Capital Bank’s Young Achiever Account: A Strategic and Symbolic Approach to Financial inclusion

At a short but colourful press event at the company’s plush head office in Spintex, which I was privileged to be present, Capital bank, in a strategic partnership with MBM Associates and REVO Education, launched the Young Achiever Account on September, 28, 2016.

Aimed at providing a financial buffet for parents as they move to secure a better  future for their children, Capital bank’s Young Achiever Account requires a minimum opening balance of GHC10 and an operating balance of GH100, which amount is qualified for interest  tiered at 2% above the bank’s Saving Accounts rate.


Capital bank is certainly not the first financial institution to introduce educational trust fund into Ghana’s banking industry. Given the seemingly aggressive levels of competition among the 29 commercial banks in Ghana, one will not need a degree in Business Administration to accept the view that financial institutions, desirous of remain financially viable and profitable, will strategically be disposed to capturing different segment of the markets. Indeed, it is on this basis that saving accounts held in trust for children between ages zero to 17, will not be a new phenomenon in Ghana’s banking industry, in 2016.

 Nevertheless the above observation, one cannot equally deny or be dismissive of the fact that Capital Bank’s Young Achiever Account   is revolutionary, both in substance and symbol.

Substantially, Capital bank’s Young Achiever Account provides some exciting incentive packages, duly rewarding both parents and particularly, their kids. Not only does the accounts affords parents the opportunity to save towards their children’s education as they grow into the many uncertainties of life, better still, clients who deposits GHC 5,000 or more into the account, are given a free ilearn tablet, 10% discounts on books purchased at any Sytris Bookshop and 15% discounts on football and swimming programs at the Lizzy Sport Complex. For the purposes of emphasis, I note with excitement that, besides not requiring the use of the internet, the ilearn tablets has, installed,42 GES approved text books, Pass questions and answers, Maths Formulas and English Companion.

Symbolically, this innovative product reaffirms the bank’s unbridled commitment to providing value to its customers, however their age or other diverse demographic features. It also marks an enviable milestone in the company’s bid to becoming a tier1 bank, while lending credence to the numerous industry accolades and awards that has come the way of bank, in spite of it relatively young years in operation. Most importantly, the product also reinforces the company’s commitment to promoting inclusiveness in Ghana’s financial sector, besides inculcating the fast eroding culture of savings into Ghanaians, both young and old. The strategic partnership between the bank and MBM Associates and Revo Education, is of an immense symbolic importance as it underscores the bank’s dedication to building long term relationships, through technological innovation.

With this symbolic and substantial benefits, it did not come to me as a surprise that one of the first three winners of an ilearn tablets, Stephanie Nyira Enchill, with smiles beaming all over her face, traveled all the way from Kumasi to witness the launch.


As Ghana continues to make efforts towards expanding and consolidating its gains in the financial sector, some of these ground-breaking innovation aimed at financial inclusion cannot go unnoticed. Given how altruistic and holistic the Young Achiever Account is, I cannot help but recommend same for any parent seeking a better and financially-secured future for their children.

Samuel Osarfo Boateng

Blogger/Researcher/ Communication Strategist


The Industry of Advertising in Ghana:My take

There is no denying the fact that Advertising industry in Ghana plays no mean role in the economic and socio-cultural development of the country. Economically, the direct income contribution of the sectors, whilst data in this respect readily exist, cannot be denied or over-emphasized.No serious economy desirous of promoting its investment credentials while consolidating its economic gains can downplay the role of advertising agencies.If for nothing at all, their financial contributions to Ghana’s economy, in terms of of corporate taxes, employment and other financial obligations, cannot be lost on us.

Indeed, the various and numerous array of rib-racking creative concepts, couched in culturally sensitive and emotionally-provoking language, has kept many faces beaming with smiles, beyond the growth potentials those creative concepts continue to open to brands and businesses.Even the crappiest of an advertising concepts have gone a long way to creating awareness for products or services, which would otherwise be in the oblivion.



Just like any industry, the advertising industry is not bereft of its own share of challenges and impediments.Beyond the logistical, regulatory,technical, financial an commercial impediments that continue to beset Ghana’s Advertising industry, the seeming lack of frequent opportunities for industry players to engage, intellectually and conversationally, stands out among the myriads of factors inhibiting the growth of the industry.

