Vconnect Global Services launched an initiative called Empower, this year. Empower focuses on improving the quality of services that artisans and SMEs provide. This it does, through organizing masterclasses for specific service professionals. The masterclass does not just arm them with technicals skills, it also focused on soft skills that the professionals would need to scale their businesses and start increasing their earning capacity.
On March 6 – March 7, 2019, the fist ever Empower Masterclass held, This time, it focused on electricians. The 2-day event saw Vconnect partnering with top electrical and electronics manufacturer, Schneider Electric, ISHK Tolaram Foundation and Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).
The first day began with an Introduction by Gbenga Onalaja, the Program Coordinator, Vconnect. He welcomed everyone to the masterclass and also advised that they pay attention to everything that will be taught. He then introduced the first facilitator from Schneider Electric, Seun Otusanya.
Gbenga Onalaja | Program Coordinator
Seun’s class was on Energy Efficiency, Equipment Rating and Selectivity. The class was an educative and interactive one. The electricians engaged Seun with questions on how to determine the quality of the electrical products that they purchase. Seun showed them the importance of using the right products and also making the right electrical connections in order to ensure the safety of their clients while using those products.
Seun Otusanya | Showing how an MCB works
After a short break, the electricians were buzzing with questions for Seun and he resumed the class which spanned three hours.
The next class which came after the lunch break was by Promise Abiahu of Schneider Electric. Before the start of his class, Anthony Rooy, Channel Development Manager, Africa, for Schneider Electric, briefly addressed the electricians. He expressed how happy the company was to be associated with them and also encouraged them to take advantage of the resources available on Schneider’s website to further improve on their skills.
Anthony Rooy | Channel Development Manager, Africa | Schneider Electric
Promise taught on Electrical Safety Best Practices and Dynamic Renovation Gap Identification. Promise showed the electricians the different products that Schneider had in the market that were able to meet all their electrical demands. He also taught them how to upsell ideas to their clients because the client’s safety was more important.
Promise Abiahu | Schneider Electric
The next class was by Vishal Tulsiani from Vconnect, on How to Increase Leads. Vishal took the electricians through the various channels that they could advertise their services and also attract leads. He taught them the importance of getting their services out there and showcasing their handwork.
Vishal Tulsiani | Sales and Partnerships | Vconnect
Day two of the masterclass focused on soft skills. Mrs. Enai Agodo from ISHK Tolaram Foundation took the electricians through a fun and highly interactive class on Conflict Resolution and Effective Business Communication in a Digital Age. The participants engaged in various fun exercises meant to show different ways of communicating as well as also aid communication.
Mrs. Ennai Agodo | ISHK Tolaram
Listening skills exercise
Cross section of participants
There was even a debate session where the participants argued for and against the topic: Lagos belongs to Everybody.
Debate teams strategizing
At the end of the debate session, there was a conflict resolution exercise where the two debate teams tried to find common ground.
Conflict Resolution Exercise
There was no tolerance for sleepiness in the class. Everyone had to participate. Participants caught dozing had to the “poki poki” dance with the facilitator.
“Poki poki” dance for those caught sleeping
The next class was taken by Vishal Tulsiani from Vconnect who took the participants through ways that they could convert leads to paying customers. Vishal stressed the need for the participants to have a system of determining the cost of their services. He taught them the proper way to reach out to potential customers, how to communicate in the at the level they understand and also how to provide value-added services to keep the customers coming back. At the end of his class, two of the participants who met Vishal’s class requirements, were gifted N10,000 each in their Vconnect business profile wallet.
Vishal Tulsiani | Vconnect
The final class was taken by Mrs. Funso of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). She showed the various structures that the Lagos state government had put in place to support small and medium scale enterprises. Mrs’ Funso informed the electricians that there were loan facilities available to artisans and SME owners and also listed out the requirements to be able to access such loans.
Mrs. Funso | LSETF
After the class, Mrs. Funso, accompanied by Mr. Isaac of Schneider Electric, presented the electricians with certificates of participation.
Presentation of certificates of participation
TVC News was on ground to cover the event and also interview key contributors to the event.
Mrs. Laura Temituoyo Ede | ISHK Tolaram
Gbenga Onalaja | Program Coordinator
Participants were very excited and said they looked forward to attending the next masterclass and also register on Vconnect to start marketing their services.