My life as a bus conductor and sweet seller to being a company Chief Executive is the narrative of Okonkwo Francis of El-Classico Phones and Gadgets in an interview with Isaac Ngumah of OpenLife Nigeria
I started as a molue bus conductor plying Oshodi, Mile 2 to Apapa down to Obalende. I also sold sweet and biscuits on the streets and inside molue buses. I later worked for someone at computer village as a bar boy, serving people who came to enjoy themselves. I was actually hustling here am there. I did a couple of menial jobs before I got here. This was after I came out of school.
At a point, I met a boss that I worked with on phone business and it wasn’t easy I have to do it for sometime and I thank GOD we are here today running El-Classico Phones and Gadgets.
INSPIRATION FOR ICT EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORY BUSINESS
I have looked around the phone business and I found out that a lot of people make mistakes getting their phones from the wrong sources. Lot of people have bought UK used phones and end up in police net because they may have bought a stolen phone.
I just decided to change the status quo with integrity, trust and honesty
You see, like I told you earlier, I came into this business with trust and integrity. Anybody that buys any phone and gadgets from El-Classico Phones and Gadgets has nothing to worry about. We are trust and integrity personified.
That is a challenge. Interest rate on loan is high. Cost of doing phone business is also very high.
For instance, an I phone 12 format cost about N120,000. 10 pieces is N7.2 million and that is a lot of money. So, funding is an issue and that is the reason we are calling on government to come to our aide through subsidized loans so that some and medium businesses can grow and generate more employment.
We want El-Classico Phones and Gadgets to become a household name. We want to be the number one tested, trusted phone brand in Africa and we are looking to become the Amazon of Africa, the Jeff Bezos of Africa. that is the plan. That is the goal
CUSTOMER RELATIONS, GROWTH AND EXPANSION
We don’t joke with our customers. They are the reason we are in business. We look into any compliant from customer with rapt attention and speedy response.
People that buy from us are the best people in the world. God will continue to bless them.
Our business growth is awesome. We started from mini store. We have expanded exponentially.
God, in His infinite mercy, is giving us a new branch. We have service and sales outlets in several places including Lekki.
I have not less than 15 members of staff that work for me. I have an additional six staff that work for the background. That is about 21 people that I pay salary every month. The glory goes to God.