Okpanachi (Nachi) Adaji, CEO and Co-Founder of Comflo tells about safer and transparent commodity transactions.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Okpanachi (Nachi) Adaji: We are getting by. We have a young daughter who keeps us on our toes. Our Comflo team is now more dispersed so that we can support more customers in more places.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Comflo.
Okpanachi (Nachi) Adaji: I have a technical background and have worked for global firms. I came to realize that global trade was evolving at a much slower pace than other sectors and saw a massive opportunity to help the sector advance.
How does Comflo innovate?
Okpanachi (Nachi) Adaji: Comflo helps build and maintain trust and simplifies the steps in global trading. Billions are lost to fraud and errors annually.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Okpanachi (Nachi) Adaji: Global trading has continued amid the pandemic. We nevertheless had to adjust our operations in the early stage of the pandemic to better weather the uncertainty that followed. Global trading is getting back to normal, and our customers are looking optimistically to the future.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Okpanachi (Nachi) Adaji: At the beginning of the pandemic, we ended some contracts with loyal teammates to the right size amid the uncertainty at the time. This was difficult.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Okpanachi (Nachi) Adaji: In some ways, the global pandemic has helped advance our work. Prior to COVID-19, the industry relied on face-to-face meetings to advance deals. This was no longer possible with lockdowns and travel restrictions and is something that had been holding the industry back. The pandemic proved that online interactions and digital technologies are indispensable. Many myths about online communications and commerce have now been permanently dispelled. For global trading, technological disruption is advancing much more quickly.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Okpanachi (Nachi) Adaji: Comflo did not draw on any government pandemic relief.
Your final thoughts?
Okpanachi (Nachi) Adaji: The pandemic has been challenging in a wide range of ways, but one unforeseen aspect is that it forced considerable technology adoption. It also proved ways in which our global trading system is resilient as well as ways in which it can be improved. Without 2020, the pace of technological adoption would not have been possible.
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