While the role and efforts of the Advertising Association of Ghana in this respect is highly commended,much still needs to be done to address or stimulate conversation on most of the gnawing challenges in the industry.

Given the numerous challenges of Ghana’s fledgling advertising industry,the least that could have been anticipated, is to have a viable industry front where issues, of adverse effects to the industry, are discussed objectively and intellectually.

As it stands currently, one will cannot easily access reliable information on Ghana’s advertising industry.Hardly is our industry producing indigenous knowledge to feed young and aspiring advertisers or researchers.The least said about the social media platforms of the Association, the better.The fact that information on the platform is not up to date lives much to be desired in a fast paced industry like the Advertising industry.

Else where industry blogs play key roles in stimulating intellectual discourse among players, whatever their levels are.At the very least, people can read and acquaint themselves with developments in the industry.I am fully aware that Content writers and leading writers are contracted to provide thought-leadership contents on leading concepts and exclusive industry information and other working statistics in the industry front.

Unfortunately, same cannot be said of Ghana’s advertising industry.Information is so encrypted(for want of a better word)…Hardly can a graduate in with specialty in Advertising(like myself), lay hands on reliable industry information to inform their creative concepts and decisions.

Once, I have had to abruptly put on hold, a research i was doing for a client, because of readily available industry information.The big question is how do we develop this sector if we keep information out of reach of people may be interested in conducting studies into various topics in an ever-increasing industry like the advertising agency?How can we induce more research into the industry, if some basic information are barely accessible?How can policy makers/law makers be moved to expedite action on the Advertising Bill when the industry itself is not making information easily accessible?

While our financial contribution to Ghana’s economy is not contestable, can we say same of our intellectual contributions to Ghana’s information regime?


I will not waver in my view on the best approach to solving the challenge i have so chronicled.I will recommend, without compromise or any hesitation, an Industry blog that will among other things, provide industry articles and reviews on developments in Ghana’s Advertising Agencies. Content may consist of reviews on leading prints, digital and broadcast commercials,Advertising concepts and latest research works, leading Advertising Agencies, leading Advertisers,and News relating to major employee status of leading advertisers.This business can be modeled on that of the most renowned Adage,Content Marketing Institutions and others.

Beyond this opportunities that will be afforded industry players, industries or organizations seeking to recruit Media Agency should also have full information on some of the works and credentials of Media Agencies, which will be captured in the Media profile portal of the blog.

By the second year, this blog must be the leading industry mouthpiece, setting best industry benchmark and providing expert opinions on concepts , in line with the ethical and regulatory regime.

I am looking forward to creating a blog and other social media media platforms for this project and i look forward to other henchmen who will be part of this revolution by way of Article contribution, Advertisement, Sponsorship, and Agency Profiles.

Please do get in touch if you so wish to be part of this revolution.:

Samuel Osarfo Boateng,

Researcher/Blogger and Content Strategist



Unlike their contemporaries in politics, manufacturing, and other sectors of the economy, players in the financial sectors do not have the luxury of waxing lyrically all the customer-oriented adjectives in their marketing or other communications efforts. Indeed, the last they can ever contemplate is to promise more than they can feasibly and measurably deliver.

Beyond the fact the regulatory regime and ethical demands of the financial sector imposes a moral and legal obligations on these institutions to be factually accurate in their promises and solutions, a fast paced knowledge/information based world, which has left the customer insatiable in their demand for comfort, convenience, safety, speed and precision, has been a key factor in deflating self-touting tendencies of any financial  player, desirous of  earning the trust and credibility of its customers, either potential or existing.

Besides the above observation, there is, indeed, no denying the fact that, given an overtly competitive financial sector, the only option that players in this arena are left with is the option of providing innovative, creative, efficient and customer-focused financial solutions that addresses the prevailing challenges of individual and corporate bodies. Without doubt, the situation where   almost 32 universal banks and other numerous tier 2 and 3 banks are left to compete for the deposits of only 30% banked population has been a key factor, prompting technologically –engineered innovation in a Ghana’s banking sector.

