Zenith Bank GMD: 10% growth reflects the “quality and caliber” of the team

Transcription

Nigerian group Zenith Bank recorded 10% growth in gross revenue and pre-tax profit in 2021 – a remarkable achievement given the continued economic impact of the pandemic. Group Managing Director Ebenezer Onyeagwu discusses how the bank is innovating and its post-pandemic strategy. Watch the other parts of this interview in our Zenith Bank playlist:

World Finance: Ebenezer, tell me about these numbers: how was this growth achieved?

Ebenezer Onyeagwu: Traditionally, Zenith has over the years been a performance driven organization. The number you see illustrates the true fundamentals of the business. We are very dominant when it comes to the corporate sector, and even on the retail side!

When we launched retail three years ago, we only had about 3.4 million accounts. But today we have 10 million accounts. We had about three million cards, today we have about 14 million active cards, and it keeps growing.

We are the bank with the largest shareholder fund – approximately ¢3.2 billion – which gives us the deepest pockets to do any transaction available in the country.

We also have a talent pool, with best-in-class teams working for us. And we also have a board that is very well diversified – which also provides effective challenges in board deliberations.

So the result you see is only a reflection of the performance history of the organization, and the quality and caliber of the team we have.

World Finance: As you say, Zenith has clients ranging from retail to enterprise – how do you innovate for each of these segments?

Ebenezer Onyeagwu: Our way of innovating is to examine the customer journey, understand aspirations and ensure that we are developing the right products.

So the first thing we did was create an omnichannel, so we could onboard and engage customers in any segment. We have mobile banking, we have point of sale, we have ATMs, we have internet banking. So the type of platform we have gives us that delivery to connect with customers in every segment of the market.

We are also able to integrate and connect with any company that has an artificial program interface. So we design products and services to truly align with market demands.

On the corporate side, we are able to innovate – if you are a corporate client of Zenith, you can receive your money from any part of the country where you are located. Then you can also make your payment wherever you are.

We also promote and hone digital literacy and awareness, which helps people truly embrace the use of digital technology in business. In fact, we consider ourselves a technology company with a banking license. Just because of the disposition we have towards technological applications.

World Finance: Now, what is Zenith Bank Group’s strategy as the world finds a new post-pandemic normal?

Ebenezer Onyeagwu: After the pandemic, many more transactions will be done electronically. So what we decided to do is that beyond the omnichannel that we use to engage customers, we’re looking to build a great integrative app. We will look at things like expanding our digital footprint. We will also redesign or reshape our business services and products to ensure they align with the aspiration of the new normal.

The board recently approved us to invest over $100 million in building a new enterprise architecture, as well as creating new applications that will give us that position and dominance that will ensure a privileged position to take advantage of the opportunity.

Above all, we must assert ourselves in the market with the digital application and occupy this position of right to play in any segment.

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