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The lessons of 2020 are driving trends in business leadership and FinTech for 2021

The lessons of 2020 are driving trends in business leadership and FinTech for 2021

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Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Chairman of Nigerian FinTech firm Innovate1Pay, Mahmood Ahmadu has shared his vision for 2021, as businesses reopen in the new normal. Drawing on the pragmatic leadership required in a highly disruptive 2020 and the positive impact of FinTech during the crisis, Ahmadu believes that the building on these lessons will be crucial for economic revival in 2021.

Mahmood Ahmadu, Founder and Chairman of Nigerian Fintech firm Innovate1Pay, has called on business leaders to contextualise their 2021 strategies, in light of the lessons learnt from the disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Widely acknowledged as one of the leading African entrepreneurs – and recipient of the Forbes Africa Award and Euro-knowledge Award in 2020, for his philanthropy –Ahmadu emphasised the importance of people-centric leadership and the financial inclusion enabled by Fintech, as key elements for an optimal economic recovery in 2021.

“2020 tested most business models severely. Leaders have had to rely on frequent and effective communication with their organisations,” said Ahmadu. “We have witnessed a more forensic attention to the details of business models and tighter cost controls than before the pandemic. Under immense financial pressure and few available options, businesses realised the importance of collaborative support, from partners and suppliers, as well as the true value of the human capital within their organisations and the goodwill of their customer base.”

“Managing businesses remotely has reinforced the value of innovation, empowering decision makers at all levels of an organisation, and the transformative power of emerging technologies,” he added.

As one of Africa’s leading FinTech firms and payment platforms, Innovate1Pay played a crucial role in ensuring that the impact of the lockdowns due to COVID-19, among the large segment of Africa’s population as yet unreached by traditional banking, was somewhat limited through the implementation of digital alternatives.

“Through the everyday processing of payments and financial activity by Innovate1Pay, we witnessed the massive positive impact of FinTech, during the global pandemic, first-hand,” he said. “In Africa, where formal infrastructure can often be inadequate, FinTech played a prominent role in empowering migrant workers to send monies to their loved ones under lockdown. Civil society, especially the significant African diaspora, was able to come together and extend support to the needy, despite limitations on physical movement.”

He explained that: “FinTech emerged as a prime example of the huge positives that appropriate innovation and technology deliver. But the implications are much wider. As the global economy reopens, the most important insight we can draw from 2020 is the impact of a people-centric approach and technology, to get us through an unprecedented crisis. Leveraging these strategies effectively will continue to be our strength, if we are to thrive in the new normal.”

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