It is  these exigencies and given the resounding  merits of a cashlite economic order that continue to boost Ghana’s effort at attaining a cashless economic regime, one which is not only driven by the prevailing global financial demands  but most importantly  a need to meet the financial needs of customers in a safe, secured  innovative ways.

Consequently, players in the financial sector have over the years introduced pioneering financial products and services all aimed at reducing the risk associated with a cash-based economic regime.

 Of the many financial products in this respect, I have decided to profile Capital bank’s speed pay, in this piece. Without prejudice or disrespect to other products in that category, I am minded to write about SpeedPay as, in my estimation, the product is the most innovative financial solution which  promises  nothing short of safe and convenient electronically base deposit and purchasing solution. Besides, cognizance of the recent strategic partnership between Capital bank and Allied oil which is expected to widen the distribution channel for the product, I have no doubt that Speed Pay, provides a perfect case for  this piece that seeks to stress the importance of strategic partnerships in Ghana’s cashless financial regime.


 Consistent with the company’s new brand tagline of providing value and in keeping with its promise of providing innovative, safe and secured financial solutions, as part of its rebranding, Capital bank introduced Speed pay to consolidate the giant gains the company continue to make in electronic banking regime. Previously called Speed banking, Speed pay was developed in 2011 to facilitate cash deposit in Ghana, playing a pioneering role as the first product to bring branchless electronic cash deposit banking solutions in Ghana.

speed pay.jpg

With speed pay, customers can deposit cash and make payments through the internet or mobile phones, sparing them the stress and difficulty associated with brick and mortar banking. Beyond this, Speed pay affords customers an opportunity to pay bills, purchase tickets for events and shop online currently on the following platforms – M-Power, Knoxxi, Slydepay and Omanye shop and conduct many other financial transactions with ease and convenience.

To make the product easily accessible and widen the reach of the product on the market, Capital bank, at a press event on August 23, 2016, signed a strategic partnership agreement with Allied oil. By this partnership, the Speed pay product will be available in all Allied oil branches across the country, bringing to 51, the distribution channels of the product.

Speaking at the short but colourful event, the Head of Retail banking at Capital bank reiterated the company’s resolve to providing innovative solutions that excites their customers. On his part, M.D of Capital bank, Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, reaffirmed his company’s commitment to rolling out innovative products and financial solutions that respond to the real needs and provide real-time value to their customers.

Drawing similarities between Capital bank and Allied oil, the Managing Director of Allied oil acknowledged the shared values of innovation, creativity, and unalloyed orientation to customer satisfaction as the underpinning factors for their partnership with Capital bank.

Strategic Partnerships

As the world’s banking regime skews in favour of a cashless economic regime, players in this sector are left with no other option than to not only provide innovative product solutions but most importantly, widen the reach and access to these products. It is to this end that strategic partnerships between and among companies with shared philosophies, values systems and clientele base becomes pronounced.

In a competitive business world, the last disservice any company will do to itself is to remain isolated. I am aware that in the insurance landscape, the concept of Bancassurance, has allowed for insurance companies to expand and extend their product and services to customers of their partner banks. Indeed, strategic partnership is the new norm and companies in any sector, however their size and clout, cannot afford to underestimate same. In fact; many business gurus and writers lend credence to the need for strategic partnerships. In their book, ‘Why we want you to be rich,’ Robert Kawasaki and Donald Trump, termed it as leverage. In his inimitable book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the power of partnerships, Andrew M. Davis made profound and instructive case on the need for companies to enter into strategic partnerships.

In Conclusion

As Capital bank leaps into partnership with a key upstream player, Allied oil, I can only wish both companies all the best, aware of the fact that a successful partnership will not only boost the balance sheets of both companies but most importantly, same will enhance Ghana’s efforts at becoming a force in a cashless global economic regime.

Samuel Osarfo Boateng,

(Freelance Writer, Researcher and Communication Strategist)


Answering the CEO’s rhetorical question


I have come across the above image severally  and i think the time is ripe for me to respond.

First of all, it should be an indictment on the CFO to be thinking that employees will leave a job because they feel they are better prepared to work at their optimal level. If that is the case, then they should do a thorough audit of the HR department and check the criteria used in employing people into their company.But one cannot blame the CFO that much, most of them are trained to provide a strong financial case for every penny that appears in their books.Perhaps, the CEO is dealing with the wrong person in this matter.

