Believe In Nigeria, Zinox Boss Tells Startups

Mr Leostan Ekeh, Chairman Zinox Group

Believe in Nigeria to scale, Zinox Boss Tells Startups

By Joshua Olaleye

Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh recently prodded budding entrepreneurs and business owners to retain a level of belief in Nigeria in order to scale their business.

Ekeh persuaded these sets of people during the 2019  Kingdom Summit, an International Marketplace and Leadership Conference organized by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG),at the weekend.

Themed; ‘ From Business Person to Nation Changer’, the event which  was held at the premises of the RCCG, King’s Court in Victoria Island, Lagos had people from all walks of life in attendance.

He affirmed that growing a business in Nigeria’s peculiar business environment requires the essential ingredient of a firm faith in the country.

Said he: “You must not be discouraged by the challenges you face in business today. Also, you must not allow people discourage you with their negative projections. You must have faith in Nigeria in order to grow your business and scale. As a matter of fact, before I started out in business during undergraduate days in India and after my post-graduate in Cork City, I was clear that I was going to return to Nigeria.

“Sometimes, I laugh when people say things were better in the past than they are today. When I returned to Nigeria to start up my first company, Task Systems Ltd., the society was completely analogue. The print and publishing industry, which I transitioned to digital publishing, was still relying on the old system of casting metal type at the time. This was why I was determined to create an IT identity for Nigeria. We eventually achieved this through Zinox.

“It is on record that the Zinox Group pioneered electronic petrol dispensing pumps, Desktop Publishing and Computer Graphics, INEC Data Capture System, first internationally certified Computer brand – Zinox, pioneered E-Commerce in Africa, amongst other firsts. If we do not have faith, you will not have the mental capacity to research, incubate and achieve products that may add greater impetus to the economy.

“Today, you have the advantage of age on your side, quality education, common sense, more exposure unlike during our time, where common sense was supreme and few were educated. So, there is nothing stopping you,” he counselled.

However, Ekeh, a serial digital entrepreneur who has built several successful companies over a professional career spanning over three decades, cautioned participants on the need to incubate and go through structured process, incubate and build a culture of sustenance. More to the point, Ekeh frowned at the falsification of data in order to hood-wink potential investors.

“I see a lot of start-ups brandishing false figures and falsifying data in order to deceive investors to part with their money. There are a few high-profile instances of such here in Nigeria. Such a practice is highly dangerous and if you indulge in it, you will surely pay for it. A lot of business owners see it as a smart way of raising funds but your integrity is at stake.

“If you lose your integrity, you have not just lost all, but you have also destroyed others in same economy and you will pay dearly for it. In 21st century, there is a strong connection between wealth and spirituality. The way you made your money comes with eternal pain or pleasure”.

The Zinox boss further added thst the current generation of entrepreneurs have all it takes to achieve within five years what the older generation strived to build in 30 years.

“What we spent over 30 years struggling to achieve, your generation will outstrip within five years. Konga is a very good example of this. My son, who runs the business, and his colleagues are currently burning money. However, once the business turns profitable, in two years they will recoup all they have invested into it. E-commerce is the riskiest business globally in the first quarter of this century.

“Konga has undergone massive turnaround since we acquired the business, with massive technology and other infrastructural deployment nationwide in partnership with Microsoft and other major stakeholders. It is another Nigerian corporate miracle waiting to happen. Without faith in Nigeria, this may be impossible to achieve.”