When Mr Obi Ezeude left the USA after obtaining a degree in Banking and Finance back to Nigeria in his 20s, he started importing biscuits because he doesn’t have much money and needed a business his little capital could afford, he established Beloxxi and Company Limited, an importer of internationally branded biscuit, which later became Beloxxi Industries Limited (BIL).
When the Nigerian Government banned cracker imports in 2003, Mr Ezeude saw this is as a clear sign that the time had come for him to launch his factory, in which he discussed with the Malaysian trading partners he sold their biscuits to get into manufacturing in Nigeria but the discussion didn’t go well and that didn’t discourage him nor lack of stable electricity supply and bad road network, he was firm in his decision and set to work on his own in a disused factory block in Ikeja, with a single production line that rolled out the Beloxxi Cream Crackers.
A few years later, his big dream nudged him again to expand and a bigger factory was followed at Agbara, which started with three production lines and later expanded to six production lines. He became the largest, most modern, automated and integrated cream crackers biscuit producer in Nigeria and Sub Saharan Africa.
Lessons every discerning entrepreneur must learn from Mr Ezeude.
- Decide on your philosophy and pursue it vigorously.
- Be proud of what you do, concentrate and be focused.
- Every leader must abide by its company’s rules and make sure all staff are treated the same.
- Don’t run out of business because of its challenges. You must stay there and figure out what is wrong.
- The moment you begin to emphasise money as an entrepreneur, you’re in trouble. Passion must drive you.
- Don’t go into a business because of its profit but for the passion. Your love for the profession will keep you.
- Think beyond the problems that may arise as an entrepreneur.
- If you base your business on sentiments, it will only be for a short time.
- Partner with those with the same level of philosophy and commitment.
- Impossibilities in life are possibilities that have not been tried.
- You can’t run away from challenges in business. Business is full of challenges, how you were able to surmount those challenges is key.
- Nobody will listen to you, if you don’t try.
- If you ask the right question, you will get the right answer but if you ask the wrong question, you will get a wrong answer.
- Be determined, and prayerful.