If the CFO did not respond to the CEO’s rhetorical question, then i will make an attempt at it:

Mr CEO, you don’t need to be told that should you fail to train your employees one of the the following may happen.But before you delve into my prediction, be minded that i have no formal education in HR oooo…I am only a PR person with an opened curiosity on issues that are relevant for employee relations.

With the above caveat drawn, i think you can now read my prediction:

Mr CEO, please note that most of your best employees, who are not driven by the mere sizes of their salaries or fringe benefits , will not stay should you fail to give them training or any opportunity to improve on their craft. In fact, that will  feature among the  reasons that they will assign for  their exit.(Which they will never tell you, except to state in their resignation letter their decision to resign is entirely , personal).

You can also be assured that most of your employees, many of whom do not have options, will stay and strangle every efforts of new recruits who exhibit great signs of professionalism,creativity and innovation.CEO, you need not be told that those who will stay will suppress every effort at creating an atmosphere that supports  exchange of ideas and team work.

Indeed, rather than have people with experience, those who will stay will be so endowed with expirience, using  issues that have happened in the past to judge whatever will happen in the future, without any room for trial and innovation).

In fact, let them stay without training and  your return on investment will be stagnant and stale as their intellectual bank.

CEO please never engage directly with the Chief Financial officer on matters of this nature.Most of them may never understand the theoretical and pragmatic basis for improving the skills of employees.Issues of this nature are as critical as Media relations is to the PR, in times of crisis.You cannot compromise on it or afford to have it shot down.

Training and career development is strongly correlated with high performance and low turn-over.It cannot be scarified on the altar of financial exigencies.

Samuel Osarfo Boateng


Reseacher/Publicist and Writer



It is with a sad disposition that I take note of your passing, Danny Nettey. The news came to me as shock, considering the fact that there were no visible sign of sickness the last time I saw you in public space. Being in the media space yourself, I do not think news about the state of health could have been easily spiked, if there were reasons for same.

While I may not have been a regular follower of your ministry, your brilliant credentials accompanying the news of your passing has brought me to terms with the clout, talent and influence  you commanded in the gospel genre, the world over. Indeed, your passing is not only a big blow to your family but most importantly, the numerous souls and lives you touched, using the microphone as your channel and the word of God as your weapon.

Reading your enviable credentials, I kept asking myself why man is not allowed some time to return after taking a breadth’s break, like it is done in a football match. Perhaps, such an opportunity will give our human race a strong reason to be honest, reflective and considerate in our actions and inactions.

But while I cannot have this wish, I take solace in the hope of resurrection and my firm believe that the death of a Christian is but a worthy transition to a heavenly destination .On this note of conviction, I will dare repeat the popular biblical refrain: Where is your sting, death?


Musically, I can count on some arts of some gospel dynamites, many of whom I understand, you mentored and wrote songs for. At least, the likes of Francis, Mercy, and Mettle, I strongly hold, will continue to prove their mettle and raise up the standards you so dedicated your life to hoisting up.

Thanks for being part in leading a revolution in contemporary gospel music in Ghana. May be your passing is to make way for you to take another leading heavenly role.

KABSO Music can only commiserate with the family, friends and many followers of Danny Nettey and pray that God will keep him till we meet again.

 In this solemn moment, may the Lord console as all.

And strengthen as for his call,

Least we fall.

Damirifa Due!!!  Danny Nettey.



