On Thursday May 12, 2016, as SMSGH celebrated its 11th anniversary, Chief Executive Officer Alex Adjei Bram adviced the company’s employees to utilize the years ahead saying, “Whatever our reasons for coming to work every day – let us ensure it is bigger than us. That a good reason – and there are many – is simply not great enough.”
In an email to the company’s team, Alex Bram reiterated his commitment to the vision the founders laid out over a decade ago that technology could empower the world, and asked staff never to forget what it can do to change lives.
Here’s the full anniversary letter to employees:
Just over a decade ago Twitter was a bird sound, WWW was a stuck keyboard, a Cloud was only in the sky, 4G was a ticketing booth at the trade fair, Google was a baby’s burp, Skype and WhatsApp were typos and SMS was simply the Super Morning Show.
Our world is changing so fast and information technology has become so important that it is technology itself. And who can lay a better claim — by 2050 the world will be home to more than 10 billion people, and technology will play a key role in the way we organise and get people to engage.
But before you even think we are well on our way, think yet of how far behind Africa is. Here in Ghana among the many problems of the land, we still battle with availability of the most basic ingredient of the information technology age – electricity.
I remember one of our very first founders meetings to start a company… and after laying out our first set of working policies, Leslie says to us, ‘Gentlemen, let us go challenge the accepted wisdom’. That statement remains true today. It resonates of innovation to re-invent a better way of doing things, of creating useful things and of responsibility in doing so.
Today as we celebrate our 11th anniversary, it is important to remind ourselves why we do what we do.
We do it for a better tomorrow – for our society, our country, for our continent.
Sometimes it takes us years to figure out even the very product of our intended change, sometimes we spend years convincing people and organisations of that change, and other times we are not even as proud of the outcome of our efforts, but throughout all of the past 11 years we always march on — in the single belief that technology applied right will someday contribute to speedy development of Africa.
I believe a company is simply a conspiracy to change the world. And with all the tools, skills, talent and market opportunities we have at our disposal, there exists a real chance for us here to make a real contribution towards a better society.
As I said at the beginning of the year, we are pioneers at this. We don’t want to just build a good company. We want to be a part of the history of a great company. What we do today should it be successful must impact generations to come.
On our trip to Silicon Valley we learned of how a single company started by 2 university roommates, Hewlett and Packard along with the hardwork of many others (just like you), impacted a small community, then a city, then the state and country, and today Sillicon Valley represents the 4th largest GDP and provides employment and opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people and has been a source of great pride for many men and women who help start it.
Whatever our reasons for coming to work every day – let us ensure it is bigger than us. That a good reason – and there are many – is simply not great enough. That the 11th anniversary motto is ‘In Pursuit of a Great Company’.
Thank you all.
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We’re excited to announce that SMS Global Holdings (SMSGH) was one of a number of global business giants selected by the Stanford University in Silicon Valley, in the southern San Francisco Bay Area, for its annual Stanford African Business Forum.
Co-founders of the company, Mr Alexander Adjei Bram and Mr Ernest Appenteng, along with Chief Technology Officer, Mr Kwadwo Seinti and Board Chairman took a trip out to Silicon Valley to present our work to leading entrepreneurs and change pioneers from Africa and the world on April 23, 2016.
The annual Stanford African Business Forum (SABF) is the premier networking opportunity for African business interests for the Stanford and larger Bay Area community. This year, SABF celebrated thought leaders and changemakers on the African continent with the overarching theme of reimagining development through creating local value. The theme “Creating Local Value” captured the rise of African consumers, companies and innovations, and the growth of African economies. The forum showcased how enterprising individuals and organizations across Africa are meeting the growing needs of Africans.
CEO of SMSGH, Alexander Adjei Bram, explained before his trip to Silicon Valley: “Africa is emerging as a hub of start-ups in a wide range of areas and we aspire to take this further. We want the world to see our innovation capabilities in the startup sector. At this event, a group of African businesses will showcase their innovations and forge partnerships with the vibrant American business industry.”
“Personally I think this is one of the best times to be in Africa. There’s a lot of growth. I think in the last few years there has been a lot of capital infusion into the continent, which is providing part of the much-needed seed capital to grow. It’s pretty awesome to see how the African business is developing its own mark on the world and to be a part of that,” he added.
The Stanford African Business Forum had in attendance a number of Ghanaian speakers including Patrick Awuah (Founder & President, Ashesi University College) and Eric M.K. Osiakwan (Managing Partner, Chanzo Capital).
Others from Africa and beyond include Hans Nilsson (Board Chairman, SMS Global Holdings), Paul Mfonfu (Tools and Client Engineering Team head, PayPal), Teju Ajani (Youtube, Content partnerships lead, SSA) and Jessica Vernon (Co-founder & Director, Miti Health), who spoke on topics ranging from the Future of Content Creation and Distribution in Africa, Business Models in Financial Services to Investing in Africa.
As a keynote speaker at the event itself, Alexander Adjei Bram addressed participants on the theme “Driving Business Productivity Through Technology – Enabled Platforms,” expanding on how technology can unlock value for African businesses to better serve customers, run more efficiently, make communication simpler and more affordable, and create employment opportunities.
He shared the SMSGH success story with the Stanford community and results of the technology company’s participation in the Stanford Seed Transformation Program that began in 2014.
Silicon Valley and SMSGH are both leaders in innovation. Silicon Valley, home to major technology companies, start-ups and prestigious universities, is the world’s top innovative hub. Cooperation with Valley-based companies and institutions offers exciting prospects for SMSGH, while expanding business networks for better future collaboration.