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As part of its mission to empower African businesses with tools needed to thrive, garner admiration, and foster global acclaim, leading payment solution company, Hydrogen Payment Services Company Limited (Hydrogen), recently partnered with the Co Creation Hub (CcHub), to host the latest edition of the Catalyst workshop in Lagos.
The discourse addressed the potential risks and opportunities for startups and saw experts advise participants on the need to develop resilient business models that would scale across different economic climes.
Moderated by Miracle Ezechi, Digital Marketing Manager, Hydrogen, the panel session addressed dominant issues about the theme: ‘Adapting Fintech Business Models to Economic Climes: Flexibility, Agility and Customer-centricity’.
Chief Technology Officer, Hydrogen, Mr. Emeka Awagu, who spoke as a panellist, addressed the issue of customer-centricity, which according to him, is key to Fintech growth. He advised startups to listen to customer demands and understand their needs in order to develop the right solutions that will lead to long term market viability.
“Innovation is key for startup growth. However, understanding customers’ needs and change in behaviour will help any startup to innovate better. Startups must be flexible and agile to develop solutions with high interoperability and processing speed, and they must be ready to learn from startups that have failed,” Awagu said.
With an estimated 61.07 percent of startups failing, the participants stressed the need for prudence.
“Statistically, a staggering number of startups fail, often due to financial mismanagement. Hence, founders must prioritise understanding and maintaining a healthy the Cost-to-Earnings ratio. It is not just a number, but a pivotal indicator of a company’s financial health as well as being a key attractiveness determinant for investors,” Awagu added.
On his part, the Group Director, Digital Transformation, ARM HOLDCO, Ina Alogwu, who also spoke as a panellist at the session, stressed the need for startups to develop sustainable products and solutions that will help them remain competitive in an environment that is faced with harsh economic realities.
“Many startup businesses fail within their first five years, however upcoming startups should not be discouraged, rather develop a culture that will encourage them to understand the reasons for failure and learn from mistakes. Startups should not be too rigid with their solutions and should be ready to accept changes that will drive innovation,” Alogwu stated.
Hydrogen will be deepening its economic impact series with a webinar planned for Thursday, April 25, even as businesses across Africa continue to face an array of challenges, ranging from inflation and currency fluctuations to rising operating costs. Themed ‘Navigating Economic Challenges: Strategies for Sustainable Growth,’ the webinar will delve into key areas critical for businesses to not only survive but thrive in the face of economic adversity. Register using this link – Esteemed panellists for this event include Taofik Odukoya, CEO, Vanguard Pharmacy, and Okechukwu Odimgbe, Chief Financial Officer, Hydrogen. The session will be moderated by Nnenna Sam-Obioha, Ecosystem Orchestrator, Hydrogen

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