By Katdapba Y. Gobum
Sometimes at the tail end of year 2022, a piece of news that took the corporate world by storm was the appointment of Mr. Alexander Goma as Ag Chief Operating Officer of Nigeria’s telco giant, Globacom.
This is not to limit him to a space, however to think that he is from Kanke in Plateau State, was heartwarming and a challenge to many who wanted a role model. Those who are privileged to have followed the track record of his career can only but marvel at the trajectory and breadth of his experience.
His rise may not be surprising; it is the quality of what he offers that has endeared him severally. But even more revealing is the number of corporate organizations he has worked for over the years. This is not to forget those he has mentored in the course of his tour of duty across the globe.
He scarcely had retired from Grand Cereals as its Managing Director than he couldn’t be allowed to take the deserved rest he needed, after he had created a niche in the corporate world. From his antecedence, people in his mold hardly have time for retirement; they are always figuring that enough may have been conquered; as such, he needed the test from other worlds.
He had reiterated this way, when I sought to talk with him sometime in September 2022 in a chat: I am retiring from Grand Cereals but might still be active for a while’.
The telecom industry may be entirely a different piece of cake altogether. But, if he has much to prove that he had a lot to offer yet, coming to Globacom was not an addition to his rich resume, it is evident that he has a lot to offer yet.
His stint in Globacom was short-lived, as he resigned within 6 months. He hasn’t spoken about why he chose to resign, but from those who know him, Alex they say, will not stay if there is a conflict of values.
Those who have worked with Alex Goma refer to him as the ‘General’ or ‘Professor’. Yours sincerely tried to get to the bottom of their reverence of him. The various assertions are revealing, as they tell a story to those meeting him for the first time what they stand to gain if they took after him.
Indeed, they are many and scattered in various organizations adding value to productivity, but particularly to the development of the nation’s economy. Why won’t they be rubbed of the same tendencies? It is said that, those who accompany loaders of cement bags will always have grey hairs also.
It is possible, you may want to know what has made Alex Goma become a General and also Professor while he lasted. The answers available in the thread of recommendations are instructive as they paint a picture of a man that has made the needed impact in the corporate world.
He has brought the necessary rigour and discipline meant to achieve huge success to tasks and of those working with him. Therefore, they always look forward to any assignment that he was involved in order to learn something from his experience.
For him to have flown the flag of success atop the corporate world in six countries that include: Egypt, Senegal, Ghana, Mauritania, Gambia and Nigeria couldn’t have been less tasking. He was prepared right from the day he set foot at his first work place: Highland Bottling Company Ltd as Quality Control Assistant in October 1991.
Determined to carve a niche and be the best in the corporate world, he reckon it won’t be a tea party; neither was he going to be given on a platter of gold. He was armed with the requisite education having attended University of Port Harcourt and the University of London for a degree in Biochemistry and Law in 1989 and 2016 respectively.
The door of success was opened soon after while transferring his capacities for excellence to Leventis Store as Store Manager in 1992. No wonder, Alex has straddled Nigeria’s corporate landscape and left his mark of success in companies like Guinness, PZ, Procter and Gamble, UAC etc.
Over the years, Alexander Goma’s expertise in general management, sales and trade marketing, customer service/logistics spans 6 countries in Africa, with dedicated ‘interest in building sustainable organizations that deliver results on a consistent basis’. This expertise resulted in him becoming a specialist in commercial strategy, customer marketing, customer service and logistics, distributor management, route to market planning.
You may say it is quite mouthful to have built and managed result oriented multi functional teams. Such have without doubt enabled him launch new brands, grown sales volume, market share, enhanced profitability and created leadership organizations over the years.
Above all, Goma has, without doubt ‘played major roles in developing sales capability programs and management trainee schemes to build a pipeline of future talent’. That experience in the development of distributors and their infrastructure is focused on direct retail selling, secondary supply chain and demand management’; apart ‘from enormous experience in retail chain stores operations as well as quality control in the beverage industry’.
It is possible he may have been asked severally on what he feels about constant job mobility and a long-term commitment to an organization by employees. Consider his ardent view about it: I personally feel staying with a company for a longer period can indeed offer several benefits compared to frequently switching jobs’.
That is true as there are some potential advantages attached to such a decision: Apart from job security, by staying with a company for an extended period, you establish a sense of stability and job security. You become familiar with the company culture, work processes, and expectations, which can lead to reduced stress and a greater sense of belonging’.
Secondly, he avers and truly so that ‘deep industry and company knowledge enables long-term employees often give them the opportunity of having deep knowledge of their industry and the specific workings of their company; particularly so, as one is able to ‘develop specialized skills, become a subject matter expert, and provide valuable insights and guidance to colleagues and management’.
Again, the facts that companies prioritize internal promotions and career developments for their loyal employees, opportunities such as these are most often pronounced. Those who are willing to stay for long ‘may have the chance to take on new responsibilities, lead projects, and advance their career within the organization’.
The above may not be all, they also include: Strong professional network, building strong relationships within a company over an extended period, enhanced benefits and perks for their loyalty, reputation and trust: One’s commitment and dedication to the organization can enhance credibility and open doors for future career opportunities.
