Sustainability and Building Family Businesses Of The Future, Tomi Otudeko, OluRanti Bankole, others speak at PwC NextGen Survey Launch
At the launch of PwC‘s Global NextGen Survey2022, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos, Honeywell Group’s Head of Corporate Services, Tomi Otudeko, analyzed the significant aspects that family businesses can focus on to attract excellent investors in a rapidly changing environment. She also discussed the necessity of regaining respect and how the next generation working in family businesses must demonstrate their value to get a seat at the table.
The session, titled ‘Today and Beyond: The Next Generation Challenges the Status Quo of Family Business,’ aimed to bring together the next generation of family business leaders to discuss their roles as change agents and how they are paving the way for the future. Other notable speakers included Seun Jolayemi, the Executive Director, Special Projects of Daily Need Group; OluRanti Bankole, Head of School, Ikoyi Campus, Greensprings School; Cosmos Junior, the Executive Director – After Sales, Coscharis Motors Plc, and Guy Vande Vyvere, the Managing Partner of VYBROS Invest BV.
Earning a seat at the table…
While speaking at the event, Tomi Otudeko, a graduate of law from King’s College London and a Master of Economics alumnus of the University of Manchester, said: “I joined the organization Honeywell Group [HGL] after working in strategic positions across the UK and Africa. I knew my value as an employee, but I needed to ‘re-earn’ that value in Honeywell Group. Because you join an organization, as a family member, there is a perspective that comes with working in that organization. You need to re-earn and restate your value and ensure that people understand that you have all the requirements to have a seat at the table.”
“I have the joy of having my brother as my MD and my father as my chairman. But this also means that more is demanded of me. ” she explained.
She expressed that joining the family business was not a step she necessarily gravitated towards, but now that she is in the family business, “I understand what I am doing. I know I am not just fighting for my family; I am fighting for employees with families. I am fighting for the community that I am in. It’s important to me. It is not just a job.”
Prior to joining Honeywell Group, she was the Head, International Banking Coordination for First Bank of Nigeria’s International Business, where she was responsible for coordinating the implementation of strategic initiatives, business development, and group management activities across multiple regions.
Attracting the right investment
Tomi Otudeko further gave some insights on how family businesses can attract excellent investors and ensure long-term impact while focusing on sustainability in line with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria. She went on to explain what the ESG framework is and how Honeywell Group is using it to enhance its position in the investment community.
She stressed that sustaining the environment is one of the most pressing issues, as evidenced by the steady rise of sea levels and unusual global weather patterns. Businesses need to collaborate with partners that are heavily invested in the long-term effects of human activities on the environment, as exemplified by Radisson Blu Anchorage’s (a Honeywell Group portfolio company) heavy recycling and use of eco-friendly materials.
Sustainability is at the core of the success of family businesses, she explained, noting that, “Family businesses are value-based, and we are essentially driven by value in all we do. We are extremely deliberate about our influence in our host communities.
She highlighted how the HGL governance framework is an intrinsic element in attracting good long-term investment. She shared that HGL as a business has been diligent in establishing a strong governance structure, and the right individuals on its board to attract investment.
Another important factor in governance is diversity, and she pointed out that the group’s executive leadership is made up of 60% women and 40% men, giving them the advantage of having varied perspectives on issues. “We are doing a lot better than we think we are, yet there is still much to be done,” she admitted.
Sustainability is pivotal to any business
While also speaking on sustainability, Guy Vande Vyvere, Managing Partner, VYBROS Invest BV, went on to explain why stakeholders should be concerned about sustainability in business and the benefits of doing so. He believes. ‘’Stakeholders must understand the company’s objectives, and business leaders should view sustainability as a learning process with small actions that fit into a larger picture.” “In any family business, the leadership must be energetic, committed, and inspirational to make an impression on stakeholders and, as a result, bring them to a higher level.”
The power of communication
At the session, “Today and Beyond: The Next Generation Challenges Family Business Status Quo”, Oluranti Bankole, Head of School, Ikoyi Campus, Greensprings School mentioned that there were integral lessons to be learned from the current generation’s leadership such as the power of good communication. “Communication is the most important lesson I’ve learned from my mother. I’ve learned how to articulate my ideals and ideas in a more concise and effective. manner.” She went on to explain how this important ability has helped her improve her business operations and greatly strengthened her ability to add value to the business.
The PwC Nigeria NextGen Survey was launched after the panelists shared their insights and recommendations on how the next generation of family business executives can effectively play their roles in the advancement of the business ecosystem in the country.
This survey is a part of the global market survey of family business members from the next generation across 68 nations. The poll was conducted online in collaboration with The Family Business Network (FBN).