After searching for job with no avail, he decided to become an apprentice learning how to fix computers, however, 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. Nnamdi, went on to squat with a friend at Ikeja, where he was able to increase his customer base, due to his sincerity and customer relationship goals.
Luck smiled on him, when an old customer he knew from his days as an apprentice, came to the little shop he shared with his friend to see him. The customer asked him if he could continue fixing his computers, and also requested that Nnamdi move to a much bigger shop. To help him get started, the customer brought some printers for him to sell, from which he used the proceeds to get a bigger shop for himself. He paid 180,000 Naira for the new place and continued with selling computers; he eventually bought the place over, years later for 100 million Naira and so the story of SLOT began
However, the need for an expansion didnt come until customers started demanding for phones, and requesting for other branches of SLOT closer to them. Seeing this as an opportunity, he proceeded to Lagos Business School, to learn how to better manage his growing business; More so, with the increasing challenge of phones with poor network coverage at the time and people carrying multiple phones, Namdi approached Nokia, with the intention of convincing them to manufacture dual SIM phones, a proposal Nokia company rejected believing it will slow down the sale of their single sim phones
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.”
“Since I was funding it alone, we were finding it difficult to get the right quantity to sell until the market started accepting us. What I now did was to make them pay in advance, I mean the dealers. So we started using their money to order the products. This was around 2007. The introduction of Tecno brand was the turning point of our business.”
“Like I said, Tecno is my baby and we kept improving. I knew a day would come when the middle class would accept Tecno. Initially, it was a phone for low income people but based on improvement and upping our game, the middle class had to accept it and when the economy went down in 2008 that helped Tecno to move to the top. Since purchasing power had dropped, they had to go for something that have same capabilities but cheaper. So with N15,000, you could buy a Smartphone and thank God for 3G network. The advent of 3G network actually 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 Smartphone like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and so on.”
“Tecno now gave birth to Infinix. It is the same company. You can now see how the brand has evolved. So looking at the Nigerian people, you would see that a phone like Tecno will get a point when premium customers will like to use it.”
Mr.Nnamdi Ezeigbo is currently running an entrepreneurship program at the prestigious Harvard university