In continuation of Leadership changes at the Transcorp Group, Owen Omogiafo, emerged the first female Managing Director of the Prestigious Transcorp Hotels Plc, Succeeding Valentine Ozigbo. Owen explains the next phase of the leading hospitality Group in this interview with Signature Ranking.
Q: You were the Executive Director of Corporate Services at Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) before your appointment as MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Your leadership acumen in the corporate services area would have a lot to reflect on your new role as the CEO. How do you intend to influence the transformation of the hotel?
A: As the Executive Director, Corporate Services, I was charged with driving operational efficiency forTranscorp Group – getting things done more efficiently and effectively was my focus. Efficiency and effectiveness are key to the hospitality industry, being drivers to cost-efficiency and service management.Furthermore, my work experience as a Human Resources and Change Management professional, combined with experience in the financial services industry and Events Management, will be key in continuing the transformation of the hotel, from where my predecessor left off. I would say that the journey to becoming MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc has been a very rich one, and I am looking forward to acquiring more skills whilst applying those I have gathered over the years to achieve our vision of being Africa’s premiere hospitality brand.
Q: In the last four years audited financial statement, the hotel made on the average minimum of 3 billion Naira ($9.8 Million USD). What are your goals in 2019 in terms of profitability going beyond the 3-billion-Naira mark?
A: In 2019, we will continue to drive our strategy of revenue growth and operational efficiency underpinned by a strong service culture. With the completion of the upgrade of our flagship property, Transcorp Hilton Abuja, we are effectively positioned to deliver on these strategies and exceed previous topline results.
Q: Transcorp Hotels Plc is the biggest service company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. But there appears to be a wide gap between the gross revenue and what ends up at the bottom line. How do you make as much money as 17.4 billion and then end up with only N3.7billion profit?
A: The 2018 revenue of N17.4bn is a record performance for the company, one that we intend to surpass in 2019 and beyond. PBT was N5.04bn representing a respectable profit margin of 29%, an improvement over the 21% of the previous year and significantly above other listed hotels on Nigerian Stock Exchange. Our improvement on this ratio is a testament to our strategy of revenue growth and operational efficiency.
Q: What is the expansion plan? There is a Transcorp hotel in Abuja and Calabar, what is the plan for Lagos?
A: Lagos is commonly referred to as the commercial capital of Nigeria and hosting a hotel in Lagos state in our strategic expansion plan. A Transcorp Hilton hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos is already in the works on an 11,000 square meter property in the heart of Ikoyi on Glover Road, very amply situated and strategically located. It will be a 320-room hotel located in a twin tower property. We are looking at a construction time of about 3 to 5 years and it is a project that every Nigerian will be proud of. Beyond this, we are also looking at driving our expansion as a company leveraging technology.