Whether as the Ag Chief Operating Officer of Globacom or Managing Director in Grand Cereals; Corporate Strategy and External Affairs Director; Managing Director PZ Cussons Consumer SBU, Sales Director; Guinness Nigeria PLC (A Diageo Company), Head of Trade Marketing and Distribution; Country Manager Senegal; Gambia, Mauritania, Trade Marketing Development Manager; Regional Sales Manager; Customer Service and Logistics Projects Manager; District Manager North & West Nigeria; District Manager Ghana; Category Mgr Fabric and Homecare P&G Egypt; Customer Marketing Manager West Africa; Unit Sales Manager (North Nigeria); Sales Representative (Plateau, Benue, Nassarawa States); Store Manager Leventis Stores; there is no doubt that he has paid his dues and should be counted in the ‘A League’ without questioning.
For a man that is imbued with great and abundant skills that are capable of changing lives, since 2010, he has Facilitated a number of programs forcused on building capacity of fresh graduates and Mid career professionals, from the Lagos Business school, Afterschool Graduate Development Program( AGDC) to the LACE Foundation and a wide number of programs across the country.
There have been great recommendations that have come from numerous persons who are today shinning lights in different fields of human endeavours across Africa. For instance, Ademola Olugbenga Adeoye, Sales Director at Flour Mills of Nigeria had this to say of Goma: Alex led a demotivated and weather beaten 200 man Guinness Nigeria Plc sales team through one of the most turbulent phases in the business history. His resilience, focus and unrepentant belief in people and basic commercial fundamentals returned the business back to the Golden Era’.
He is, according to him, ‘a great leader who takes you to the trench and equally fights with you from the trench with an unusual gift for “Tasks Simplification” to deliver business objectives. He is one of the best I’ve ever worked with in my career’.
Omare-Ogah Ejiro had this to say about him: ‘Alex is a motivational leader who demonstrates uncommon insight in resolving business challenges. He engenders the qualities of courage and integrity within the organisation, as enablers of business growth.
He has a reputation for driving the fundamentals to deliver exponential results, and his genius is manifested in his ability to define those fundamentals. It is my wish that every upwardly mobile professional and aspiring business, finds the opportunity to experience the brand-Alexander Goma’.
Across the shores of Nigeria, Assante Tidiane, Business Unit Manager Ivory Coast Cluster at BIC said he ‘first met Alex during a workshop in Ghana on brand proposition statement development; he is such an amazing guy, very charismatic and knowledgeable in business management cutting across all areas such as consumer marketing, channel development and sales management. He is a mentor anyone who would want to sharpen his skills in the areas of consumer marketing and trade marketing should go after. I was impressed by the accuracy of his guidance’.
Muktar Ibrahim, a Trade Marketing & Distribution Specialist first met Alex in BAT; he sees him ‘as that kind of leader that can create a stunning transformation in an organization. He is very passionate at work and supportive; a self-effacing individual that always displayed a fierce resolve to do what needs to be done to move the business forward no matter how difficult.
‘Apart from encouraging teamwork, he is humble, selfless, and fearless. Alex carries no air of self-importance, yet creates superb results. I benefited a lot from his wealth of experience and would love to work with him again and again.
‘I knew Alex in the two years I worked for Procter & Gamble in sub-Saharan West Africa. He was result oriented, a team player who had an open-door policy, allowing younger colleagues to learn from his vast experience, work ethics and remarkable analytical/problem solving skills. He is intelligent, focused, driven, showed an enviable work-life balance and always had a healthy dissatisfaction for the status-quo (always wanting to step-change things for the better). Alex would no doubt prove to be an asset to any organisation he chooses to work for and I recommend him unreservedly to any work team’, so says Emeka Anene of Shell.
Mr. Goma Alex ‘is passionate at work. He is very willing to support and give advice to new joiner like me at that time in Nigeria. On one case during the launch of the project, i was very impress by his leadership and the way he push us to achieve our goals. His performance during the program was quite remarkable and that impressed us all.
‘I’m totally confident that Mr. Alex Goma shall definitely become a very valuable asset to any company in the World’ is the opinion of Serge Patrice Bossom, a sales director from Cameroon.
‘Alex is a result oriented and insightful leader who sees and encourages teamwork as the basis for continuous result and empowerment. He is renowned for high ethics, intellegence, handwork and fun to be. He has positively touched an appreciative generation of young trade and consumer teams, marketers and managers’ says Danjuma (Danjay) John-Ekele.
With all the recommendations built around his person and skills, it is little wonder he has risen to contribute by adding value in the tasks assigned to him. To serve as a link to encourage, Build Courage to Be Free to succeed authored by him is one of the tools left in print to mold young persons.
Currently, he is engaged in business consulting and training for organizations around business strategy, sales, marketing, and leadership.
Apart from that, he has accepted a role as Chairman of Tomato Jos Ltd, a tomato processing company based in Kaduna; as well as engaging in a part-time role as an Executive in Residence at the Lagos Business School.
Being engaged in all his official engagements over the years, one would wonder if he has time to relax. They say, all works without play, makes Jack a dull boy. His day is said to be made when he relaxes either playing golf,watching his favourite clubs Arsenal and Plateau United play to win.It is still surprising that he still plays football actively and is a member of Pro Leisure FC Jos, Belle United FC Lagos, Naija Gunners Lagos and Crest FC Lagos.