80 per cent of businesses under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Africa fail within the first 5 years of existence despite having the highest entrepreneurship rate in the world, a report has revealed.
The report titled ‘Fuel for Africa’s next billion businesses’ showed that 22 per cent of Africa’s working-age population start businesses due to various reasons but these businesses lack resources or structure to survive.
This is even worst in the healthcare sector, where majority of the private healthcare facilities are managed by health professionals, who know little or nothing about the business aspect of healthcare, the medical director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi told LEADERSHIP Weekend.
Despite the challenges that have marred businesses in Nigeria, Ajayi has been able to withstand storms but come out even stronger.
On the April 14, his fertility clinic will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. He shared with LEADERSHIP Weekend, what it takes to run a successful healthcare business in Nigeria.
Business Survival Secret
As the medical director of Nordica Fertility Centre, Ajayi said he is proud to say that he has weathered various storms but come out even stronger by taking steps in the right direction at establishing a sustainable enterprise.
The first secret, according to Ajayi, is to choose team properly. “We have never seen a football club who would allow injured players to play in a football match. In the same manner, you have to employ only those who are competent. The choice of your team is very crucial and when you have good team, treat them well,” he revealed.
“Your values are very vital. If you are a dubious person, your business is dubious as well and you will likely cut corners in your business. That is one thing I don’t do. I don’t cut corners, which is part of my success story. So, keep your values, business might be slow, but that is the way to go.
Prioritise the health of Nigerians as well as training and re-training of your employees, Ajayi advised, adding that, “with a clear vision backed by a formidable team and ‘the Can-do spirit of the dogged Nigerian’, we are here today as a testament of what can happen when men stay focused on a divine call to serve mankind through science.
“We have built a knowledge-based organisation where continuous learning is the key to our success story. With a very heavy investment in our most valuable asset, which is the people. Our focus on building human capital has been at the heart of all we do, because this is what gives us the competitive edge in the market. Our people make the difference.
In addition, Ajayi said, business thrives when one is innovation. “For instance, when I started Nordica Fertility Clinic in 2003, I promised Nigerians that we are going to offer services that they can get anywhere in the world. We have kept that promise.
“So, if you want to succeed, you have to invest in technology and be innovative,” Ajayi averred.
“In essence, my advice to health professionals who want to go into healthcare business is to learn the aspect of the business. One mistake we make is that we assume that because we are good doctors, we can also be good managers, it is not true. You have to learn how to manage the business; you should be able to understand your financial statement and you should be able to interpret loss and gain etc,” Ajayi advised.