Break over!

We got a 2-week break from work to relax and work out the kinks of the year 2017.

We all know the year was tough, but hey, look at us, we did sail through somehow! We bet we are all looking forward to a great and highly rewarding 2018, when all our hard work and sacrifices will yield favorable results; our heavy investments in transitioning from a project-based company to a products/platforms company; enduring a not-so-conducive work environment temporarily so that we can have the best office in Lagos; painstakingly creating and documenting processes so execution can be smoother; mindset change in customer engagement and very importantly, learning the path to cash from each individual’s activity.

“The true test of 2017 for us is not just about what happened to us. It is also about the lessons we learnt as a company. 2017, while being a very intense year, helped us learn lessons which made us stronger.”

- Bunmi Akinyemiju; CEO

The Spartans are back to do awesome stuff this 2018 — better, stronger and more determined to make it rain! Of course, it goes without saying that we have a lot to look forward to. We don’t plan to let the ball drop, rather, we’ll raise it higher and it’s going to be a real ‘Go!’-time this year.

(Watch our Christmas Video by the VGG Family!)

We are good to go…ready to take the Sub-Saharan Africa by storm.

2017 was packed full with activities, events and great things. Worthy of note is the progress we made on our key projects. To mention some of them;

AviTech stabilised Billing Data Aggregator (BDA) with their key client; the VigiPay team’s payment platform now has full functionality on some of their product offerings with a number of clients currently integrating. The Garden Social Venture (GSV) team commenced the development on their key projects and strengthened key relationships with strategic partners; The EduTech team made progress with the completion of the ABU MBA e-library and they had a remarkable improvement of site security, they also did a revamp of the Learning Management System (LMS) and created a referral Dashboard for the OAU project; a website and application portal was created for the MSU Ag Youth Lab Project; and the FinaTech team recorded remarkable progress on HealthPay with their integrations and pilot collections are expected to go live soon, while all tech requirements are set to be completed on VigiPay.

MSU AgriYouth Program Launch; First picture: L — R; VGG CEO, Bunmi Akinyemiju and Executive Director (ED) of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Akin Oyebode. Second Picture; R-L, VGG ED, Kunmi Demuren, Akin Oyebode and a guest at the event.

And these are just some things that happened projects-wise.

“We were able to diversify from the public sector to a private sector and from one-off revenue to recurring revenue; because of the hard work that was put into it. We are going to have some very exciting times next year. We look forward to investing in our people and our systems”

- Kunmi Demuren; ED

Now speaking of the non project-based achievements; Championed by the CFO, Nichole, the Garden Women’s Network of VGG, designed to bring together dynamic female executives, entrepreneurs and public service professionals, was launched earlier in the year, January 20, and since its launch, four Programmes have been organised by the Network.

Left Picture: GWN Lunch and Learn Programme with Guest Speaker, Udo Okonjo, held in June; Right Picture: GWN Lunch and Learn Programme with Speakers, Afua Osei of She Leads Africa, Chika Uwazie of TalentBase and Nichole Yembra, held in September.

Bunmi Akinyemiju, our CEO, received MIPAD’s 100 Most Influential People of African Descent Award (MIPAD) Award; Nichole Yembra, CFO of VGG was on the Forbes 2017 list of 30 UNDER 30 Africa’s Most Promising Entrepreneurs Award of recognition and VGG was featured on CNN!

Bunmi was invited to speak at key industry events in and outside the country during the year, including KPMG’s Annual Digital Summit, the Financial Times event on Private Equity in Africa and the IGD Frontier Leaders Fall Forum in the USA; putting the spotlight on VGG on more than a few occasions.

“I’m extremely proud of this team and of how resilient we are…Although we did not hit a lot of our targets, we’re definitely more focused and we have the right people to go into 2018.”

- Nichole Yembra; CFO

To wrap up the year, VGG’s Garden Academy Digital School launched The FinTech Program with a two-day pre-introductory class, themed: “FinTech — A Practical Introduction for Managers”. The class, the first of a series of classes for the initial phase of the Program, covered an overview of the Digital Economy and FinTech industry, Blockchain and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Micro-lending, as well as Business and Technology Strategy. Bunmi Akinyemiju and Suregifts’ Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi, both experienced experts in the FinTech industry, were the key facilitators. Classes will continue in January, 2018, and will feature top FinTech CEOs in Nigeria, as well as industry leaders across the world.

You’d best stay tuned for this.

“For me, from a People Ops perspective, 2017 was an interesting year. There are many things that we probably could have done better but I’m happy that we learnt the lessons we did. We plan to focus a lot more on our people next year.”

- Funmilola Eniolorunda; Head, People Operations Team.

The entire VGG family looks forward to a most fulfilling and eventful 2018!

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