How A Former Medical Doctor Built A Multi-Million Dollar Tech Business From Just $100
The start of a journey to any destination doesn’t always mean you will get there. But it also means you may end up somewhere else surprising and many times more valuable. Many individuals have started their careers or businesses in one area, and ended up in another, with a few becoming immensely successful in it.
This article talks about one such individual who was originally trained and poised to practice medicine but ended up shocking friends and family and sending them into a frenzy when he decided to change his focus to the tech space, and in the process ended up proving to himself that he was cut out for immense greatness, while surprising everyone around him with the level of success he has attained.
His name is Ifiok Nkem and he’s the co-founder of a multi-million dollar tech firm based in Nigeria and serving over 40,000 customers in the world called SnapiLABS.
Here’s how he and his team did it:
The Early Years And Education Of Ifiok Nkem
Ifiok Nkem was born and raised in Rivers State, Nigeria on the xx day of (month), 19xx. After his primary and secondary school education, he studied medicine & Surgery at the University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State Nigeria.
While studying medicine, he had always been a visionary looking for ways to provide solutions that would someday be able to change the world and greatly impact people’s lives, especially those living in countries with a poor socioeconomic status.
In an interview with the Guardian, Ifiok said “I went to university to study medicine because of my passion for saving lives. During my clinical years, I got to discover that the number one risk factor for most chronic illnesses in Nigeria is low socioeconomic status and most of the delays in health care delivery are also linked to this factor. Delay in getting to the hospital, delay in starting treatments, inability to complete treatments, and follow-ups; all linked to low socioeconomic status.” All the more proving his commitment to wanting to save and improve lives.
But how? Or in what industry? Were questions he needed to find answers to.
The Start Of Ifiok’s Journey Into Tech Entrepreneurship
Ifiok was studying medicine in the university because his core dream in life was to save lives. Little did he know that his calling to saving lives wasn’t going to be In the field of medicine but through the development and propagation of technology.
Midway through his medical education, he realised that the number one risk factor for most chronic illnesses in Nigeria is low socioeconomic status.
In an interview with the Punch Newspaper, Ifiok said “I realised that most of the delays in healthcare delivery and high mortality rate are caused by low socio-economic status. People encounter delays in getting to the hospital, even when they eventually do, there’s delay in getting treatment. At the end of the day, when treatment commences, there’s inability to follow up. These, for me, were avoidable circumstances”.
He further went on to say that “The second factor is illiteracy, which is also linked to low socioeconomic status. This particularly led to a massive brain shift for me when I was in 400 Level, and it continued till I was out of the medical profession. The shift was from saving lives to empowering lives to impacting on the society at large. That is why now, I and my company create training and software products that empower businesses and these businesses, in turn, empower other people.”
Recognising that his calling was not to save lives through being a medical doctor but by empowering lives and impacting societies through the use of technology was a wake-up call for him and drove him towards his foray into tech entrepreneurship.
The Start Of SnapiLABS
In the year 20xx, Ifiok wrote down his ideas on how to use technology to improve people’s lives through the development of various technology products that would solve a problem for them and also generate revenues in the process.
After writing down his ideas, Ifiok set out to start his business but with a mere $100 and a laptop computer he borrowed from a friend because he didn’t have one of his own at the time.
Later on, he became a beneficiary of the Tony Elumelu’s $5,000 TEEP grant which contributed immensely to the progress of his business.
With these tools, Ifiok Nkem went on to start building various web applications that solved real-life problems. In the process, he further built a strong team of individuals who shared the same vision and dreams as him, believed in his goals, and decided to follow through on them with him to make them successful.
The success of all the products the built culminated in the creation of the SnapiLABS company. In the new business group, Ifiok and his team set out on a mission to create products that empower people to use technology and innovation to achieve more in their lives, businesses, and communities, and in the process, the web applications now have over 40,000 paying customers in 47 countries and more than $5m in revenue in about 2 years.
Through SnapiLABS, Ifiok has been involved in hundreds of projects and consulted for high net worth individuals, businesses, and corporations including the government of Nigeria and Angola. He has also trained and mentored thousands of people and businesses, and his digital products help them leverage the power of the internet to increase their growth.
A significant part of his progress happened during the pandemic as most people had to go remote, driving up a huge demand for his company’s digital products and services.
Some Of SnapiLABS Successful Products
Some of the successful products that Ifiok’s SnapiLABS has built over the years that have had an immense impact on businesses, individuals, and communities are:
- Videotours360 Software: A software tool that enables users to CREATE & SELL Interactive & Immersive Virtual Tours & Stores In Minutes
- game-changing marketing technology that helps clients convert 350% of their traffic (as against the regular average of 2.35%) into red-hot buyer leads using an incentive-driven viral marketing strategy.
- MarketGee: With this web application, users can “Create, Market and Sell” information products and online courses, membership and coaching programs, software and physical products with absolutely zero coding skills, no heavy lifting, no multiple monthly subscriptions
- loud-based 10 in 1 design software for marketers. It enables them to create high converting designs in minutes – facebook ads, social media covers, post, ecovers, business cards, mockups, pdf books, and many more. It comes loaded with 3000+ ready-made design templates and over 3 million stock images, fonts and other graphic assets.
- Ada Bundle Software: ADA Bundle is a ‘first to market’ SaaS platform that helps website owners improve their website accessibility in minutes and become fully ADA Compliant.
A Focus On VideoTours360 Software
Social Distancing is the NEW NORMAL… & businesses must ADAPT to survive as customers are no longer comfortable leaving their homes.
One of SnapiLABS products – VideoTours360, allows businesses like real estate, Airbnb, gyms, restaurants, and hotels to deliver interactive experiences to their customers at home. It comes with a live video call feature, which means you can be LIVE with customers to guide them & respond to questions as they do a 360 virtual tour.
VideoTours360 is the world’s first and only virtual tour builder with built-in live video calls, gamification, ecommerce & AI engagement optimization
The demand for this product is high as businesses need this to survive in the post covid economy. It was launched in December 2020 and as of May 2021, already has 1,400 paid customers join in during the launch week alone and today our members have created more than 24,000 virtual tours for their businesses and clients.
More than 80% of the users and partners are in North America.
SnapiLABS is essentially using VideoTours360 to help North American businesses survive the pandemic.
The product was built in Nigerian and is been sold to the world.
Today SnapiLABS has more than 40,000 paying users in 47 countries across its product lines and more than $5m in revenue in about 2 years. The company has garnered a lot of local and international attention, and as such, has been featured in several popular publications.
SnapiLABS was also recently accepted into the Launch Academy, which is one of the top 10 startup accelerators in Canada and will be helping the team dominate the North American market.
Ifiok Nkem Today
Asides from waking up every day to know that his goal of improving the lives of people, businesses, and communities is progressing in full steam due to the success of the web applications he’s launched over the years, he’s also trained thousands of people across the world and sometime in 2020 was inducted as a part of the Forbes Business Council, the foremost growth and networking organisation for successful business owners and leaders worldwide.
To Sum It Up
Where you start in any endeavour may never be where you finish. But if you follow your heart and apply it to a large industry with a very high economic value, you wouldn’t just be making a great impact to thousands and possibly millions or billions of people around the world, but would also generate a lot of revenue while been truly happy that you’re not doing something you’re simply forced to do as a result of circumstances in the society.
Keep an open mind while you move towards your goals and someday, you may be on the same trajectory as Ifiok Nkem.