Zinox Technologies Limited
Technology mover in Africa
Founder: Leo Stan Ekeh
Age of founder at start: 45
Background: Information Technology
Year of foundation: 2001
Business Type: Computers
Start-Up Capital: £4000
Start of origin of founder: Mbaitolu, Imo State
When Leo Stan Ekeh missed his admission at first attempt, it was because of an accident that kept him at the hospital for three months, saying that he felt disappointed and frustrated can only qualify as an understatement.
But that is probable the very reason he is about the most notable mover of technological advancement in Nigeria today.
As the saying goes “all things work together for good….”
This saying became true for Stan.
Zinox Technologies began with a twist of fate, Leo narrates
“After I wrote my UME, I had an accident and was hospitalised for about three months. By the time I was discharged, I had lost my admission. I was a little frustrated, but then my friend in India requested that I travel over, he felt I might like it there.
I applied and was admitted into Punjab University, India. After my first degree in Economics; I went in for a post-graduate in Computer Science at cork city university, Ireland. It was there my entrepreneurial ambition was born.
Stan believes studying in India was a “great turning point” in his career and life, including meeting the young lady that would later end up his wife.
“I met her as a student; she was the only Nigerian studying mathematics in India. In life you cannot be successful alone and you should ask God for a wife who is not just beautiful but one that will give you peace and who is intellectually sound to be a tangible asset and value to your vision.” He reminisced, she now runs TechDistribution, the biggest ICT distribution company in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Over time he wanted to understand the laws guiding businesses, so he registered for an LLM in Business Law. He wrote his thesis but could not sit for his exams because he had a bold career decision to make.” Stan recalls.
He had the option of either paying for his school fees or using the money to launch the business he was already working on. “I went for the latter” and I bet that has made all the difference.
This is no mean feat, it takes courage to do that and it takes one who is focused, who is 200% confident and convinced about where he is headed to divert his school fees and living expenses to an idea.
Stan knew he would incur the wrath of his parents, and friends if he failed, but he could only see unimaginable success too big that it beclouds any thought of failure.
His parents would later find out of his misgiving but as he had hoped for, his success was already big enough to pacify them about the deeds of a stubborn son.
His first company was Task Systems Limited through which he would later pioneer desktop publishing and computer graphics in Nigeria. He computerised 95% of the Print Media, Publishing and Advertising Agencies in Nigeria.
With so much satisfaction in his voice, he spoke about his first major breakthrough:
“It was ordained by God, when I launched the project, I did not have a long incubation period. The day after I launched it our very first customer placed an order worth $35,000. Two weeks afterwards one advertising agency paid us ₦3.7 million. In less than 12 months we had a positive balance sheet.
I was working ************
Leo would later score another “first”, probably his greatest when in 2001 he set up Zinox Technologies Limited to manufacture Zinox computers – Nigeria’s first internationally Certified Branded Computers.
Despite foreign competition Zinox Technologies has continued to soar, delivering over 12,000 computers and 80,000 direct capturing machines to INEC.
Stan advices young entrepreneurs (especially men) to carefully factor in who they are going to marry in line with their vision.
“Don’t just marry because of beauty or other outward appearance. Though beauty is important but there is the need for other qualities like intelligence and wittiness, because when beauty fades (as it surely would) those other intrinsic qualities are the things more likely to propel you.” – Leo Stan Ekeh.
Written by Kachi Ogbonna
Reviewed by JOHN O.E For Hexavia.
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