Mr Hassan Hammoud is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mamuda Group of Companies based in Nigeria with over 11,000 workers. In this interview, the CEO talks about his new beverages company, among other issues.
What ventures are the Mamuda Group involved in?
For all franchises, history, manpower and reputation are three key indicators of their place in the business environment which consists of products, consumers, partners, competitors, among other things. In this respect, the Mamuda Group is a diversified business conglomerate convened into five main sectors: beverages, sacks, mats, food, tanneries, leather and power. To ensure the sustainability and success of each business within the various sectors, we are committed to providing every entity with the tools and resources with a central functional support to enable development and growth. We work in specialisation to ensure that each business strives to achieve the organisation’s objectives and goals.
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All of the above has made Mamuda a knowledgeable expert in each of our undertaking fields and our ever-growing experience makes us the trusted corporation that our clients turn to.
More so, one cannot talk about Mamuda Group of Companies without mentioning its current Chairman and CEO, Mr Hassan Hammoud, an entrepreneur and seasoned businessman striving to explore new business frontiers and provide clients with cutting edge solutions. With his vision, hands-on mentality, eye for detail and business principles, Hammoud, has grown his companies into a diverse business conglomerate.
Under his leadership, the second-generation business leader has grown Mamuda Group vertically and horizontally with a portfolio of sustainable, innovative and successful businesses across five different divisions with ambitious plans for expansion.
We learnt you recently added a company to the group; what does it produce?
With its corporate culture, which is always looking for the newest and the best, Mamuda has adopted the principle of fulfilling its promise of production quality for its consumers and stands out not only with its promises, but also with its actions. With its emphasis on innovation, it continues to set standards in all areas of its business; from production to technology, and from R&D to innovation. The outcome of this is the creation of an additional company to the existing chain.
The new company, Mamuda Food Nigeria Limited, Kano, produces biscuits, wafers and other confectionary products which will be unveiled soon.
What really inspired Mamuda Food?
Let me refer all to our key values around corporate and social responsibility. We have got four: employment – more than 11,000 employees work in the divisions of Mamuda – which means we are motivated by the fact that we are contributing our quota in job provision. The project you are talking about is part of our business expansion drive which is informed by a lot of internal and external factors, but above all, we are fulfilled in knowing that we consolidate the effort of government in job provision.
We network with other nationalities, hence more than 100 expatriates work with us. We care about the environment. Our gas power plant produces 30 megawatts (MW) of clean energy.
At Mamuda, we also try to source our raw materials locally, our tannery buys 20,000,000 pieces of raw skin a year. All this revolves around our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which mainly inspires us to embark on such giant projects as you said and other ones not in the public knowledge yet.
You are among the few investors with private power generating plants. Do you intend to go commercial with it?
I can’t respond to that for now, but I am sure with time we will decide on what we will do.
As an international entrepreneur, what do you think ought to be done by government to revive the nation’s economy?
Nigeria with a projected population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 399 million people and $3.3tn by 2050 respectively, the gap between the reality of Africa’s largest economy and its undisputed potential remains wide, but achievable. The major task of the government as the Vice President, Yemi Osinbanjo, said, has been to systematically implement strategies that will deliver the future we wish to see. I remember him calling it a daunting responsibility, but his promise has not been lost on the Buhari administration and serves as the impetus for its sustained “change” agenda.
Again, safe business environment is essential to economic growth; no business can thrive in an insecure terrain. I am aware of the fact as enumerated by the Nigerian government that the past three and a half years have been challenging both at home and abroad. Commodity prices, both oil and non-oil, have been volatile. Global trends, be it security, trade or politics, have also been unpredictable. In Nigeria, we have had to cope with disruptions in oil production and export, security challenges and devastating floods. We have weathered these storms and made progress on many fronts, which is why we have cause to be optimistic about the future.
With all these challenges there are opportunities for the government to do the needful in making Nigeria retain the position of largest economy of Africa.
What are your targeted markets?
There is currently a popular phrase at the Mamuda Group, “We shake hands from coast to coast.” Mamuda’s creative innovation, rigorous manufacturing process control, knowledgeable staff and reliable production support is of great importance to a successful and satisfactory long-term performance. And that directly affect customers in a way that they become our advocates here in Nigeria and across Africa.
That is certainly true to us, from our management, qualified creative team and hands-on production staff we guarantee that your order and services from the group will always be what you anticipate; the very best.
With our constant effort to achieve customer satisfaction we are always ready for opportunities to grow our business activities. Constantly working towards excellence, we have adopted a customer-centric work policy.
We look forward to share our experience and expertise with potential customers worldwide and duly meet their needs and requirements, including our customers, suppliers and partners in Kano State.
What would you say are the major challenges of the Nigerian business sector?
There are always challenges, but all challenges are to be overcome. And the good thing is, again I would want to refer to what the vice president said about the state of the economy before listing them. He recently said this and this is based on factual information, that, “The economy has recovered from recession and we have had six quarters of growth. Nigeria’s real GDP growth stood at 1.81 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 compared to 1.17 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.”
I see it on papers that apart from petroleum (crude oil), Nigeria’s other natural resources include natural gas, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, gold, kaolin, syenite and tatium and arable land. The oil and gas sector has been accounted as taking about 35 per cent of the GDP and petroleum exports revenue represents over 90 per cent total exports revenue. That is the major problem, and the solution to that lies in our hands. I am aware that the Nigerian administration is using economic diversification, and I believe that is a way to address the major challenges.