• Friday, May 17, 2024
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How 19yrs old Okechukwu is building successful accessories business

How 19yrs old Okechukwu is building successful accessories business

It is not always easy to combine schooling and business, but for Okechukwu Victor Chiemere, a 19-year-old software engineering student at Babcock University and chief executive officer of OC Gadget, it was a personal dream and a promise to himself.

Today, Okechukwu is doing what he loves, building a highly customer-centric retail business while at the same time studying to become a software engineer.

Driven by passion and a quest to become financially independent, Okechukwu started his phone accessories business.

“I didn’t always depend on my parents for financial assistance, so I began to research what young ones like me would like to buy,” he said.

“I started the business with nothing, but a business idea. I had no money, and no formal training,” he noted.

“I just went to my cousin who owns a phone shop and requested a supply of goods on credit. I promised to refund his capital after sales, and he obliged me. That was how I started,” he noted.

According to him, getting his first supplies without knowing how to pay back the capital propelled his thinking mind to devise creative means of selling the goods.

The 200-level computer engineer whose dream is to establish phone and computer slots across campuses after graduation, disclosed that his main source of funding was his savings; and that his business niche remains his creative marketing skill.

“Even as a student, my marketing skills have given me supply access to companies. I market my goods online and offline, and have dispatch delivery strategies to meet my clients’ needs timely,” stated.

Research has shown that in Nigeria about 99.6 percent of mobile phone users are aged 16 to 64, with 99.2 percent owning a smartphone. This invariably makes the phone business a lucrative one even for the near future.

He noted that his business plans to establish branches of OC Gadgets across campuses in the country.

“I plan that after my graduation, I will establish branches of OC Gadgets across campuses because I know what students want and how to reach them conveniently,” he noted.

Speaking on challenges facing the business, he said naira volatility has remained the main challenge to his business as most of his supplies are imported.

His inability to get his father’s approval to run a business while still an undergraduate is also a major hurdle for the business.

“I don’t allow my business drive to affect my studies, I run a strict academic timetable, and I engage people who help me to deliver the goods when I’m not available. My sibling takes care of my warehouse,” he said.

Nigeria has a large and growing population with a substantial number of smartphone users. The increasing penetration of smartphones creates a consistent demand for phone accessories like cases, screen protectors, chargers, and more.

The young entrepreneur advised other entrepreneurs to be determined in whatever line of business or service provision they chose to venture into bearing in mind that success is a journey.

“Every Nigerian youth should learn to do away with the entitlement mentality common with many GenZs. If you look around and think deeper, you will find something to do that will fetch you money, that is creativity,” he noted.