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Babatunde Lawal: Entrepreneur reengineering legal delivery

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Babatunde Lawal: Entrepreneur reengineering legal delivery

Babatunde Lawal: Entrepreneur reengineering legal delivery

Babatunde Lawal: Entrepreneur reengineering legal delivery.

Babatunde Lawal, chief executive officer of HARLEM Solicitors, is among the entrepreneurs providing Nigerians and businesses with access to legal services and products that are efficient and cost-effective.

Lawal, a lawyer, was inspired to establish his corporate law firm – which focuses on telecommunication law, after gaining over 14 years of experience with top chambers and as an in-house counsel in the telecoms industry.

“After leaving the corporate industry as an in-house counsel, where l was for 14 years gathering knowledge, experience, and exposure, it was entirely predictable that the pointedly significant area of my inspiration and experience would inevitably lead me to establish and own a corporate law firm,” he says.

Lawal says his initial capital was from his savings as an in-house counsel. “l was able to save enough capital to jump-start the business. In any case, the advice is always to start small.”

“Every business that has made it today started small. You don’t have to impress anyone. We started on a shoe-string budget, but today, we are happy to see where we are within the first four years,” he says.

“Am sure that what we have achieved today, great as it is, is but a prelude to vast attainments yet to come. The panacea is to remain focused, despite the odds and brambles. Be focused and be prayerful,” he notes.

Since its establishment, HARLEM has emerged as one of the leading law firms in Ibadan, Oyo state.

“Among notable corporate and commercial firms in Oyo State and beyond, HARLEM has also mounted a rafter of glory and adulation that now boasts of a first-of-its-kind legal workspace for law firms. We now rank the top three law firms in Ibadan and the state, and we are also in the category of top three highest-paying law firms in Ibadan,” he states.

He says his law business grew through diligence and hard work from the top management to the last employee in the firm.

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“We have built a good number of loyal, quality, brilliant, talented, and culture-fit workforce that are adequate for our present need and we are doing all we can to look after their psychological safety and overall wellbeing with established and entrenched employee-friendly practices as well as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation policies put in place,” he notes.

According to him, HARLEM plans to open a new state-of-the-art office complex to expand its growth and offerings in the short run and have an office in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt in the long run.

As part of the law firm’s social corporate responsibility (CSR), he says HARLEM provides start-ups and indigent individuals discounted and responsive legal services and sometimes for free.

“The support rendered by our firm also includes regular visits to correctional centers to render pro bono legal services to inmates who have been wrongfully detained,” he says.

“We are also glad to be investing massively in undergraduates and fresh graduates and connecting them with paid physical and virtual internships since we founded HARLEM,” he adds.

Speaking on some of the challenges confronting the business, he says running a law firm focused on telecommunication law is a big challenge for a city like Ibadan that is replete with only litigation law firms.

“The challenge becomes pronounced for a firm like HARLEM that chooses telecommunications law as its major area of practice, with the headquarters of the majority of the telecoms giants in Lagos, it becomes a challenge although this has not in any way ruffled or unsettled us.”

The business has leveraged technology to address this challenge.

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On his advice to other entrepreneurs, he says, “individual and collective team spirit and drives towards ‘near-suicidal commitment’ to excellence and perfection will take any start-up far.”

“Every start-up will have its share of the near-ubiquitous challenge besetting them. Develop the aplomb, resilience, and fortitude to face the challenges and not be deterred by them,” he advises.

“Carve a niche for yourselves and be entirely on top of their compliance game at all times to remain in practice,” he adds.

360Hausa is a current Best Hausa Entertainment blog in Africa that specialized in providing you high quality content. 360Hausa was found and manage by Abubakar Yusuf Radda (B2 [D Promoter] Slayer). A Blogger, Ghost Writer & Content creator. Follow us on Social Media @360Hausa

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Business & Markets

MFS Africa acquires US-based global tech company

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MFS Africa acquires US-based global tech company

MFS Africa acquires US-based global tech company

MFS Africa acquires US-based global tech company.

In a rare acquisition of a US tech company by an African tech company, MFS Africa, Africa’s largest digital payments network, on Tuesday announced that it has reached an agreement to buy Global Technology Partners (GTP).

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, GTP is the number one processor for prepaid cards in Africa, with over 80 banks – including UBA, Ecobank, BIA, Stanbic, Coris, NSIA and Zenith Bank – using its platform. GTP’s client base covers 34 countries and is fully connected to the Visa, Mastercard, GIM, GIMAC and Verve networks for which it provides the processing.

This acquisition enables MFS Africa to further deepen its offering to Africa’s gig economy, the business travel market and the millions who eagerly want to participate in the global digital commerce through card credentials linked to mobile money wallets – rather than bank accounts – for seamless and secure online purchases. It also expands MFS Africa’s bank and fintech base and provides tokenisation for the mobile money world in connection with the traditional card scheme ecosystems such as Visa and Mastercard.

Founder and CEO of MFS Africa, Dare Okoudjou, said: “This is a momentous milestone for us and Africa’s tech ecosystem – on many levels. It’s something of a first for an African tech company to acquire a US tech company of GTP’s size and stature, and we’re delighted to be welcoming the GTP team to the MFS Africa family. Their expertise enables us to extend our value proposition of last-mile connectivity to African banks and to accelerate our offering of card connectivity to mobile money users and other fintech companies operating across the continent. The combined operations have immense and exciting growth potential, and with our extended portfolio, we are now truly an omnichannel payments company.”

Robert Merrick, founder and chairman of Global Technology Partners, commented: “GTP’s established position as Africa’s number one prepaid card processor has been built on its unique, flexible platform that actively helps prepaid cards to succeed. We have become the leader of prepaid cards in Africa because of our people, who have genuine in-depth knowledge not only of the prepaid card business but also of the realities that African card users face. We connect the right solution to the right markets with the right products. MFS Africa is an ideal home for GTP, and we are focused on adding new features and functionalities to our platform, signing up new clients, expanding into new countries, driving growth and making a significant contribution to growing MFS Africa’s business and its network of networks.”

Following GTP’s acquisition, MFS Africa plans to further invest in GTP’s current card programmes with banks and bring to these all the innovation and possibilities offered by the MFS Africa HUB – including seamless interoperability with Mobile Money.

The company will also leverage GTP’s stack to fast-track card programmes for MNOs and FinTechs across Africa. Lastly, MFS Africa intends to leverage GTP’s presence in the USA to expand its commercial activities in North America.

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