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Opinions of Thursday, 17 December 2009

Columnist: Agyemang, Frank

Kinapharma Saga, Corporate Ghana should be worried

Today it is Kinapharma, tomorrow it could be your company and that’s the more reason Corporate Ghana should speak with one voice about this incidence and make sure similar scenario is not repeated. Kinapharma’s competitors or rivals should be worried too and tread cautiously bearing in mind the kind of industry they are operating in.

As a publicist, I am aware that the major factor which is more like the foundation upon which strategies are built and developed in this competitive age of ours’ is REPUTATION! It is the core of all businesses and it should not be downplayed at all. Most businesses are surviving not because of their management styles or strategic focus but because of the reputation they have built over a period. No wonder corporate organisations and even individuals spend a lot to carve their reputation or brand.

Discerning companies acknowledge the importance of their own corporate reputations as corporate assets. Although reputation is an intangible concept, research universally shows that a good reputation demonstrably increases corporate worth and provides sustained competitive advantage. A business can achieve its objectives more easily if it has a good reputation among its stakeholders, especially key stakeholders such as its largest customers, opinion leaders in the business community, suppliers and current and potential employees.

Any keen follower of golf can tell with some amount of certainty that Tiger Woods is currently on a break not for leisure but to redefine his reputation and possibly rebrand himself. Some brand names or business entities that were hitherto proud to be associated with him have all of a sudden decided to severe such business relationship because they know that his personal transgressions have the tendency to affect their businesses. It’s all about REPUTATION!

Kinapharma’s hard earned reputation has been hurt recklessly. I said so because the whole issue could have been handled in a more matured manner by the police than how it was handled. What was the whole rush about? What’s the basis for leaking such information to the media especially when the police were themselves not so sure about the whole issue?

As at the time of writing this article, the Ghana Police Service is yet to render an apology, and I wonder if they really will. Nobody is denying the fact that the police have the right to do what they did, the issue is the way they went about it and how they handled information relating to the incidence.

Corporate Ghana will not hesitate to support the Police Service in anyway but then the police must be very cautious the way they handle information with respect to corporate entities. Corporate organisations like Kinapharma certainly do not require preferential treatment from the police, but conventional wisdom suggest it’s better to err on the side of caution instead of hastily leaking out damaging information that has the tendency to tarnish corporate image only to realise it’s a wrong move. The ‘intelligence’ aspect of our security is under this circumstance called into question.

I am hereby challenging corporate Ghana to speak with one voice about this issue and not leave Kinapharma alone to fight this battle. There’s a better way of dealing with corporate organisations which have provided decent jobs for Ghanaians of different ethnic, religious and political affiliations. Corporate organisations are ever ready to assist the police anytime anywhere so the police should add some level of intelligence to such actions. The earlier Corporate Ghana speaks with one voice the better! Your company could be the next.

Frank Agyemang (A publicist)