A leaked mail emanating from the Managing Director of Seven-Up Bottling Company (SBC), Ziad Maalouf, stating his determination to stop at nothing, to crush the dreams of Nigerians has begun to raise questions, and generating controversy.
The leaked e-mail sent to Pepsi’s Heads of Depot across the country on November 13, 2019, was categorical in its intention to engage in battle with local soft drink manufacturers.
Below are excerpts of the leaked mail, and nagging issues that bug the mind: “After our sales workshop day (Friday November 1) and finance workshop day (Saturday), I decided to test our system in terms of readiness to go for War.”
“It is extremely obvious to me that we are not yet ready for war By Any Means”
Continuing Maloof’s statement said: “Let me start by explaining the competitive playground once again. This season is not like any other, so the mindset of growing vs last year, achieving budget, business as usual cost management, Will Not Work!!! The outcome of this season must write the future and destiny of the 3 major competitors, along with the future of B-Brand industry (Bigger pack and lower price concept) disruptions in Nigeria.”
“One company will flourish. One company will diminish. One company will finish. B-Brand disruptive business model will either become a temptation for anyone who has a bit of money to start own brand in Nigeria, or it will be a curse that ensures no one takes such a decision again.”
With these, the leaked mail has begun to raise concerns among other Nigerians who expressed extreme discomfort at the tone of violence conveyed in the mail.
A sampled opinion of the public revealed the following, Aloysius Igwe, a trader said “How open ended is that statement.? This is campaigns of dangerous dis-information.? This is physically harmful actions capable of undermining his supposed enemies.? How far would he be willing to go, to take down Nigerians who have dared to push the envelope and pursue dreams that have given them results.?”
Another Nigerian, Olawale Odulade, a civil servant said: “At what point does achieving critical benchmarks in a business year, become less important? The point at which one is consumed by the malicious desire to achieve the absolute destruction of Nigeria’s entrepreneurial spirit, even if it means applying dirty tricks and underhanded tactics? Where?, he queried.
Continuing, he said: “Why will anyone be disdainful of Nigerians? Why one believe Nigerians are not worthy of jumping into the serious end of entrepreneurship, and when they do, must be attacked most vehemently by any means necessary, to give way for our guests, most of whom are only here to do business and repatriate funds?, making it a curse for Nigerians who dare to dream in their home land?
Like an aggrieved Nigerians said, “this is a dangerous step towards modern day slavery and racism. At this point the general consensus appears to be that this leaked mail must be seen beyond being just another leaked information by a man feeling threatened by his position in the market space, but as a Hate Speech directed against a nation and its people, whose successes have justifiably come from simply making smart decisions, while operating within the guides of best practices, and reinvesting for further growth and expansion within the country, Alhassan Abdullai said.