How They Started – Innovative Nigerian Brands (Excerpts)

Onyekach Ogbon 20160425_022317

Editor’s Note: Remember Mr Kachi Ogbonna that recently did a post here on Excellerblog titled Awaken The Genius In You! ? His book, How They Started: INNOVATIVE NIGERIAN BRANDS has finally been unleashed! Below are excerpts from the book which he has compiled as an appreciation to the general public of which you and I are a privileged part. šŸ˜ƒ Do enjoy and be inspired. Don’t forget to share…

For all the support I received from the general public while writing the book HOW THEY STARTED:INNOVATIVE NIGERIAN BRANDS, I consider it necessary to give out part of the crucial lessons free of charge as a “thank you” to all. Read and share with others, you never can tell who it will inspire to greater height.

Not until I sat down with the founders of these Innovative brands in those exclusive and extensive interview sessions I never knew that:

Though Aliko Dangote is today one of the richest black men on planet earth, it took him 30 years of hard work and consistent effort to make the first billion.

LESSON: Success doesn’t come over night, you must work hard and be patient for the result to manifest.
DO YOU KNOW? that you will learn a lesson from what I call “the discipline of a billionaire” when you find out why Dangote doesn’t always fly his private jet to China for all his business trips despite being the richest man in Africa. On so many occasions he will just go to the airport and join Emirates.

2. Innocent Ifediaso couldn’t pass his entrance examination to join his mates to the University. He then resorted to trading. Today he owns the Innoson Group of Companies which includes IVMĀ – theĀ innovation behind the Made-in-Nigeria cars we have today.

LESSON: There is a genius in every one of us but it doesn’t necessarily have to beĀ  in the same field. That you ‘failed’ in one field doesn’t mean that you are not good enough. In fact I have come to understand that failing an exam is not the same thing as being a failure. Don’t give in to that temptation of believing that you are a “good for nothing fellow”.
DO YOU KNOW? that today Innoson employs over 7,200 Nigerians in his company? If Innoson can do this, who said you can’t?

3. Nnamdi Ezeigbo graduated with “a comfortable” 2.1 as an engineer, but for 2 years he searched and roamed the cities in search of job without success. Nnamdi told us that he never ever dreamt of being an entrepreneur. But it happened that his certificate had “failed” him and he needed to approach life differently. He stopped looking for job and started looking for how to render services (he didn’t even have any money to start with). From being a jobless man who was just rendering services to people, Nnamdi is the founder/CEO of SLOT Systems which now employs nearly 600 staff in over 50 different outlets across the country.

LESSON: Don’t be deceived by your university certificate, your destiny is not tied to it. As good as it may be, no body said you will amount to nothing without it. Instead commit to lifelong learning process and be eager to serve whenever the opportunity present itself.
DO YOU KNOW? that Nnamdi didn’t start with sales of mobile phones, but today SLOT is known as the number one phone shop in Nigeria.

4. Cosmas Maduka told us of how his father died while he was just 4 years old, he ended his school at Primary 3, his boss whom he served for 7 years sacked him with only 200 Naira at age 14, today he has turned 200 naira to over 500 million dollars, as he runs the
Coscharis Group.

LESSON: None of us had a chance of choosing what family we were born into (rich or poor), but every one of us can choose what we want to become in life. Will you stop blaming your background and your bad luck and determine to take charge of your future today? No matter how bad you think your background maybe, there is something God has put in your hand, if only you can decide to use it today.
DO YOU KNOW? that Cosmas Maduka is today among the top 7 richest men in Nigeria? The fact that you finished secondary school means you already have a better start than him, so what is your excuse?

5. Do you know there (probably) could have been nothing like Tantalizers today if Unilevers had not sacked Bose Ayeni after 11 years in their service? She reflected on the experience during the interview session and told me, “Kachi, honestly I was disappointed because I was neither expecting it nor did I consider it fair, but I was not going to cry over spilt milk, I needed to move ahead and find a way to survive”. Find out what she did to build the Tantalizers that today employs over 1250 staff across the country.

LESSON: Seek to keep your job as much as possible, but if the unexpected (and the inevitable)happens (and you lose your job) it is never a time to commit suicide, it is not the end of the world for you, it could just be a time to discover your real self.

I think more than any other time in the history of Nigeria, we just need this book. The fall in the price of oil has made thousands of people to lose their jobs when they least expected it. Millions of graduates simply can’t get a job that will pay them as much as 40,000 Naira (and you only need to reflect on how much was borrowed to pay the now exorbitant fees while in school) 3 years after graduation. I know of students that are now in their 400 levels in writing JAMB, they are still optimistic they will get admission some day (sincerely I admire their courage, unrelenting spirit, and unwillingness to give up their pursuit of university education).

I don’t know exactly what you are passing through right now, I don’t know if you are about to give up, maybe you believe your parents, your uncles, your church, Nigerian government have not done enough to help you(maybe you are right). But friends can I tell you that nobody owes you anything. You are not permitted to leave your life to chance, it is not too late to start today. You can still become anything you want to become in life.
Time will fail me to talk about Speedmeals, Jobberman, Jumia, Omatek, Zinox, iRokotv, HealthPlus etc. But you certainly will get all the details in the book.

Let the stories of these 25 exemplary Nigerians encourage and inspire you today.
HOW THEY STARTED: INNOVATIVE NIGERIAN BRANDS is for you, ask for your copy today. You can also empower as many young people as possible with copies.

And as a young person, should you need a mentor, a coach or to network with other budding and established entrepreneurs who can show you how to start, guide you through each stage and lift you when you are falling feel free to reach out to us today.

If you share this post among your network, chances are high it will inspire a youth out there who is about giving up to build the next GLOBAL BRANDS.

Kachi Ogbonna is an Entrepreneurship/Youth Consultant. He is a value-driven young man very passionate about Nigerian youths becoming all that God has destined them to be. He helps to grow so many start-ups. You can reach him by clicking on the linkĀ

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