The Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), of eTranzact Ghana, an electronic solution provider, John Apea, has rallied Ghanaian entrepreneurs to reconnect with “our identity as Ghanaians” which has been “destroyed” by colonialism.
According to him, the only way Ghanaian businesses can have breakthrough and penetrate the international markets and rock shoulders with big brands is to get the basis right.
“I think we need to go back to basis, back to who we are, back to our identity as Ghanaians which was destroyed by colonization, once we go back, that’s when we can go forward,” the CEO of eTranzact advised.
Mr Apea made this call at a panel discussion forum organised by the University of Ghana Business School, (UGBS), in partnership with Society Influencers Foundation, (SIF), on the theme: ‘Trans-Political Business in Ghana.’
Addressing the gathering, at the forum which sought to encourage local partnership, and local-international business operations, he said, understanding the ecosystem and trying new things prepare the way for successful future.
“A lot of the things we are talking about are on the service levels. I think we need to go back to our national identity,” he observed.
For instance, he said, about 80 per cent of his costumes are political suits which trace its brand from Uganda with an inscription that meant “Let’s abandon suits” and “let wear something that is more indigenous to us.”
He proposed that “We should have civic classes about the way you (Ghanaians) learn about our identity as Ghanaians.”
Mr Apea observed that “The reason a lot of Ghanaian or African businesses fail is because they think low.”
He added: “The mindset is that we are doing well here and we don’t really need to change our system to adopt.
“It is a very myopic way of thinking but that’s how we think,” the businessman noted.
The UGBS and the Society Influencers Foundation event was also to imbibe the spirit of entrepreneurship into students, and drive a national conversation for people in power to protect local businesses irrespective of the political perception surrounding them.
While advising the gathering with particular reference to economic students, Mr Apea said “….Human Resources and training people like you (students) to be the best type of CEO, is the most important thing we can do, because once you do that, automatically you bring structure to organizations.”
He said “The reason we (businesses) don’t enter outside markets and the reason outside markets do not invest in a lot of our SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) is because there is no structure.”
“….We are not well structured. Our financial reports are all over the place. How would someone want to invest in you?” he wondered.
He said for businesses to break barriers, “the people managing those businesses and the structure of the businesses,” ought to be stronger to stand the test of time.
“Our structures are bad and that’s the main reason why we don’t enter the outside markets,” Mr Apea observed.
While pointing to prejudice in the system and attitudinal rules, the CEO of eTranzact said “there are businesses in Africa that have been able to make it out from those attitude rules.
You have to ask yourself if those attitude rules are binding, why are some able to make it out?” he quizzed rhetorically.