Telecom Is Integral to Every Facet of Business and Life- Airtel Nigeria’s CEO, Carl Cruz
The Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Carl Cruz, has described telecom the New Economy Industry, as the sector transforms business and lifestyle through connectivity.
Mr. Cruz made this assertion in his presentation titled “Breaking Barriers: The Art of Living Outside Your Comfort Zone at TEDx PAU, an independently organized TED event, which held at recently on the campus of Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University.
Illustrating his talk with cases from his over 3o years of business and corporate experience from multiple geographies across Africa and Asia, he discussed his inspiring transition from the FMCG industry into telecommunications, leading one of Africa’s largest telecoms companies. He noted that his decision to embrace a new sector after decades of sustained successes in a different one was a significant step out of his comfort zone, inspired by the desire to help build the future with digital connectivity.
“From having no connectivity to being able to call loved ones all over the country and improving economic inclusion by giving Nigerians a platform to be part of the African and Global stage, telecom is what I always call ‘The New Economy Industry’. The ability to touch and transform lives inspired me,” he said.
Mr. Cruz’s talk was met with visible appreciation from the audience, as he highlighted the importance of taking risks, confronting challenges, and build a reliable support system towards achieving both professional and personal growth.
“In my three decades at Unilever, I moved in and out of comfort zones several times: when I made the shift from field sales to brand marketing in 1997, from brand marketing to Sales in 1999, and most recently, moving from FMCG to telecoms six months ago. Today, I have the privilege of not only leading one of Nigeria’s and Africa’s largest telecommunications companies, Airtel Nigeria; but also having the privilege of being like a child again on a great learning journey in a new industry,” he said.
He concluded that living outside comfort zones requires adaptability. “The boundaries that once defined industries and our personal lives are constantly shifting and evolving, hence embracing change, facing your fears, adapting, learning from failures, and building a support network are all essential components of this art,” he concluded.