FoodCo Fellowship, a capacity-building programme aimed at transforming high-potential postgraduate students into top-performing retail leaders, recently graduated the first batch of students from the programme.
The fellowship, established in 2019 by foremost multi-channel retailer, FoodCo Nigeria Limited, recruits eligible candidates from top business schools across the country and exposes them to the fundamentals of management and best practices across a wide operational framework of learning and development. The students are also placed in real-life problem-solving situations to enhance their ability to think and evolve ideas for business decision-making.
Adetoro Adewuyi, human relations business partner, FoodCo Nigeria, explained that the motivation was to address the dearth in skilled professionals at management levels to drive the growth potential of the Nigerian retail sector.
Adetoro said, “The Nigerian consumer retail segment, where FoodCo operates, is one of the largest in Africa. However, most of this market is in the informal space, which leaves a lot of room for wastage, especially in the areas of human capacity development and resource optimization.
“This is the challenge the fellowship seeks to address by nurturing a new generation of retail business leaders with the right career orientation, multi-functional skills and top-notch leadership training necessary to help Nigerian retail achieve its potential.”
“Based on the outcomes so far, we are optimistic about the future of organized retail in the country both in terms of attracting a talented pool of managers and leadership who understand the key operations of the sector, and in building structures for innovation and scale to meet the demands of the 21st Century shopper.”
Oluwatomilade Soremekun, one of the Fellows, described the training as an eye-opener into the rich prospects of the Nigerian retail industry which has stimulated his interest for a career there.
He said: “The FoodCo Fellowship has changed my perception towards the industry, especially with respect to the many untapped opportunities for a rewarding career in management and leadership roles. I am grateful to FoodCo Nigeria for the opportunity and also urge MBAs and other post-graduate students considering a career in retail to apply for the Fellowship given the immersive training style that puts students in the frontline of everyday business decision-making.”
The FoodCo Fellowship Program is designed as a 24 months rotational program of which successful candidates selected from an initial 3-months internship phase are offered placement into the 2-year program. Modules include Sales/Production, Supply Chain, Corporate Affairs, Risk Control and Finance.