Whether god MC or Kanta, Ghana Must Win

Sark m
For some reason ,i don’t know why i have been compelled to weigh in on the current heat and jabs that has taken our music industry by storm.Whatever the reason may be, i am very certain, social media has played a key role in piquing my appetite  for  an issue which  ordinarily, will not border me. Once, again, one of the theories i learnt in my Mass Communication class has manifested and proven truthful.Yes, the repetitive pattern of a news or conversation, as per the Agenda setting Theory, is determining not what i think but what i think about.
But while i admit that social media has played a key role in making butt into this matter, i want to state clearly that i will not tow to the line, many who are discussing the issues have. Therefore, in this piece, i promise not to do two things:
Firstly, i do not intend to chronicle or provide commentary on how and who is slugging it out with who .In fact, doing same will be a repetitive , as  information in this respect has largely dominated our media, both traditional and social.Besides, why will i even pursue that line when i am fully aware that that attempt will intrinsically draw me into stating some of the unprintable jabs and punches that have gone down under the cover  of   lyrical and rhythmic  dexterity.
Secondly, I promise not to  take sides with any of the parties in this  lyrical warfare.To me, the public will be the better judge in all matters regarding who their favorite musician is.
My decision to pen this piece down   is driven my  surprise at  how all of us can be so vulnerable,allowing ourselves to be the dumping grounds for the bitterness and personal squabbles these musicians continue to pick  up with each other.Rather than use the medium of music to unite and affirm our believe in co-operation and togetherness, some of  these musicians, are entrenching the principle of division with the stand they have taken against each other.
In this precarious times of our political history, i think the worse, we should contemplate and entertain is to allow people to sow the seed of discord, what ever way or corners, same will come from.Having shown and demonstrated the need for unity through Peace-Games, i thought our musicians, would take a cue from our soccer stars.While some of these soccer stars may have issues among themselves, their ability to tame those sentiments to make way for public display of togetherness , cannot be over-emphasized.
I know some will get back at me on this.Surely some will try to trivialize the issues and justify same on the grounds that those jabs are part of the game.But much as i agree, albeit partially, with holders of this view,i am very clear in my mind that the current development in the entertainment front does not augers well for our social fabric as a people, given the important role these musicians play in shaping the realities, view points and behaviors of many.
To me, this issue goes to  confirm my long standing prejudice that some of our celebrities need to apply high level of discretion and maturity in their public outburst,being the,”Kings and Queens” they claim they are.More so, i have no doubt that disunity, which has been a major bane to the development of the Entertainment industry in Ghana is alive,derailing efforts at consolidating the gains that have been made in Ghana’s Showbiz industry.
It is in view of my reservation that i shudder to ask these questions: What  role does  MUSIGA and other regulatory  bodies and  associations,play when events such as this rear its ugly heads? Do these relevant stakeholders have a role in restoring sanity and calling for calm, at all? Can we continue to have an industry where its players act with impunity without any checks or control by anybody?What does this unfortunate development do to the image of Ghana’s entertainment industry?Does it make it attractive to corporate bodies? If any of these questions, which keeps, begging, is valid, then i will  humbly asked that these bodies act as quickly as possible….
After all, nothing will happen to Musiga, if it decide to issue statement calling for calm.May be the Ministry of Creative Art,can also,in line with its mandate of ensuing circumspection and cultural compliance,can also add its voice to my call for calm and sanity.
There is no doubt that these musicians at the center of this lyrical scrimmage have great content, reasons for which,perhaps, they have achieved the level of mileage they are enjoying.But whatever the case is, i think they must consider the broad context of the socio-political heat in the country , tap into same and help build a united and great country.Ghana will count on them for these. At least, the poor people who go all length to show their support and patronize these musicians, will demand this of them
We cannot continue on this divisive path..Ghana needs every industry to rally support, both with words and actions, as she heads to  the polls this November….#GhanaDecides. God bless our Homeland Ghana as we treat each other with respect and recognize our own contribution towards Peace, Love, and Respect
Samuel Osarfo Boateng
Research//Content Strategy.

Messi the Legend bows out

Mess 2

It is not my intention to resurrect the ever controversial debate about who is the best player in the world.In deed, the word best, qualitative as it is, is relative and usually subject to the interpretation and definition  of the person using same.

The above observation, notwithstanding, I am very clear and fully aware of the fact that many, even people who are not very enthused about football, share the view that Messi has proven beyond any shred of doubt that if there is anything best in football, then it cannot be discussed without his name.

For me, the many tangible laurels, are evident of the quality and flair that the 29 old chap brings to bear on the field. Even if the football world has been overtly charitable  him with awards and recognition, many corporate world have bet their reputation on his quality,bearing witness to the to his greatness, on both a professional and personal,levels.

