Standing on the shoulders of giants can provide invaluable insights and guidance for achieving business success. By observing and studying the strategies and practices of established businesses and business titans, you can expand your horizons, gain expertise, and unlock new possibilities for your progress.

    This article explores the significance of emulating giants and highlights the lessons that can be learned from their enduring success. Through two experiments, real-life examples of successful Nigerian businesses, and ten propositions derived from the study of giants, it emphasises the importance of context, adaptability, and innovation in achieving greatness.

Experiment One: Discovering Strength and Stamina:

    Participants from different age groups showcased their stamina and determination in a rope-skipping exercise. The five groups are made to be skipping ropes while an official count the jumps for them at the rate of one skip every second. One skip per second. They will do the exercise for 15 minutes nonstop. They are jumping to the counts only as long as each of them has the stamina. This means that whoever can no longer continue can step away from the arena. The findings revealed that the 20s generation displayed the highest strength and stamina levels. This experiment illustrates the relevance of pure energy and serves as a reminder that the younger generation often possesses inherent advantages regarding resilience and endurance. 

Experiment Two: The Art of Assembly:

    Participants from different age groups were tasked with assembling a piece of furniture. One member gets a manual for assembling the furniture. The fellow also receives a walkie-talkie with which to read out the instructions. This fellow will not be where the furniture is being assembled. The remaining member of the team gets headphones fixed on. That's where to receive the instructions passed to the four members assembling the furniture. This fellow will be blindfolded. The results showed that the 60+ age group completed the task most efficiently, followed by the 20s, 50s, and 30s age groups. Surprisingly, the 40s group needed help to complete the assembly within time. This experiment highlights the significance of experience, planning, and adaptability in achieving success.

Learning from Nigerian Giants:

    Studying successful Nigerian businesses and individuals who have made a lasting impact is essential. Examples include:

  • Odumegwu Ojukwu: A prominent Nigerian businessman known for his intuitive understanding of business strategies and ability to navigate complex challenges.
  • Aminu Dantata: A renowned entrepreneur who built a successful business empire by leveraging innovation and effective management practices.
  • First Bank: One of Nigeria's oldest and most respected financial institutions, known for its commitment to customer service and innovation.
  • UAC: A diversified conglomerate that has thrived by adapting to market trends and expanding into various sectors.
  • Nigerian Breweries: A leading brewery company that has consistently delivered quality products and maintained a strong brand presence.
  • Omo-Dare of Kabba.
  • SB Bakare & Sons of Ilesha.
  • Kaduna-based Ahmadu Chanchangi.
  • Oni and Sons of Oke Imesi in Ekiti.
  • Adeola Odutola of Ijebu.

And several more..........

Emulating Giants: Ten Propositions for Success:

  • Drawing inspiration from giants, the article presents ten propositions that can guide modern Nigerian businesses toward success:
  • Creating value for everyone involved in the product/service chain, including customers, suppliers, and employees.
  • Making products/services easily accessible to the target customers through effective distribution channels.
  • Innovating marketing approaches to generate demand and stay ahead of competitors.
  • Embracing healthy competition as a growth driver and continuously seeking improvement.
  • Focusing on capturing the loyalty of younger consumers through targeted strategies and innovative offerings.
  • Planning for the long term and remaining patient yet relentless in pursuing goals.
  • Managing cash wisely to build a solid financial foundation and weather economic uncertainties.
  • Being cautious about diversification and focusing on core strengths to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Reacting promptly to negative publicity and rumours to protect the brand's reputation and leveraging legal expertise to safeguard the brand and reputation and combat fraud.

Business Models of Giants:

Next, we explore different business models adopted by giants and how they have led to success:

  • Team Builders: Harnessing resources and expanding through strategic partnerships and collaborations. Eneli-Kuku-Obiorah Hospital (EKO) was one in its early years—my proposition:
  • Inventors and Innovators: Building businesses based on unique ideas and disruptive technologies: Investment Banking & Trust Company (IBTC)
  • Financial Services Domains: Consolidating capital and creating financial empires through banking, investments, and insurance: Standard Trust Bank, during the late 1990s and by the mid-2000s, had built a financial empire from the old UBA.
  • Acquirers: Expanding by acquiring other businesses and leveraging synergies: Flour Mills of Nigeria & Nigerian Breweries
  • Global Expansions: Scaling operations internationally to tap into new markets and diversify revenue streams: UAC.

    By learning from the success stories of giants and examining the unique context of Nigerian businesses, it becomes evident that emulating giants can offer valuable insights and strategies for achieving success. The experiments, real-life examples, and ten propositions presented in this article are starting points for businesses seeking growth, innovation, and longevity. Ultimately, Nigerian businesses can unlock their true potential and propel themselves toward a brighter future by adapting and evolving in line with changing market dynamics.