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Published On: Wed, Oct 15th, 2014

CWG might be the next Alibaba for Nigeria – NSE Boss, Onyema

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Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema has said that Computer Warehouse Group Plc (CWG) is capable of being the Alibaba of Nigeria, following the adoption of her subscription based business model, tagged CWG 2.0.

Speaking during a visit to CWG head office in Lagos ,Onyema said “From their subscription businesses which they call CWG 2.0, to their legacy business which is more infrastructure based CWG has done quite well. We have been to their tier3 Datacentre, which supports multiple businesses. We have seen their contact centre, where they handle inbound calls. In all, it is professionally run. We are quite excited at the possibility of growth and how the Company might be the next Alibaba for Nigeria.”

Speaking about the performance of CWG since her listing last year, Onyema noted that “CWG has been a very good listed Company. They have complied with the pre and post listing standards. They have been a good ambassador of what it means to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.” “As you know, at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in May, WEF recognized CWG as one of the Global Growth Companies in the world. So, we are very excited about their performance in the ICT sector of the Stock Exchange. They are the biggest security in the sector, and we are very happy at what they are doing”, he added.

According to Onyema, the visit is in line with the practice of the NSE. He noted that the visit is paid to listed Companies by the Brokers’ Community so as to better understand their operations, which will in-turn equip brokers with the required information to advise clients, especially at the brokers level. “These visits are important in making sure that companies are on ground and running, and reflect what they represented to the investing public”, he said.

Speaking at the occasion, Austin Okere, Chief Executive Officer, CWG plc, explained that the visit enabled the company to give a feedback of what had happened since she listed on the exchange in November last year. “What this does is to establish a continuum. People want to know what we are doing with their money invested in the company”, he noted.

Speaking on the CWG 2.0 model, Okere drew a parallel between the initiative and that of the global ecommerce giant, Alibaba. According to him “there is a parallel between Alibaba and our CWG 2.0 business model. In fact, in our own view, CWG 2.0 is creating the next Alibaba here in Nigeria. Just like Alibaba, we are also focused on SMEs.

If we look at Nigeria, there are 17.7 million SMEs. These are the companies to go to because this is a platform for them to connect with each other and grow to their full potential. With CWG 2.0, we are taking advantage of the pervasive broadband capacity to champion a subscription business model that is profitable, sustainable, repeatable and scalable.”

Okere also highlighted the benefits of listing on the Stock Exchange. According to him, the major benefit of listing is giving liquidity to the stock. “Listing CWG gave room for people interested in buying the shares of the company and be part of the success story”, he said. “Secondly, the listing has helped in adopting a global governance structure that will in-turn guarantee sustainability and succession. This also will help garner confidence from our stakeholders, who would rather partner with a company where all the facts are out there and whose future is guaranteed” he noted.

Speaking on the potentials of the ecommerce business, James Agada, Chief Technology Officer, CWG Plc, pointed out that there is a larger market of smaller companies that produce much of what is used locally and is yet to be fully tapped. “So, the opportunity for us is much in terms of knowing what people need and getting to meet them” he said.

“We boast of about 17.7 million of such enterprises. If people can know what these enterprises do, then they can patronize them. So, there is that huge opportunity to make what these companies do known to so many of us, so that we can patronize them. There are certain things we inadvertently bring people down from oversees to do for us that there is someone who can fulfil it here that we don’t know. Our bid is to bring out such businesses. This is a peculiar challenge in Nigeria as in the other emerging markets where we operate. We attempted creative ways to tackle it, and this gave birth to our ecommerce platform under CWG2.0” he added.


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