My name is Wilson Peh and I was honoured to be awarded the prestigious KKH Scholarship. This gave me the opportunity to have an internship stint in Ghana during the Summer of 2014.
My supervisor was Mdm Fatima Alimohamed, the General Manager, Commercial, Wilmar Africa. The main objectives of my internship description was to develop a marketing campaign/strategy that would relate well to the Ghanaians and to assist in all matters of Marketing.
My Experience in Ghana
My time in Ghana was spent on the items stated below.
First of all, I developed a marketing strategy that was to advertise on their local public shared buses. This idea was commended by Mr Santosh Pillai, Managing Director of West Africa, Wilmar International and the idea was eventually adapted to advertise on their local taxis.
In addition, I visited various marketing channels in Ghana and Benin, such as the local markets, supermarkets, and mom and pop stores. Doing this helped me to compare and contrast the differences in buying behaviour between the consumers from Ghana, Benin and Singapore.
I also participated in various marketing activities of Frytol (Flagship cooking oil of Wilmar Africa), such as Women's Forum.
Lastly, I was taken around the company to get a deeper appreciation of different aspects of the business, such as operations, finance and research.
Observations of Work in Ghana
The working style of Ghanaians are indeed different from that of Singaporeans. Ghanaians value a work-life balance. Working overtime is rare and often unnecessary. Other than the General Managers having their own private cubicles, the office is an open concept one. This promotes a friendly and relaxed atmosphere whereby communication is easy.
Colleagues and superiors are friendly. Even though my supervisor, Mdm Fatima, was busy, she often made the effort to speak to me and my fellow Interns so that she was always updated on the progress of our work. We were fortunate to have friendly colleagues who brought us around to their nature reserves and shopping centres. We even managed to attend one of our colleagues' wedding ceremony!
We also had the chance to watch the World Cup. Watching Ghana playing against the United states in an open concept pub was a great experience!
Tourism is generally not well-developed in Ghana. They have beautiful beaches, but these are neglected. However, that being said, Ghana is still a beautiful place with pleasant surprises in every corner of the country. Ghana is a tropical country with weather similar to Singapore, just a little drier.
One will never be bored of Ghana with its unique culture and flavour. If you have the chance to visit Ghana as an intern, do grab the opportunity. It will be a decision that you will never regret. For me, it was one of the best decisions that I have made in my life till now.
Do always remember that Ghana is a developing nation with much room for improvement. Occasional power outages and water shortages are to be expected. Meals might also not be as delectable as what you have back home. In addition, do not expect a strong 4G network coverage everywhere you go.
Contributed by: Wilson Peh, Class of 2015