|Slot Systems Limited is a household name as far as mobile and Information Communication Technology appliances are concerned in Nigeria. Even more popular than Slot Limited is Tecno and Infinix brands of Telephones of which Nnamdi Ezeigbo is a co-founder.|
Research has shown that one out of every 10 Nigerians use a Tecno or Infinix brand of telephone, making them one of the fastest selling phones in Nigeria.
But, how did it all start for this young entrepreneur?
Nnamdi Ezeigbo, a native of Umuahia, Abia state, was born on the 4th of August, 1966, in Delta state, Nigeria and started his primary school education at Pamol Primary School, Sapele. He had his secondary school education at Ogini Grammar School and Ogharefe, in Delta State, between the years 1979 and 1984. After his secondary education, he proceeded to the Yaba College of Technology in 1988, where he studied Electrical Electronics Engineering, and got a Higher National Diploma (HND).
Ezeigbo further proceeded to study Computer & Electronics Engineering at the Lagos State University (LASU), from 1996 to 2001 and graduated with a Second Class Upper result. He later acquired a Masters degree in Information Technology at the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, in 2008.
After completing his youth service, all his efforts at securing a job proved abortive. This prompted him to go on to work as an apprentice learning how to repair computers.
From working as a laptop repairer, he graduated into the sale of computers and telephones. The success of Slot, Tecno and Infinix which Ezeigbo midwifed is the stuff fairy tales are made of; he saw a need, he filled it and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
The rise of telecommunication networks created many opportunities in the Nigerian market. Their poor services caused many Nigerians to purchase more than one mobile phone, so they could try different networks. Nnamdi realised this problem and approached Nokia in a bid to convince them to manufacture dual sim phones for Nigerians, so they would carry only one mobile phone at a time instead of two. They refused to listen because, seeing people carry more of their phones meant more phone sales for them.
Undeterred, Nnamdi went to China and got a guy who had worked with a company called Bird then. “I met with the guy and asked him to let us do something. I came with that name and I registered it here and brought the guy to Nigeria. And that was the high point of our business. We came together and I designed the first Tecno phone, Tecno T101. We started it but the market did not accept it and we also had problem with the dual SIM not working together and we had to make corrections and we came with Tecno 201 and that was a bit accepted by the market. But we were basically giving marketers on credit to sell the phones and then pay us later. And I was funding it all alone. The introduction of Tecno brand was the turning point of our business,” he said
“Initially, it was a phone for low-income people but due to improvement, the middle class had to accept it and when the Nigerian economy nose-dived in 2008, Tecno moved to the top. Since purchasing dropped, Nigerians had to go for something that had the same capabilities but was cheaper. So with N15, 000, you could buy a Smartphone and thank God for the 3G network. The advent of 3G network also helped Tecno to move up. So, students who could not afford to buy phones in the range of N30, 000 could buy one for N15, 000 and enjoy features of Smartphones like Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp and so on,” he explained.
Having achieved considerable success with Tecno, it was time to move on, hence the birth of Infinix. While the Tecno brand was having a great time in the market, it gave birth to subsidiary named Infinix, to cater not just for the middle and lower class, but for all classes of individuals in the country.
Today, Tecno and Infinix are the fastest selling phones in the Nigerian market, and have a rock-solid reputation that has guaranteed their future in the country.
Nnamdi Ezeigbo’s success story is that of a man who doesn’t just have keen eyes for spotting opportunities, but he also has the drive and resilience to act on it. He keeps updating his knowledge so he can be better prepared for any new trend or challenge.