Meet Terver Bendega, the growth strategist passionate about revolutionising the Nigerian transport sector

We are excited about this one! And it’s for no other reason than that her story includes the fact that she works for a company that has helped revolutionise transport in Nigeria – Bolt (formerly Taxify). But that’s not just it. Also because she’s likes ‘digging into consumer problems and solving them with technology.’ Talk about a growth strategist with enough problem-solving spices.

We have had conversations with people like Arinola Adeniyi (Venivici spa), Samuel Ajiboye (Alpha and Jam), Wale Ekundayo, and other bright minds who lead conversations in their respective fields.

Oh! You don’t know whose story we are sharing today? It is Terver Bendega, the Regional Marketing Manager, Africa, Bolt, who leads a cross-cultural team across Africa to deliver winning regional and local campaigns that solidify our market leadership.

Do you know Terver’s story? 

My name is Terver Bendega. I’m the Regional Marketing Manager for Bolt in Africa and I’m excited about high growth sectors that foster inclusion, reduce unemployment and shorten income gaps across Africa. I come from a rather compact family of four (two children) and enjoy African literature, serialised movies, fiction writing and making a mean barbeque chicken.

The pandemic, changing life and work styles

This season has been interesting. Overall, we’re all finding ourselves in an uncharted territory given that this is quite literally a once in a lifetime pandemic. I think the goal for all companies and businesses is to lead with kindness during this time. Also, figuring out where the inefficiencies are and identifying the opportunities for innovation.

At Bolt, we’ve been adapting and innovating with all the changes happening across the world. A few weeks ago, we launched the Business delivery service – helping SMEs stay in business by being able to deliver parcels to their customers. In many of our markets including Cape Town in South Africa, we’ve also launched Bolt Food and are bringing essentials from the stores straight to doorsteps.

I have personally spent a lot of time tightening things up that couldn’t get my undivided attention before, supporting my team and preparing for personal and business life post-pandemic.

Challenges, lessons, successes

The reality of life is that challenges are inevitable. I consider myself blessed with the career that I have today. I started my professional career as a digital marketer, moved to work in the strategy department of one of Nigeria’s foremost through the line agencies, took a gap year to do an MSC in International Marketing Management at the University of Leeds and returned to my role in the agency before moving to Bolt (then Taxify).

I would say that the biggest challenge was having to take a step back to move forward on one occasion when changing jobs. Also, being a people’s manager at a young age means that you’re going to have a lot of learning curves in understanding how to balance motivating the team, learning to say no when necessary and also knowing when to say yes and be a source of strength.

Has this period brought any surprises with it?

This entire period has been a surprise. I don’t think many of us saw the magnitude of the pandemic coming. I do think that we have seen a lot more introspectiveness as well as some of the best displays of humanity with people all over the world coming together to face a pandemic so there have been many positives.

Her life, post-pandemic

My goal is that looking back in a few months, I will be able to trace a lot of personal and professional growth to intentional moves made during this season.

Hand her a magic wand and this is what she will do

My desired change would be to make it easier for current and prospective drivers in Nigeria to access vehicle loan facilities. Access comes at a price, granted. However, the current benchmarks and requirements to secure car loans are prohibitive for the bulk of operators. Having non-predatory car loans that foster inclusion and can be paid off over a decent length of time will help pivot the ride-hailing industry and stimulate economic development.

What don’t we know about Terver

I actually started my career as a journalist. I worked on the metro desk at a leading Nigerian Newspaper, visiting courtrooms, police stations and everywhere else scavenging for news. Was an interesting period in my life.

 When she is not working?

When I’m not working, you’d likely find me bent over a book by an African fiction writer, watching and rewatching comedy series or writing stories of my own. I also love spending time with friends and family over dinner or at the arcade.

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