THE FOUNDER OF SLOT, AND THE BRAINS BEHIND TECNO AND INFINIX; NNAMDI EZEIGBO
CEO AND FOUNDER OF SLOT SYSTEMS LIMITED
The name Nnamdi Ezeigbo is not popular in Nigeria but when you hear slot, Tecno, and infinix it rings several bells. Nnamdi Ezeigbo is the Ceo and founder of slot systems limited, but he is also the brains behind infinix and Tecno, a fast-growing phone brand in Nigeria.
NNAMDI EZEIGBO: EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Nnamdi Ezeigbo was born on August 4, 1966, in Sapele, Delta state and is from Umuahia, Abia State. He is the first child of his mother and nine children and used to hawk after school.
Nnamdi had his basic education at Pamol Primary School, Sapele, Delta State. He attended Ogini Grammar School in Abraka, Delta State and earned his senior school certificate in 1984. He proceeded to Yaba College of Technology in 1988, where he studied Electrical Electronics Engineering and got a Higher National Diploma (HND), he had his mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) year at Guinness Nigeria PLC, in 1996.
He studied Computer and Electronics Engineering at Lagos State University (LASU) from 1996 to 2001, graduating with a second class upper. He then went on to the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, to study information and management technology and earn a master’s degree. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Lagos Business School.
After graduating from university, the search for a job was an impossible task, Nnamdi decided to become an apprentice by learning how to fix computers. Six months into his apprenticeship, he decided to move on from his employer because his boss was more into making money than building a solid customer relationship. He went on to squat with a friend at Ikeja in Lagos State where he was able to increase his customer base.
Years later, he ran into an old customer from his days as an apprentice, and luck smiled on him again when the customer requested that Nnamdi relocates to a much larger shop. The customer brought some printers for him to sell to help him get started, and he used the proceeds to open a larger shop for himself. He bought the new apartment for 180,000 Naira and went back to selling computers.
In 1998, he purchased the property for 100 million Naira and established the SLOT business there. In 1998, Nnamdi founded Slot as a sales and service company for computers, computer accessories, and other electronic devices out of a small space in Lagos’ Ikeja computer village. Slot was the first company in Nigeria to sell mobile phones, and it now has more than 20 locations across the country.
In the days when there were lower models of computers with those two types of processors, he used to recommend the slot processor (which is more effective, robust, and rugged and looks like a card) to his numerous customers instead of the socket processor (which is more effective, robust, and rugged and looks like a card).
The emergence of many telecommunication networks in Nigeria has created numerous opportunities. Nigerians had to purchase several telecom networks SIM cards and a new phone to put the network SIM inside due to their poor services. Nnamdi was aware of the problem and approached Nokia, the main phone maker at the time, about producing dual-sim phones for Nigerians. Nigerians would have been permitted to use only one phone at a time instead of two. Nokia turned down his offer because they feared it would lower phone sales in Nigeria.
Nnamdi decided to travel to China, where he met a man who had previously worked for a phone firm named Bird, which had lost market share at the time. He and the other agreed to do something with Nnamdi, which included coming up with a name, registering it in Nigeria, and taking the other to Nigeria. They created the first Tecno phone, the Tecno T101, which included dual SIM functionality but was not well received by the market. They improved the Tecno T101 and released the Tecno 201, which was more popular in the market than the Tecno T101.
They gave marketers credit to sell and pay them later at first, while Nnamdi funded the entire business process himself. They also struggled to sell the correct amount of products until the market began to accept them. He knew Tecno would be accepted by the middle class one day. Tecno was originally intended for low-income individuals, but as the product improved, the middle class began to accept it when the economy tanked in 2008. This aided Tecno’s rise to the top because people’s purchasing power had dwindled, and they required something less expensive with the same capabilities.
The introduction of the 3G network also aided Tecno’s growth, as students who couldn’t afford phones in the $30,000 range could now buy one for $15,000 and experience smartphone capabilities such as Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp.
Nnamdi spent five years with his team building a good reputation for the Slot brand.
In 2014, Nnamdi won the Nigeria Entrepreneurs Award For Excellent and Business Innovation. He also won the 2017 entrepreneur award given by the Authority Newspaper
His company, Slot, has won some notable recognitions, such as:
2017, Business Day Most Innovative SME Award, 2016, Nigerian Telecom Awards for mobile phone dealer of the year, 2015, Nigeria Customer Service Award, 2014, Nigerian Telecom Awards, 2014, Distinguished SME partner Award by Fidelity Bank, 2009, Nigerian Telecom Awards & Mobile Phone Dealer of the year, 2009, Nigerian National Integrity Award.
Nnamdi has a net worth that’s estimated at $35 million.
(sources: Nairametrics, interview stories, Manpower)