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Abu Dhabi Hosts 2017 The Maritime Standard Conference

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Abu Dhabi Hosts 2017 The Maritime Standard Conference

Abu Dhabi Hosts 2017 The Maritime Standard Conference

By Dipo Olowookere

The third edition of The Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference has been slated to take place at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort.

The event, which holds on November 8, 2017, is expected to attract more than 150 senior executives from different sections of the market, including shipping, ports, finance and banking and law.

 Organisers said there would be distinct conference sessions following the keynote speeches and these will deal with a number of themes, including regional trade patterns, ship finance, ports and shipping.

Also, there would be a series of speeches giving details about recent case studies, illustrating how the financial sector can help release the full potential of regional shipping and ports operators to the benefit of trade and economic growth.

A high level group of expert speakers and panellists is being assembled by The Maritime Standard, and will include representatives from leading ship owners and managers, port operators, trade organisations, brokers and analysts, law firms and financiers.

The event has also secured sponsorship support from a number of top maritime companies and organisations, including Abu Dhabi Ports as the host sponsor, Kuwait Oil Tanker Company, National Marine Dredging Company, Islamic P & I Club and Dubai Maritime City.

Managing Director of The Maritime Standard, Trevor Pereira, stated that, “This the third time we are returning to Abu Dhabi to hold this event, and this reflects not just the success of the first two, but the growing importance of the emirate as a regional trade, shipping and finance hub.

“We will have some important names from the industry speaking and a high quality audience of decision makers.

“These are still difficult times for the industry, but we aim to make sure this event will add real value and assist companies in charting a course towards success when the recovery gathers momentum.”

On the part of Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, the Chief Executive of Abu Dhabi Ports, “We are delighted to be hosting The Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference, an important event for Abu Dhabi’s Maritime sector as well as the UAE.

“Abu Dhabi is fast becoming a regional hub for both finance and trade so it makes perfect sense to hold this event here, to underline the emirate’s growth in trade and transport both regionally and globally, in line with the leadership’s wise vision in supporting the development of the shipping, ports and logistics sectors of the economy.”

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Rite Foods Attributes Success of Products to Investment in Research, Technology

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Rite Foods MD Seleem Adegunwa

By Dipo Olowookere

The Managing Director of Rite Foods Limited, Mr Seleem Adegunwa, has disclosed that products of the company have continued to maintain market leadership because of the decision of the management to invest heavily in an ultra-modern factory with up-to-the-minute technology, with artificial intelligence and research in line with global best practices.

According to him, this is because of the company’s quest to come up with sustainable and innovative products that will satisfy its consumers.

Rite Foods boasts a diverse range of unique products that cater to the needs of consumers across Nigeria and the continent.

The firm, which is recognised in the Africa 150 Report as one of the continent’s innovative brands with unrivalled flavours, has on the shelf 13 Bigi variants of carbonated soft drink, the Bigi Table Water, the Fearless energy drink consisting of the Fearless Classic and Fearless Red Berry, the five variants of Sosa Fruit Drink as well as the Rite and Bigi Sausages.

“Research is critical to us, and we value that a lot. Our products are leaders in flavour innovation. On the Cola brand, there is a clear edge over the competition, and we lead on flavours like in the Apple and Tropical segments.

“Our brands are enhanced by having many products under them, which is why they look bolder and bigger on the shelf among competitors,” Adegunwa stated.

On the Sosa Fruit Drink, the new entrant into its market segment, the Rite Foods boss stated that the brand is a symbol of quality and a new way the company has attained excellent reviews.

“I think one of the things we are known for and the important thing that we must build on is that symbol of quality. Looking to the future, we are ready to ensure that anything concerning our logo is of a very high standard, and we are strongly committed to that cause to produce world-class products,” he said.

On the premium Fearless energy drink that has topped the list in the Nigerian market, Mr Adegunwa averred that, “Fearless is currently the market leader in the energy drinks segment in Nigeria, and to ensure that we stay on top and prevent competition, we intend to introduce new flavours, and for us, it is constantly about ingenuity and adding new brands to expand our business.”

The company, which began operation with the slogans Truly World-Class and Proudly- Nigerian, describes the quality of what it tries to achieve by competing favourably at the global level, with a DNA and heritage that are completely Nigerian. As a pacesetter, it intends to expand across Africa, hence its new slogan Proudly-African.

“This has been intentional not just to limit us to Nigeria, especially as the product is already expanding across the borders,” Mr Adegunwa explained.

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Zoho Upgrades Bigin to Redefine Small Business CRM Market

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Bigin Team pipelines

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A leading global technology company, Zoho Corporation, has upgraded its customer relationship management (CRM) solution for small businesses, Bigin, with new features for better performance.

According to the firm, the platform has been fortified with new capabilities like team pipelines, toppings, and developer centres, which will allow users to manage all types of customer operations.

It is believed that the upgrade will redefine the small business CRM market as it would provide small and micro businesses with the tools and insights they need to maintain and grow meaningful and high-value relationships with customers in a challenging economic environment.

