More amazing articles from the “I Know a Nigerian Star” writing competition. Read and be motivated friends, TGIF!!!! Enjoy a beautiful weekend~With love from Konnect Africa!!!
Aristotle once said, “all human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habits, reason, passion, and desire”. I totally agree, but I would also like to add that a man is the sum total of all the influences and impacts that other people have had in his life. I had always dreamt of building a world class company, creating plenty job opportunities and wealth to impact my generation. As I grew older, I became more frustrated.
For one, I was born without a silver spoon, and despite my resolve to acquire mine, the necessary financial wherewithal to pursue my dream was lacking. I had been told, ideas are all you need, but with all the ideas I had, no fairy came with a wand to translate my ideas into money. I was disillusioned, almost given up my dream as impracticable; everyone felt I should work hard in school, get good grades, and get a good safe job. All that changed when I met Salvation Alibor in 2007.
It was April, during the Easter break to be precise. I was an undergraduate in my second year at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where I was studying Mechanical Engineering. I had joined SOWERS, a mission’s organization that was geared towards touching the lives of the rural poor.
We had gone for a national conference which held at Redemption Camp. As the conference progressed, testimonies of transformed lives across Africa were shared; and I had the privilege of meeting the founders of SOWERS, who had started the organization back in school. Salvation was one of them and as he shared his story, I discovered we had a lot in common, especially having both come from very financially underprivileged backgrounds. I made a mental note to seek him out and share with him my dream, and my frustrations, and find out how he was able take the leap across the poverty line. That was the beginning of my warm friendship with him; a friendship that persists till today.
Salvy, as I fondly call him, was born the second of six children on March 3, 1979 in Agbor, Delta state. He attended Ika Grammar school, Boji Boji, Agbor before He gained admission in the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1998. He had a brief spell at Sign on Africa Communications from July 2005 till December 2006, as the General Manager, right after his youth service in Kano. On 15 January 2007, Salvy, co-founded Syscomptech Communications Limited, a leading solutions and products vendor in ICT.
They had started Syscomptech with “nothing”, other than the goal to bring to bear the principle of executing IT projects bespoke. This was based on their realization that most business models are not effective in the Nigerian context. Syscomptech aimed at understanding the business model of every Nigerian business or company that would become part of their clientele, and design solutions to meet their particular needs.
With no money to rent an office, someone’s residential apartment had to do. Dressed in suits, they had to sit on the floor because there were no chairs. They would devote time calling different companies, looking for web design jobs. On securing one, they would borrow a friend’s laptop to execute the contract. The money they realized was channeled to placing adverts, weird adverts in the sense that it contained no office address because they couldn’t list someone’s residential address as their office.
Eventually, they were able to acquire a “push and start” desktop computer, which was later stolen on 31st night 2011. It was a huge setback for them; the desktop contained a lot of works and proposals inside. Despite that, they persisted, starting from the scratch to build again.
Today, they are able to realize 30 million naira as annual revenue, a testament to the fact that you are never out even when you are down.
Salvy is unrelenting in his passion to see a well positioned Nigeria in the global IT sector, contributing her quota among the community of nations. That has been his unrelenting drive. In an interview he had with Vanguard on June 14th 2010, he said, ‘’Nigeria is indeed at its elementary stage in the consumption of technology because of the poor adaptation of technology to our needs”, a situation he has vowed to change.
In one of our discussions, he said, “Success comes more easily if you do what you love. However, passion for a particular activity or product is not enough bases to start a business. You need to examine the market potential, competition, resources required to enter the market, and uniqueness of the idea. Most importantly, you need to consider the potential demand of your market”.
From him, I realized that no matter how big you dream may be; you can start small and grow into it. I was finally able to overcome the limitations I had placed on myself, starting my own company. It is just but a seed of possibilities right now, but it will blossom and grow. I do not doubt it at all.
Salvy has made me realize that truly, “all great oaks from little acorns grow”!
you can reach this Nigerian Star via,
CEO, Syscomptech Communications Limited
65 Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos
This “I Know A Nigerian Star” Story was submitted by…