“Pandemic winners have to adapt to technology sustainably” – UMB CEO at B&FT CEO’s Breakfast Series

Businesses that successfully adapt to the increasing need to integrate technology into their operations in a sustainable manner will become winners of the COVID-19 crisis, Chief Executive Officer of Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), Nana Dwemoh Benneh, has said.

Speaking at this year’s first Ghana’s Most Respected CEOs Breakfast Series organised by the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) in Accra, Mr. Benneh said the pandemic will create both winners and losers, but noted that only businesses that can sustain their operations in the face of the crisis by adapting to the new normal – relying on technology, embracing remote work and adjusting to changing needs of customers – will emerge winners post the pandemic.

“The winners will be those who can do a proper assessment of what their business model is, what it is they are offering vis-à-vis the current changes we are all experiencing, and then taking advantage of it,” he said.

The event marks the sixth in the series and was themed ‘Business adaptability and sustainability in 2021: the role of impact finance and technology’. It brought together top business leaders to deliberate on how businesses can adapt to the changing face of work in a sustainable way by taking advantage of technology.

Since outbreak of the pandemic in the country a little over a year ago, most businesses have had to change the way they operate; and Mr. Benneh believes that the successful ones have had to rely more on technology and adapt to working remotely – all of which, he added, has come to change the operating model of most firms, and hopefully for the better.

“COVID-19 was a systematic process and almost every business had to sit back and review their operations, and almost every business has had to change the way they operate,” he noted. The successful ones, he added, will also be those that are quick to realise the need for change and then do so in a sustainable manner by embracing technology and innovation.

Sharing the unique experience of UMB, an indigenous financial institution that has successfully overcome the recent banking sector crisis and COVID-19 shock, he said the bank’s success since outbreak of the virus has been achieved by consistently supporting all clients, whether they are winning or they need extra support.

Explaining further, he said this experience has positioned the UMB brand as the financial institution of choice in the country for businesses looking to overcome challenges caused by the pandemic.

“We have found ways to support those whose businesses went down, and also support those who had opportunities to enable them to exploit these opportunities. We have customers which are still recovering that we are still supporting,” he added.

On what Ghanaians should expect from the bank in the years to come, he said: “Our clients should expect partnerships from us. Our commitment is that we want to partner and help them as they evolve their businesses going forward; and because we are an indigenous bank with a specific interest in Ghanaian corporates and SMEs – and even retail customers, our doors are always open as they go through the changes in their various circumstances”.

Source: Business & Financial Times

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