Edoka Idoko is a Nigerian who is a change maker. He is a business strategist and an entrepreneur by passion. Born and raised in Northern Nigeria, he has developed himself to be a man whose service is required by thousands of Nigerian.
We at InterviewStories were able to hear this great man story. He is a man of great business experience.
Can we meet you?
My name is Edoka Idoko, Educationist by training and entrepreneur by passion. Born into the Family of Mr./Mrs Idoko, third child out of eight. Born and raised in the ancient city of Kano, schooled in Benue state university and currently resides in Lagos.
Who is a business strategist?
A strategist is one that defines the end from the beginning, then develops a road map to the targeted goal. I see myself as a business strategist.
You happen to be the founder and CEO of Nigeria’s leading online food store ojireh.com. What Made you venture into online food store?
I’ve been active in agro-commodity business for about 3 years prior to the birth of ojireh.com and my drive is to close the gap between the farmer and the customer. I believe this will boost business for the local farmers in our rural areas.
What problem did you have in mind to solve when you started ojireh.com?
I am passionate about helping small businesses succeed and yes I strongly believe that with the help of Technology, the customer living in, for example, Texas in the US should be able to shop from mile 12 in Lagos or any other part of the world. We are working on this and we will make it happen.
What challenges did you experience when you started ojireh.com?
Funding was the major challenge I had when I started ojireh.com.
Funding….funding…funding.Funding is the act of providing financial resources, usually in the form of money, or other values such as effort or time, to finance a need,
How are OjirehPrime Financial Services Limited and ojireh.com related?
We started ojireh.com in Nov 2016 from a faulty Samsung tab whose battery lasts only 30mins and by 2017 after one year in business we noticed 96% percent of our customers made payment via bank transfers, we sent a mail to them all to enquire why and the response was
sorry we can not expose our bank card details.Note:You can’t withdraw money just by knowing an account number.
It is the quest to address this problem that gave birth to OjirehPrime and even at that we had no idea we were stepping into Fintech until we launched the card. Today both companies are separated as Ojireh Versatile Trade solutions Limited (e-commerce) and OjirePrime Financial Services Limited (Fintech).
How did you start OjirehPrime?
Upon our quest to build payment solutions for our customers which lead to the birth of OjirehPrime card, we realized about 65% of Adults in Nigeria and an estimated 25% of the Adults in Africa do not have a bank account. This discovery opened our eyes to a bigger problem that needs an urgent solution. This discovery confirmed to us why online businesses struggle in Nigeria and Africa at large. Reality is If online businesses would grow in Africa, then Financial inclusion must be a top priority this is where our vision of banking unbanked Africa was birthed.
Have you solved the problems you wanted to solve when you started OjirehPrime?
We are on a mission to drive financial inclusion in Africa, it is a long walk but we have taken the first step in the right direction.
Can a minor get an OjirehPrime card?
Yes, under the supervision of parents or guardian. The card would help parents teach their children financial management.
What did you learn being a Fintech company CEO?
Learning to me is a continuous process but I would rather use the word “discovery”. If you ask me, I discovered that if we don’t drive financial inclusion is a major bedrock for any economy to grow.
Can I use my Ojirehprime card anywhere apart from ojireh.com?
Sure, from ATM, POS, online and globally.
Who is an entrepreneur?
Anyone who has a mix of Passion, guts, risk and willing to fail forward is an entrepreneur.
What is the most important skill you do not have that you have to pay for in your company?
I can’t code but it’s fine.
What do you think about competitors?
I don’t notice them, I keep my eyes on my goal.
Why does your company stand out from others?
OjirehPrime card is not connected to your bank account, it does not require your Bank Verification Number (BVN) and can be funded from any bank.
Have you ever reconsidered being an entrepreneur?
Yes, it gets tough somethings but we have to keep pushing. We’ve gone too far to turn back.
Should student entrepreneurs be given grants to support or start their businesses while in school?
Sure yes. The earlier you start the better.
What do you regret not learning or knowing while in school?
Corporate finance. But am learning fast on it.
What do you think about partnership or collaboration?
I am a strong advocate of partnership and collaboration. That’s the fastest way a startup and scale up.
Have Ojireh.com won an award?
Yes. Ojireh.com was awarded top 100 emerging SME’s in Nigeria by Connect Nigeria in partnership with Union Bank
What advise do you have to the struggling youth in Nigeria?
It is possible. Do not give up as there is no award for a man that gives up. Go after your dream
How can people contact Edoka Idoko?
firstname.lastname@example.org or 08065490731
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