerings span Representation, Sales and Operations outsourcing as well as Training and Management consultancy. I am a Co-founder and its CEO.
BAO: What are the challenges facing the aviation industry in Nigeria? How can we overcome these challenges?
Tunde: Aside from the general challenges facing the entire private sector in Nigeria like the difficult operating environment, poor infrastructure and high cost of doing business Aviation faces its own unique challenge of being an industry where all the five forces as defined by Professor Porter work so relentlessly to depress profitability. As enumerated in IATA’s 2050 report, Rivalry is intense, driven by a perishable product with difficulty in sustaining product differentiation, high fixed and low marginal costs, high exit barriers, capacity that can only be increased step wise, and volatile markets with high threat of new entrants. Government as the 6th force also exacerbates the situation by its decisions. The mindset needed to overcome these challenges must be anchored on the emphasis on not only safety and security but also on the underlying the economics. Regulation must be geared towards ensuring the enabling environment for all three so that the industry stand on its own three feet.
BAO: What has being the impact of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in your industry?
Tunde: I think the impact has been mixed but clearly the benefits of MMA 2 cannot be ignored. I believe what needs to be done is to learn from the past, address the concerns of the different stakeholders appropriately and ensure a fair and transparent process so that the maximum benefits can be derived from it. It holds a lot of promise if well handled.
BAO: Do you still see a role for alliances in the modern aviation environment?
Tunde: Yes. Basically, the justification for alliances are still here with us such as: the fact that no one airline can cover the globe alone and that access to protected markets are enabled better this way
BAO: What new technologies do you believe will be most influential in your industry in years ahead?
Tunde: This would be the NDC-New Distribution Capability which should hopefully transform the way airline products are retailed to customers and I think also the drone technology
BAO: Are you happy with the local infrastructure and its performances both on the ground and in the air?
Tunde: I don’t think anybody is happy, the passengers complain about poor customer experience while the operators are bearing the brunt of the inefficiency and dealing with the attendant additional cost it brings. We hope Government’s actions will deliver the right results soon and at the quality level required.
BAO: If you could change anything in the industry, what would it be and why?
Tunde: Increased emphasis on economic regulation with an approach towards creating an economically sustainable environment for its players. If the economics does not work how can aviation deliver the promise of safety and security?
Mr Babatunde Adeniji has a 2nd Class Honours degree in Physics from the University of Jos, and an Executive MBA in General Management from the prestigious Lagos Business School. He is the CEO and Co-founder of Upside Aviation Limited where he leads its provision of customised management solutions
He also manages Airline Representatives West Africa -GSA for Air Cote d’Ivoire- a role he has held prior to Launch of Air Cote d’Ivoire’s operations in Nigeria in 2015
Tunde was until July 2016 the CEO of APG Nigeria, a member of APG Network- the world’s largest and most successful GSA airline representation network offering a holistic approach to airline distribution and partnering with over 200 valued airline clients with over 100 offices covering over 170 countries It is indeed, “The World’s Leading Network for Airline Services.”
Tunde also previously managed Frontier Academy Limited, an International Air Transport Association(IATA) authorised Training Center in Lagos.
A consummate Airline/Air Transport Executive professional with over 21 years’ experience spanning Sales & Marketing, Customer services/ Ground Operations and Cargo Sales/ Operations working in scheduled Passenger and Cargo Airlines and in Airport Management.
Tunde is married with two daughters and is passionate about Leadership, management, self-and development as well as been a keen student of humanist philosophy. He also loves music and movies.