By Fred Itua
Nnamdi Ezeigbo is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SLOT Systems Limited, often referred to as Slot Nigeria. The phenomenal entrepreneur was born on August 4, 1966, in Sapele, in today’s Delta State.
His parents hail from Umuahia, Abia State. The popular entrepreneur had earlier studied Electrical/ Electronic Engineering at the Yaba College of Technology in 1988. There, he earned a Higher National Diploma (HND) before proceeding to Lagos State University for his BSC. in Computer & Electronics Engineering, graduating with an outstanding result.
He also has an MBA from both Lagos and Harvard Business schools. After his youth service year, the SLOT founder tried without success to secure a job in Nigeria. He gave up on that tall dream when it became impossible.
Today, the Abia-born technocrat, who pilots the affairs of SLOT Systems Limited, is not done yet. His company is a leading retail hub for affordable and durable mobile phones, computers, accessories, and various types of electronics in Nigeria.
Nnamdi started Slot as a sales and maintenance company for computers, computer accessories and other electronic gadgets from a small space in Lagos-Ikeja computer village in 1998. Slot pioneered sales of mobile phones in Nigeria and has its head office in Lagos with more than 20 branches nationwide.
The company is one of the first to announce and introduce new mobile phones to the Nigerian market and provide first-class after-sales support. The company has more than 60 retail outlets across the various states in Nigeria and employs over 1000 workers with over 70 outlets.
Ezeigbo is the brain behind TECNO and INFINIX, some of the fastest-selling phone brands in Nigeria. TECNO was introduced into the Nigerian market in 2006 by him. Despite the challenges, he went on to work as an apprentice, learning how to repair computers and launched out his own computer repairing center when he finished his apprenticeship. In the beginning, he had no money and had to squat with a friend of his in Ikeja, who owns a bookstore.
Over time and due to his hard work, the customer base of the company grew. Many of his friends and well wishers have ascribed this largely to his integrity and the value he places on customer service, mutual trust and good relationship with his customers. This gave him his first break in business.
When he started, he did not have any knowledge on how to manage a growing business. So, he enrolled for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at the prestigious Lagos Business School and started attending many workshops on entrepreneurship that helped develop him to become a businessman and an entrepreneur.
The rise of several telecommunication networks created many opportunities in the Nigerian market.
Poor services rendered by them also made Nigerians purchase different telecom networks SIM, and a new phone to put each SIM inside. Nnamdi knew about this challenge and approached Nokia, the leading phone manufacturer at that time to manufacture dual SIM phones for Nigerians.
This enabled Nigerians to own one mobile phone at a time instead of two. Nokia refused his proposal as they believed it would reduce the number of phone sales in Nigeria.
Nnamdi decided to go to China. In collaboration with a friend he met in China, they designed the first TECNO phone, TECNO T101 with a dual SIM. At that time, it was not working together and was not accepted in the market.
They made corrections to the TECNO T101 and came up with TECNO 201 that was more accepted in the market.
Initially, TECNO was a phone for low-income people. Today, the middle class has started accepting the product. It has become a leading brand in the Nigerian market.
For his groundbreaking efforts in telephony, he is The Sun ENTREPRENEUR of the year, 2020.