Chika Ezeani, 31, is the regional leader of the South-South and East region at Procter & Gamble. He speaks about the intricacies of his job
What stirred your interest in accounting and finance?
I will credit that to a book titled, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, co-written by Robert Kiyosaki, Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway. I also came across the Forbes list of the world’s richest persons in 2003/4 and I was marvelled at how one person could control several fortune 500 companies.
As an account manager, what factors do you think are responsible for your accomplishments?
I would say discipline and integrity as well as having superior knowledge of the industry and knowing my customers’ businesses. Integrity is the basic requirement in business while trust is the capital. If you want sustained success, you must be disciplined.
What is your work history?
I currently work with Procter & Gamble as a regional leader for the South-South and East region. I started my career as an administrative officer at the Enugu State Ministry of Commerce and Industry during my national youth service. Then, I went off to get an MBA at the Lagos Business School. Because I wanted to have a taste of investment banking, I also got an internship position at Afrinvest for few months. When I completed the MBA, I joined P&G as an account manager responsible for Enugu and Benue states.
You are also an entrepreneur, business developer and sales professional. Can you espouse more on what you do?
As a sales professional, my current role is to make sure that the company’s brands win with customers at all times. As a business developer, I recommend tailored business solutions that deliver the greatest value to my customers. To achieve the above requires that I have to be entrepreneurial in my approach to problem solving.
What is your educational background?
I have an MBA from the Lagos Business School. Before that, I studied and received a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Economics from Madonna University.
What is your job description?
My job deliverables are to design, execute and continuously improve the ‘go –to’ market strategy that ensures the company’s brands win with customers every time.
What challenges do you face on your job and how do you surmount them?
The major challenge has to do with the dynamic environment because the Consumers Package Goods sector is constantly changing. A consumer may have acquired a new taste this minute, while new entrants are getting into the market the next minute. Sometimes, you might just be getting adjusted to a new reality, only for an existing player to pull a rabbit out of the hat with a new product or distribution strategy. The only way to deal with this is to be proactive by anticipating trends and actions of industry stakeholders. I achieve this by reading widely and keeping my ears and eyes open.
You worked with a team of students to organise the 2013 African Business Conference at the Lagos Business School. How did that pan out?
It was a great experience. Prior to 2013, several editions of the conference had held in the US and Europe but never in Africa. However, before the African Business Conference, I had co-hosted a successful SME business leaders’ mentorship day, which provided us with a template to perfect the conference.
What aspect of your career do you enjoy most?
I enjoy the creative thinking process of tailoring a solution that would deliver values for a customer, especially when this solution is inexpensive but overlooked.
Who are your role models and how have they influenced your career?
There are several, but principal among them are my parents. From them, I learnt to act with integrity and discipline. As I mentioned earlier, Warren Buffet inspired me to get into the business world. His uncommon sense and judgement are legendary.
How would you advise youths who want to follow your footprints?
Be disciplined and act with integrity in any situation you find yourself. Read widely and follow through with your plans to the end. In all things, trust in God.
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