“Small businesses face challenges in choosing the right technology for managing their customer-facing operations because of constraints related to time, cost, and software implementation,” the Country Manager for Zoho Nigeria, Kehinde Ogundare, stated.

“Bigin is the only solution that brings together all customer operations like sales, onboarding, delivery, training, advocacy, and more into an intuitive interface that takes only 30 minutes to deploy.

“By bringing together all the facets of customer operations into a single view, Bigin allows small businesses to have a more accurate understanding of the customer’s journey.

“These insights help them attract and retain customers, ultimately growing the business. The fast-growing adoption of Bigin shows the expanding appetite of small businesses who want and need CRM technology suited to their particular needs, helping them move beyond old-school spreadsheets,” Ogundare added.

Since its launch in 2020, Bigin has stood out as a robust, easy-to-use, and welcoming CRM solution thanks to its 30-minute set-up promise. Bigin saw a revenue growth of 161 per cent in 2022 in Nigeria, indicating the revenue has doubled compared to 2021.

Zoho has observed that around 65 per cent of Bigin’s global customers have never used a CRM previously, making it the ideal choice for business owners who are looking to move away from spreadsheets.

When they outgrow Bigin, Zoho also offers them an easy migration to its full-fledged CRM solution. Bigin now boasts 20,000 customers and continues to help small and micro businesses manage all of their customer-facing operations within a unified platform.

The introduction of Team Pipelines allows customer-facing teams to manage their distinctive operations using a set of pipelines and sub-pipelines within a single Bigin account.

Competitive offerings often cater only to a single function — like sales — whereas Bigin is an efficient solution for all customer-facing teams. New features compile customer operations into one place and enable tighter alignment and collaboration between individuals and teams without compromising the simplicity that makes Bigin stand out.

The Connected Pipelines feature automates the flow of customer data across processes, improving the customer experience and saving time on manual data entry, while the Toppings feature allows the addition of additional functionality and third-party integrations to address specific business needs. Examples include the ‘Email-In’ topping, which maps emails to customer records and the ‘File Cabinet’ topping, which automates file collection and management.

The Dynamic Display allows users to customize the appearance of records in their pipelines, while the Developer Centre gives room for global app developers and partners to create custom solutions for unique business needs.

With various tools and components like custom fields, buttons, links, widgets, related lists, and REST APIs, developers can create new Toppings and monetise them in the Bigin Marketplace.

Bigin by Zoho CRM starts at N2,100/user/monthly (billed annually) for the Express edition and goes up to N3,600 user/monthly (billed annually) for the Premier edition, though a free edition is also available.

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Consumers Laud Bigi Drinks for Show of Love Via BRAK Initiative

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Bigi Drinks BRAK

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Some consumers of Bigi Drinks, a consumer-centric brand with 13 flavours from Rite Foods, have applauded the company for improving their living conditions by giving them cash and gift prizes.

The soft drink brand recently surprised 20 of its customers nominated by their friends and loved ones in need of support.

The company gave them cash prizes and its array of products and other amazing gifts in a bid to improve their living conditions and status through its CRS campaign known as Bigi Random Acts of Kindness (BRAK). This CSR initiative has been held annually since 2019.

The lucky consumers were chosen from different environs across Lagos State, including Ketu, Igando, Abule-Egba, Ikorodu, Alapere, and Chevron.

Some of the beneficiaries were Mrs Adetutu, Mummy Gloria, Chukwuifeyinwa Esther, Mrs Adeyosola Bisiriyu, Aunty Calabar, Mrs Toyin Rowland, Mrs Chinwe Ngharamike, and Mrs Aziba, whose residences were stormed by the brand with a team of cheerleaders and trumpeter to celebrate and reward them.

Mrs Ngharamike, who could not hide her joy over the gifts, thanked Bigi Drinks for bringing joy to her heart and putting laughter on her face and that of her family.

“Indeed, Bigi drink is that go-to brand that brings smiles to the faces of its consumers by uplifting their burden. This is a big surprise, and I am indeed grateful,” she said between cheerful sobs.

Other consumers expressed their utmost surprise upon the brand’s visit to their homes, as they could not contain their excitement, jubilation, dancing, and screaming, while others sobbed cheerfully to contain their emotions for the succour and uplift the Bigi brand surprised them with.

Commenting on the initiative, the Assistant Brand Manager for Bigi, Ms Abiola Aransiola, restated the company’s commitment through the Bigi brand and the BRAK initiative to reaching out to people in need and improving their lives all across the country.

“It is our culture to find good deeds and reward them, which demonstrates our passion for helping people and improving their social status and living conditions. This is why Bigi extends its acts of kindness to consumers and other Nigerians,” she stated.

“As a company, we are not only concerned about selling our array of refreshing products to Nigerians but also committed to reaching out to our numerous consumers and Nigerians at the point of their needs by improving their living conditions across the country,” she added.

The BRAK initiative was originally flagged off in 2019 as BRAKNOV, as it was celebrated in November. However, it has metamorphosed to BRAK to allow the Bigi brand to give back to its consumers and Nigerians all over the country at any time of the year by rewarding them with the brand’s kindness.

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