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NETWOX Limited | | Co Founder and Chief Responsibility Officer | 10/29/2003 | CEO
Olukayode Afolabi is the Chief Responsibility Officer for NETWOX Limited##comma## an eBusiness Consulting Company based in Port Harcourt##comma## Nigeria.

What kind of training or education did you acquire before your venture?
I am 25 years born in Nigeria##comma## West Africa. I have a dream to contribute to socio-economic development in Nigeria and Africa through corporate activity. I believe this can only be done if I put my giftings to work. I come from a country where the GDP is high (rich country) but the per capita income is very low.(citizens are poor). I believe we can only improve our economy by creating employment for people. So I decided to live my dreams and not take a job. I have a B.Sc degree in Industrial Chemistry and also went through the Program for Aspiring Entrepreneurs at the FATE Foundation Business School##comma## Nigeria.I started my first company in May 2003 and we are doing very fine.

What services or products does your organization offer?
We are eBusiness consultants providing high quality and cost effective services to Small and Medium sized organizations in 4 broad areas: Web solutions##comma## Database Development##comma## Custom software applications and consulting.

What type of business or organization do you operate?
We are a limited liability company. This structure protects the owners from any form of liability. Also it enabled us to attract investment from angel investors.

How many employees do you currently have?
3 full time##comma## 2 part time.

How did you originally discover the idea for your organization?
I saw an opportunity to provide these services at the same quality bigger firms were providing it.Besides the Nigerian market environment is so vast that you can recoup your investment in one year! not like that any where in the world. So I teamed up with a friend##comma## we went to business school to fine tune our thoughts and develop our business concept. We registered the company and started.

How did you originally fund your organization?
Initially personal funds##comma## but we just brought an investor on board recently to expand operations.

Are you the founder of your organization?
Yes##comma## in partnership with a friend.

Do you believe there is any distinct culture within your organization? If so, please describe it.
From the first day we told ourselves we are building a WORLD CLASS ORGANIZATION FROM THE SCRATCH! So we have put in place every structure to help us achieve this. For example##comma## we have a core ideology that defines our progression. You can do anything to achieve the set goals but dont touch those ideals!

What obstacles or challenges have you faced in your organization?
Infrastructure constraints made our first batch of clients complain about service quality and delivery. We had to outsource to get out of that mess. That was what led us to sell some shares of the company to raise funds.

Did you accept any advice along the way? Do you believe new organizations should be open to such advice?
Very important. I have a mentor that is very experienced in Small Business development. He has been very helpful in providing necessary guidance and contacts. We got our our first batch of clients through his referals

Did you receive any help along the way from other businesses or organizations? If so, how and from whom?
FATE Foundation Nigeria
Wider Perspectives Limited

What have been the keys to success in your business? What do you believe are the keys to success?
A resolve to succeed. I have never thought of giving up. My dream drives me##comma## motivates me and I##aps##m not ready to stop until I see things change for the better in my country.

What kind of relationship do you establish with your customers or clients?
Our strategy was to clearly define our positioning in the market which we were able to successfully do. Then we deliver services tailored to improve the bottomline of our clients. We made technology simple to them##comma## they were able to understand it. We also concentrate in helping them track their investments in technology and the Return On Investment (ROI).

What types of marketing do you employ?
Networking and referals

Do you employ any web or online marketing?
We have recognized technology to be a tool for business. Infact thats our business##comma## to help our clients utilize technology to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

What role does trust play in business or in your organization?
We under bidded for some jobs in a bid to make sure we get the job. Well we got those jobs but it was not profitable. We actually did that to build up our competence.It did affect our cash flow but we##aps##re out of it now.

Did you struggle with starting your own organization or venture? Why did you decide to begin on your own?
I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur##comma## although i didnt know it will be this early. But I##aps##m so happy I##aps##m living my dreams.

What books or resources would you recommend for individuals starting off now?
Rich Dad Poor Dad
Built to Last
The Goal
Selling the Wheel
Losing my virginity
Seven Habits of Highly effective people

Do you notice any trends in the marketplace? If so, what are they?
The customer is king. Exceed his expectation and you##aps##ll stay in business. Ignore him and you are out of business in no time.

Do you believe networking and contacts are important? If so, how?
Very important. In fact most of our clients have come by networking with other entrepreneurs. It also helps to reduce marketing cost.

What do you think about contracts and other legal obligations? Are they important in your business?
You must be persistent

If there is one thing that would sum up your advice to new entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Unfortunately I went into college to read what is not relevant to what I##aps##m doing now. I learnt all I know now on my own and going to a business school.I##aps##ll advice young people to find out what they love doing##comma## and then go to college to sharpen those skills.

What, if any, final advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?
Keep moving… don##aps##t stop

This addedinterviews article was written by Olukayode AFOLABI on 3/9/2005

Olukayode AFOLABI NETWOX Limited CEO