Samuel Smile said “The experience gathered from books, though often valuable is but the nature of learning, whereas the experience gained from actual life is one of the nature of wisdom”
Experience they say is the best teacher and what better person to be in the same room with and to learn from his experience and journey of starting up a business than Mr. Mitchell Elegbe who is the founder and Group Managing Director/CEO of Interswitch (even if you don’t know about Interswitch which I doubt, I am sure you use the Quickteller App … it was created by Interswitch) on a topic tagged “Building a Business That Has Never Been Done Before”.
The Event started at 5pm as scheduled (I must applaud Mr. Mitchell for his promptness) with a brief introduction of the speaker by Mr. Charles Ifedi who happens to be Itanna’s adviser and was one of the co-founders of Interswitch.
Mr. Mitchell mounted the podium and led us through his personal life and how his journey into entrepreneurship started as far back as his days in the university, moving abroad and then back to Nigeria because he saw his opportunity back at home. My first lesson was from here – Africa has abundant opportunities needed to grow your potential and make you successful.
Words spoken by Mitchell were insightful and full of wisdom – from what to note before starting a business to fundamental strategies needed to grow your business. Allow me quote a few words of wisdom and food for thought from Mitchell Elegbe
- Your business model is a business secret to success; people will try to steal your ideas when they see it flourish – Mitchell reminded us of the first business he started way back in his university days, mixing and selling tapes and when others saw it flourish they all copied him.
- Always maximize the first opportunity you get because you never know when another will come.
- A good idea is necessary but not sufficient, execution is key to bringing your idea to life.
- Don’t try and disrupt an existing business, work to disrupt a problem – find a solution no one has.
- Just because you haven’t found the solution doesn’t mean the problem can’t be solved.
- You don’t have to invest your own money in your own business, if your idea is good, pitch it to the right people; they will invest.
The best part of the lecture for me was when Mitchell walked us through a slide with a graph that represented the reality of starting and running a business. Using Interswitch as a case study, we saw the different phases of growth and losses they had endured, and how at each point they had turned their challenges to opportunities.
This was a master class event worth every penny if I paid for it. But I am thankful that Itanna gave me this opportunity on a platter of gold.
I must commend the honesty and transparency of Mitchell, he was an open book with his knowledge, principles, and views both as an individual and with Interswitch.
The evening came to a close with guest networking over sumptuous bites from “The AJ’s”, I can’t even begin to describe how lovely their classic lamb burger was or the chicken satay or even the hotdogs with caramelized onions (the names say it all…lol)
Looking forward to the next session.