Confronting the healthcare challenges in Africa
Adebayo Alonge has seen for himself the challenges facing his home nation of Nigeria.
There is an increasing shortage of nurses and doctors across the country, which is leading to a myriad of healthcare issues. However, according to Adebayo, an entrepreneur and graduate of Lagos Business School (LBS), one of the biggest challenges facing Nigeria is education.
“Under-five mortality is a big issue, especially in developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa,” he explains. “The reason why this happens is firstly because the women who give birth to the kids are not educated. They don’t have the formal education that’s necessary to take care of a child.” (01:39)
He continues, “Also, in some countries, a lot of women under 18 give birth. That means many children are born underweight, born into poverty, and they don’t have the kind of resources to help them go through the early stages of life.” (02:05)
In response to these challenges, Adebayo co-founded RxAll. The aim of the company is to improve the quality and reliability of drugs using technological solutions. One of those solutions was the pioneering RxScanner, a medical device that can identify counterfeit drugs in seconds. According to Adebayo, his company is all about identifying where technology can solve healthcare problems.
“One of the solutions that we provide is the means for healthcare centers to make sure children are receiving high-quality medication,” he says. “There’s also the possibility of building a platform where a mother can contact a doctor without needing to leave the home. This is where technology can come in.” (03:12)
How the Lagos Business School MBA inspired Adebayo to make a social impact
Adebayo comes from a pharmaceutical background, but it was an MBA from Lagos Business School that shaped his career ambitions. The program helped him add business acumen to his medical knowledge, but taught him something even more valuable: the power of a social impact business.
“Lagos Business School helped me infuse elements of human-centered design, problem-solving, and overall, the build-out of a management system that enables scale,” he explains. “It also helped me think about ways in which I could create a business for sustainable social impact. This was the core of it.” (00:34)
Adebayo says this focus on social impact is a key part of LBS’ philosophy. The program opened his eyes to the possibility of starting a business that could confront the world’s healthcare problems. He says, “During the program, the school’s focus on changing society for the better helped me understand that I could create a company that could make a difference across the world.” (01:08)
Using technology for the greater good
Adebayo’s time at LBS shaped him in both a professional and personal sense. The school’s focus on social impact would influence RxAll, and now Adebayo hopes that sense of social responsibility rubs off on the next generation of African entrepreneurs.
“I think this is where young African entrepreneurs really need to focus. Think about ways in which we can use technology to make a difference in our community, to reduce poverty, and to change the lives of poor people,” he states. “As more Africans think about it this way, rather than just about wealth accumulation, we can start to rewrite the whole African narrative and improve living conditions for the vast majority of people.” (05:33)
When we think about doing an MBA, it can be tempting to focus on the tangible benefits: the salary increase, the new job, and the network of contacts. But, just as important is the philosophy of the school you attend. If their values align with your values, they could influence and shape your career in unexpected ways. As we’ve seen with Adebayo, that alignment can lead to a career that genuinely makes an impact on the world. Can there be a more valuable benefit of an MBA than that?