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We hope Government’s actions will deliver the right results soon- Babatunde Adeniji



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?


His Bio:

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.

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CEO Corner

Rolake Rosiji, ex-Country Manager M-KOPA Solar Appointed As The New CEO Of Jobberman Nigeria



Rolake Rosiji, CEO at Jobberman (Source: ROAM)

Jobberman, the single largest job placement platform in sub-Saharan Africa, has announced the appointment of Rolake Rosiji as the new CEO. Rolake takes over from Hilda Kragha, now Managing Director of ROAM Africa Jobs, and will continue the work of establishing Jobberman as the primary platform for job searching, talent acquisition and transforming workplace productivity across Nigeria.

Jobberman’s technology-driven platform, which uses tools such as application tracking, data science for skills and personality assessment, connects over 1 million job seekers to employers. With over a decade of experience in the recruitment industry, the company has built a reputation of trust and strong partnerships with the country’s most coveted employers; matching talented candidates with jobs according to their skillset.

Rolake joins Jobberman with a decade of global experience in strategic leadership and operational excellence. Most recently, she led the technology and sales operations for credit financed smartphones and solar power sets as Country Manager of M-KOPA Nigeria; a connected asset financing company that makes financing for everyday essentials accessible to everyone. Prior to that, she was Head of Strategy & Business Development for Arla Foods Africa, where she developed distribution and joint venture partnerships across West Africa to rapidly scale up sales and worked in Corporate Strategy roles in Denmark and the USA. Her proven track record of business expansion projects, digital and technical transformation and executing strategic partnerships will be key to her implementation for growth and development of the brand.

Commenting on her new role as CEO, Rolake Rosiji said “This is a very exciting chapter in my career and I am delighted to be joining such a passionate and innovative team. Jobberman has built a brand of excellence by using technology to revolutionise the recruitment sector. I look forward to steering the company vision to build a market of greater technology adoption, democratic access and transparency that will tackle dominant challenges, notably youth unemployment and underemployment.  It is a privilege for me to be at the helm of this dynamic team as we set out to empower job seekers with key skills and improve workplace productivity for employers in Nigeria.”

Hilda Kragha, Managing Director of ROAM Africa Jobs added “I am delighted that Rolake has taken on this position. Rolake’s expertise, understanding of different markets and high performance is what makes her the perfect person to anchor the next phase for Jobberman. I look forward to working with her to take Jobberman to even greater heights.”

Rolake took on her role as CEO on February 1st 2021. Her focus will be to broaden the impact beyond the white-collar space and continue to work closely with Jobberman’s impact partners in tackling youth unemployment in Nigeria.



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CEO Corner

AVCA Board appoints Abi Mustapha-Maduakor as CEO



AVCA CEO, Abi Mustapha-Maduakor (Source: AVCA)

AVCA: The Board of Directors of the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Abi Mustapha-Maduakor as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Ms Mustapha-Maduakor joins AVCA from MedAccess, a subsidiary of CDC Group, where she was Head of Business Operations and Finance, overseeing financial and risk management, strategy implementation, and organisational development.

During her tenure as AVCA’s Chief Operating Officer from 2016 to 2019, Abi played an integral role in driving the Association’s strategy, prioritising knowledge exchange and digitisation. Under her leadership, the Association strengthened focus on data and pioneering research, professional development support for private equity stakeholders, and strategic regional partnerships, all of which grew the membership to around 150 investors collectively managing US$1.5trn in assets.

The appointment follows an extensive global search led by the Board.

Abi will take up the position on 1 February 2021, and there will be a transition period with interim CEO, Dara Owoyemi, until her departure.

‘Tokunboh Ishmael, Chair of the Board, said: “After a rigorous process, it was clear to the selection committee that Abi is the right leader for this chapter in AVCA’s life. Her knowledge of the African investment landscape, advocacy, business strategy and risk management will be instrumental in her role leading the Association through its next phase and transformation, as investors and portfolio companies navigate various social, economic, political and institutional challenges. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Dara Owoyemi for her immense support and guidance as we searched for a permanent CEO.”

Abi brings several years of finance and banking experience to the role. Previously, she was Special Adviser on private sector development to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment in Nigeria. She also held leadership positions at Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and EY.

Commenting on her appointment, Ms Mustapha-Maduakor said: “It is an honour to be appointed as CEO during this time of tremendous change in the global economy. As the Association’s new leader, my priority will be to build on the success of the past 20 years and transform AVCA into a conduit for diverse and varied sources of private investment in Africa. I look forward to working with the Board and team to deliver first-class member services, putting digital transformation, smart data and collaboration at the heart of our work.”A



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CEO Corner

talabat, MENA leading food and grocery delivery app appoints Hadeer Shalaby as Managing Director



Hadeer Shalaby, new Managing Director talabat Egypt (Source: talabat)

talabat, the region’s leading food and grocery delivery app, has appointed Hadeer Shalaby as the new Managing Director of talabat Egypt. She will be replacing Sofiène Marzouki, who has been in the role of interim Managing Director since January 2020, who will be returning to talabat’s Dubai headquarters to take on a challenging new role at regional level. 

Shalaby will continue to drive talabat in the Egypt market, placing key emphasis on customer experience, supporting our restaurant partners, q-commerce, as well as working hand-in-hand with the government on many initiatives, including rider safety and the continued digitisation of the food and beverage sector.

Sofiène Marzouki, talabat Egypt’s outgoing MD said, “I’d like to take a moment to appreciate our whole ecosystem; our customers, restaurant partners, riders, our employees, and the Egyptian government. This past year has been challenging for everyone, with the COVID-19 pandemic, and I have been very privileged to steer an organisation which has helped to keep many families safe, who rely on talabat to make a living.” 

Shalaby brings a phenomenal record of leading tech companies in Egypt, founding Taxi El Sa7el, the first ride-hailing startup in Egypt back in 2014. In the same year, she then moved on to join Careem as the Founder & GM of Careem Egypt, when they acquired Taxi El Sa7el. Most recently, she had been leading Careem Bus regionally, leading teams in Egypt, UAE and Pakistan. 

Speaking about her appointment, Shalaby said, “Firstly, I would like to thank Sofiène for successfully steering the organisation through the COVID-19 pandemic, rebranding Otlob to talabat as well as collaborations with the government around digitisation of the F&B sector, and creating employment opportunities for Egyptian youth.

These are exciting times for talabat, and moving forward, I want to continue to focus on growth particularly with grocery and pharmacy essentials, as well as continue to create an overall seamless experience for our ecosystem – for our customers, riders, government, restaurant partners as well as the communities in which we operate.’

Toon Gyssels, talabat’s Chief Operating Officer is looking forward to seeing how the organisation will further evolve under Shalaby’s stewardship, and how she will continue to be a role model to aspiring female tech entrepreneurs.

‘We are very excited to continue to attract local top talent to talabat, and we’re proud to say that now, three out of our eight country heads are female. As part of the up-and-coming generation of amazingly talented female entrepreneurs in the private sector in Egypt, we’re looking forward to seeing Hadeer inspire not only our organisation, but continue to provide a guiding light to aspiring young women right throughout the country, and region.’

‘I would also like to thank Sofiène for his great work in Egypt in a year like no other, where he has worked with the team to develop a strong, stable presence for talabat, and we look forward to Hadeer continuing to grow our position in the market.’

Source: talabat


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