Personally, i submit that Messi is everything good in football that  God could not withhold from my generation of football enthusiasts, even the likes of myself who are not very fanatic about the game

I am not a football historian.I can barely mention and commit to memory 15 of the best players in the just ended COPA American Tournament,.To that extent , i will want to be permitted and excused of the herculean task of recounting the many times that the Argentine team,under the captaincy of Lionel Messi, has failed to translate the many world class quality into winning Gold.Limiting my argument, therefore to this tournament which just went down, i will humbly submit that Messi gave his all.Even while he warms  the bench one could easily see the passion and enthusiasm glaring in his eyes.For a person who has been named the World’s Best player on on enviable number of times, the lest he could do was to adopt a lackluster attitude towards tournaments of this scale and worth.


This explains why i will have a cause to be worried upon learning that the chap has announced his retirement from international football.Indeed, that announcement is a big blow not only to international football but more so to many who draw inspiration from the chap.

It is to these million of people, who are influenced by the exploits of Messi that i write today. I know that following the announcement, many of these people will be wondering the propriety of Messi’s decision  to retire from International football.I am aware that in a world that successful people becomes the point of reference  to many in their decision, Messi’s  decision  to resign will have a ripple effect on the personal and professional  decisions of many people.

While i will not attempt to know the reasons, considerations and the factors that informed Messi’s decision, i  am very clear in my mind and fully supportive of the principle under-girding his decision to resign.

I think one of the greatest marks of every great person, is their ability to know when to bid farewell. Yes, their ability to determine and decide when to succumb to the dictates of our destinies and humbly bow out,whilst  the applauds are still loud.

Although i believe in persistence and tenacity, i am also  of the firm conviction that people must be humble and flexible enough to understand their limitations as humans and while they work to overcome those limitations, they should also be mindful of the role destinies play,least they chase after their own shadows.

We have seen many people, make career risking decisions such as resigning from their jobs, or taking a voluntary retirement, all in the bid to underscore a point they so believe in. Many atimes, these people have,paid dearly for their decision on the short term, but while they suffered on the short term, time became their healer and  vindicator

In principle, i want to support Messi as he decides to take a bow from international football, knowing how this decision could affect  some aspects of his career.Most importantly, i want to underscore the point that part of the price we pay for being great is the price of making great sacrifices and understanding our own limitations as people.

Messi has resigned from International football, that is sad for World of football, but the lesson flowing from this decision cannot be lost on us.To me there are many positive lessons we can pick from this development.

Let me end with by asserting that no great decision has ever been premised on condition.Every great decision is premised on conviction…Make yours today.

God bless you as you Read, Comment, like and Call me for a Writing Gig

I am Samuel Osarfo Boateng




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How To Answer ‘What’s Your Greatest Weakness?’



Years ago it didn’t take much to be qualified for a management job. You only had to understand the processes and procedures at your job, and be reasonably reliable to be hired into a management job. Back then we didn’t see that the best-qualified person for a management job is not necessarily the person who is the most experienced or most skilled at the work a department performs.

In order to be a strong manager you have to be able to listen and to communicate well. You have to have empathy. Now we are realizing that many of the people who hold management jobs are not qualified to be in management. They lead through fear rather than trust. They keep their employees in line by subtly or overly threatening them.

If you’re worried about keeping your job, you won’t cross your manager, it’s true — but you also won’t care about your team goals and you won’t be excited about your work. Every organization large and small that manages through fear gets a sub-optimal result, but nonetheless there are many weak managers leading teams today.

They lead through intimidation. They aren’t interested in hearing a team member’s opinion, because that opinion might threaten them. They believe that because they are the manager, their word is law. They don’t want their employees to question them, make suggestions or share opinions that don’t match their own.

They don’t want their employees to be viewed as subject-matter experts throughout the company. That would be terrifying to a weak manager!

Here are 10 ways weak managers will try to intimidate you into backing down from your positions and devolving into a doormat.

1. A weak manager will tell you that your education and training is sub-par.

2. A weak manager will  remind you that no matter how reasonable your ideas are, they are not in line with the company’s direction and therefore should be squelched.

3. A weak manager will warn you that if you share your opinions with other people in the company, you’ll embarrass yourself.

4. A weak manager will tell you that you must funnel all communication through them, rather than directly to your intended recipient.

5. They’ll tell you not to speak at cross-departmental meetings, but to let them represent your department and its views.

