With CWG 2.0, Computer Warehouse Group Can Be The Next Google- Austin Okere

Founder and Chief Executive
officer, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) Plc, Mr. Austin Okere has noted that
the company has the potential to become the next Google, given the business
prospects of her new business model, CWG 2.0.
The CWG boss made this point while
addressing the company’s shareholders at the 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM)
held on Thursday, 19th of June, in Lagos.

The event had in attendance the
company’s chairman, Chief Willie Belonwu, Executive Directors: Chief Executive
Officer, Mr. Austin Okere, Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Phillip Obioha, Chief
Technology Officer, Mr. James Agada; Non-Executive Directors, Mr. Abiodun
Fawunmi and Mr. Ravi Sharma, represented by Alternate Director, Mr. kunle
Ayodeji; company Secretary, Barrister Okey Ejibe, shareholders, the media and
other stakeholders.
In his opening statement, the
company’s Chairman, Chief Willie Belonwu observed that “CWG Plc has been able
to record strong top line financial figures in the past year, against a
volatile backdrop of increments in commodity prices, tariffs and a steady
depreciation of the local currency (at the interbank market), coupled with
steady decrease in the margins of products and services. The results which
showed strong and positive performances across all financial indices also
confirmed the company’s position as the foremost Pan African ICT services
In reference to the future of the
company, Chief Belonwu noted that CWG Plc plans to further tap into the growth
potentials of emerging African Economies, through the provision of cloud based
IT solutions, in the bid to attain her vision to be the number 1 IT utility
enabler in Africa.
The Company’s financial scorecard
revealed that her revenues grew by 10% while Profit After Tax (PAT) increased
by a whopping 81% showing strong efficiency of operations. The result revealed
a Return on Equity of 13% in 2013, as against 11% in 2012 and Returns on
Capital Employed (ROCE) of 13% against 7% in 2012.    The Company’s Asset increased by N2bn to
N13.4bn as at 2013 year end, while Shareholders’ equity increased by a
remarkable 66% to N5.0bn in the same period. The Company finished with a strong
cash position of over N1.1bn at the year end, with a 38% increase in cash from
operation over 2012.
Shareholders at the event were
informed of the payment of their 8 kobo dividends per unit share, the same day.
According to Mr. Okere, CWG 2.0 is
a subscription business model and driven by the quest to help Small Medium
Enterprises (SMEs) grow and make notable social impact. This includes
Openshopen, a website that affords shop owners open their own virtual store
online and SMERP, an enterprise resource planning solution that will help
business owners manage their business inventories on a subscription basis.
According to him, Openshopen will
allow business owners to open their own online virtual stores which will give
their businesses visibility leverages. “If a buyer searches for a shop that
sells spare parts in your location online, for example, he can get to see your
store address and get to buy from you without any stress, if you have
registered your presence online” he said. Moreover, the solution will
democratize domain possession and give Micro, Small and Medium business owners
the platform to compete with known online stores at cheaper rates.
Mr. Okere also pointed out that
these solutions will have significant social impacts on the society. According
to him, there are about 17.7 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME)
in Nigeria. “With their own online stores and with the aid of enterprise
resource planning, we will empower SMEs to be able to keep their own records.
Then, they can present their records to get credits from the banks. With these
loans, they can be able to expand their businesses. If they are able to expand
their businesses, each of them can employ one more person. If each of them
employs one more person, we will end up creating 17.7 million more jobs. The
unemployment rate in Nigeria is about 23%, which amounts to about 16 million
jobless youths. With this development, we will eradicate unemployment and have
more jobs to spare” he added.
The advent of CWG 2.0 has
positioned us to be next Google or Facebook and make significant global impact.
And this vision is attainable because our solutions are not only profitable but
they are repeatable, scalable and sustainable. He concluded.

The event also witnessed the
election of Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere to the board of directors as a Non-Executive
Director. Mr. Ijewere is an astute accountant, who had served as president to
various notable organizations, such as the institute of Chartered Accountants
of Nigeria (ICAN), Red Cross Society, Institute of Directors and others. In the
same vein, three other shareholders were also elected as members of the audit committee,
while Ernst and Young was appointed as the company’s auditor for another year.

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