Zinox Boss, Ekeh, Gives Tips for Successful Entrepreneurship
Chairman of Zinox Group, Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, has urged entrepreneurs to embrace the concept of re-tooling as a fundamental tool for sustaining their entrepreneurial drive and corporate relevance in today’s dynamic business environment. He made this charge at the maiden edition of the Fidelity Bank Annual SME Conference with the theme: Positioning Nigerian SMEs for Growth held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island.
Chief Ekeh, who led the panel discussion on the topic Leveraging Technology for SME Growth, noted that contemporary business has undergone a profound transformation, especially with the impact of internet-mediated technologies which has lent an unprecedented measure of speed, innovation and efficiency to business processes. While acknowledging that access to the internet has significantly placed Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria on a much more equal footing with their counterparts in other climes, he counseled entrepreneurs to capitalize on the influence of technology to drive business growth.
“This is the century of the Black Man and only technology can take us there. Whether you belong to the past century or the present century, you must re-tool in order to remain relevant as an entrepreneur. Today, modern technology has created immense possibilities for us and we must take advantage of them to grow our businesses. There are major platforms at your finger-tips; huge apps that have created integrity and transparency in business dealings. The 21st century is one of freedom; freedom to be who you want.
“You must manage your businesses with integrity in the current technological dispensation. There can be no short term, medium or long term business plan without short term, medium or long term objectives. This is why you must start small and grow from micro to small, medium and then a large scale enterprise because the world only elevates you when you become a large stock.”
Tracing the infrastructural challenges he encountered while starting out in business and which have now been surmounted with the advent of wider access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools such as the internet and the proliferation of mobile devices, Chief Ekeh urged the participants to remain positive in the face of current challenges, noting that these will soon be a thing of the past.
“You must remain positive in spite of the disruptions in the system, especially with the fall in crude oil prices and the fluid state of the naira. You must be positive and watch the gaps. This is our country; we must fix it.”
The ICT enthusiast, whose brain-child Zinox Technologies pioneered the manufacture of Nigeria’s first internationally certified computers, lauded the role being played by Fidelity Bank in encouraging the growth of SMEs in the country, noting that this has created an enabling environment for this crucial business segment to thrive.
Also speaking at the event, Chairman of the SME Conference, Mazi Sam Ohabunwa hailed the initiative as one that would provide vital business intelligence for SMEs and an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn from other established names in the sector. The well-attended event also witnessed experience-sharing sessions from key business leaders including CEO of Main One, Funke Opeke; Nicolas Martin, who co-founded online shopping giants Jumia and Austin Okere, CEO of Computer Warehouse Group, among others.