6. A weak manager will rewrite your report or  presentation and put their own name on it.

7. A weak manager will assign someone to train you on a subject you could teach, yourself.

China’s Huawei ‘Growing Up’ to become world’s No. 1 smartphone brand


Dumping their previous business model of flooding the planet with cheap, unbranded cellphones, China’s Huawei has risen to become a globally recognizable brand and a serious contender for Apple  and Samsung.

Advancing rapidly into new markets worldwide, Huawei is now the world’s number three smartphone brand, with an 8.3 percent market share.


Europe, in particular, has been receptive of Huawei, where the company is growing at an unprecedented clip on the back of better products and a new brand image.

Rising up from humble beginnings in Shenzhen in 1987, Huawei started out as a producer of phone switches.

Growing up with the city’s nascent electronics industry, Huawei would became the global leader in telecommunications networks by 2012 — despite a ban by the US government and its knee-jerk ramifications.

However, where Huawei now stands to make the most waves is with its prime consumer product: smartphones. Last year, the company sold 108 million of them — which is still far behind Samsung and Apple, at 324 and 231 million units, respectively, but the gap is closing fast.

This year, Huawei’s trajectory is looking even steeper, as quarter one saw 28.8 million phones sold, more than a 10 million unit year-on-year increase, while Samsung stayed flat and Apple actually went into decline.

This new global market position was obtained through a very active initiative to drastically increase the quality of their feature phones as well as major ad campaigns designed to let the world know that Huawei has arrived.

Huawei once found their niche selling handsets cheaper than the big brands of the world, reaching for low hanging fruit rather than the premium tiers soaring at the top of the consumer tree.

My first Android device was a $100 Huawei that I picked up in 2012 in Jiangsu province. It was mediocre but cheap — a tagline that could sum up public sentiment about the brand at that time. But all of this has changed for Huawei.

“I went to my shop and they advised me instead of getting a Samsung maybe this Huawei is better,” said Bogdan Goralczyk, the Polish Sinologist, author, and former ambassador. “More and more people are starting to realize that it’s not as shit anymore, that it is not a fake product, that it is much better than we expected. It is changing the mentality of the people; they are starting to think, ‘China, wow, that’s impressive.’”

Huawei has also engaged in some very high-profile partnerships to develop some of their new products and features.

Right next to the duel lenses of the P9 is written the word “Leica,” the name of the prominent German photography company who designed it. Huawei also produced Google’s Nexus 6P and is currently working with Swarovski to design a fashionable smartwatch for women.

Beyond China, where they are the undisputed number one smartphone brand, Huawei has advanced aggressively into new markets, with a heightened focus on Europe, where they are the continent’s number two Android phone and, in some markets, number two overall.

A full half of Huawei’s 100+ million handset sales and 65% of the company’s revenue last year derived from markets outside of China, as the company’s market share rapidly rose in countries like Germany, Italy, and Spain

Huawei launched its new flagship phones, the P9 and P9 Plus, in London in April of this year. The phones feature cutting edge duel-lens cameras, which allows in more light to improve photo quality, a better battery, innovative biometric fingerprint technology, a Kirin 955 2.5GHz 64-bit ARM-based processor, and a high-quality aluminum body with aesthetically pleasing and ergonomically contoured rounded corners.

The phone is not only meant to function at the highest level and to push new features into the market, but to look good too — a major demand of the Chinese consumer in particular.

Huawei’s dramatic rise in European sales was initiated by an improvement in product quality but was also complimented by a very high profile advertising blitz.

Ads and promotions for Huawei now cover the trams of Rotterdam, a flagship store sits in a prominent location in downtown Brussels, entire buildings are being covered with gigantic Huawei banners in places like Berlin and Lodz, Poland, the roadsides of major highways are speckled with billboards for Huawei, and the city center of Warsaw looks like an advertising convention where Huawei was the guest of honor.

This campaign has also included the sponsorship of popular soccer teams like Arsenal, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain, endorsements from star European athletes like Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski, as well as key product launches in European cities. Basically, Huawei figured out what Europeans like and stuck their logo on it.

The Chinese electronics industry has been rapidly at work shifting not only their business models but the paradigm of how their products are perceived around the world.

Following a strong push from China’s central government for more innovation, companies big and small have been working to establish signature products which not only represent the transition that they themselves have gone through but also that of China.


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