SMEs Must Adopt Technology to Cut Operational Costs—Okuleye

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By Dipo Olowookere

If Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) intend to maximise profit and provide excellent services, then they must adopt technology to help cut operational costs, the Head of SME Sales at Cellulant Nigeria, Mr Ademola Okuleye, has noted.

Speaking recently on Arise TV’s Global Business Report, Mr Okuleye said this is where Cellulant Nigeria plays a critical role to support small business owners in the country, who contribute significantly to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The SMEs expert, while discussing the use of technology to improve the sector, stated that Cellulant provides a secure, seamless payment and collection platform that allows them to focus on other business areas.

He explained that technology has been a significant driver in improving the efficiency of SMEs in Nigeria in many areas such as power, human resources and payroll.

“There are many ways technology through the use of software and apps readily available today is helping SMEs cut operational costs. If you look at power, renewable energy helps SMEs reduce power costs.

“Non-core staffing functions can be outsourced to existing apps for accounting, payroll and setting up meetings. There are many apps for communication, too, and that’s why the value of voice calls is reducing viz-a-viz data calls. You are here in Lagos but can set up meetings with customers in any part of the world. Technology improves your revenue because your cost of operation is reduced,” he said.

Mr Okuleye disclosed further that when it comes to payments, Cellulant is onboarding SMEs to resolve their payment and collection issues by directly providing solutions that enable them to collect payments or payout to their customers.

“We have a platform that makes it easy for businesses to monitor transactions, reconcile and settle funds seamlessly. If you’re a CEO in Lagos and have several stores across the country, you can view all your business transactions on one dashboard. Easy access to your payments operations gives business leaders across Nigeria more time to do other things,” he remarked.

On who is responsible for hastening the adoption of technology between the government and private sector, Mr Okuleye said it’s a shared responsibility, saying, “The government has a responsibility regarding regulations needed to make business easy for SMEs and infrastructure, which is the biggest problem we have in Nigeria and Africa. There’s also a huge burden on the private sector, which sells the products and needs to create awareness. The private sector can create forums and events where SME owners and proprietors can come together and gain a basic understanding of the technology.”

Cellulant Nigeria is one of the pan-African payments companies and innovative fintech players driving financial inclusion in Africa while ensuring transactions’ safety, security and integrity.

The organisation provides locally relevant and alternative payment methods for global, regional, and local merchants across Africa.

It has a physical presence in 18 countries and processes payments for businesses in 35 others, offering a single API payments gateway called Tingg that enables companies to collect payments online and offline, delivering seamless payment experiences for their customers.

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