How The Son Of A Nigerian Nurse Built A Multi-Million Dollar Technology Company
In the life of every human, there comes a time when you have an “Aha!” moment and your ideas, goals, and targets become locked-in.
To be a solution provider and an entrepreneur, a change of mindset and clarity of purpose is highly needed.
This is the success story of Leonard Stanley Nnamdi Ekeh. A person, whom as a young lad had desired to establish a transportation business in Nigeria; however, while studying in India, he had his ‘Aha!’ moment and channelled his energy towards ICT and tech innovations, before going on to build a multimillion-dollar business in Nigeria.
Looking for some inspiration?
Here’s how he did it:
Early Life And Education
Leonard Stanley Nnamdi Ekeh popularly known as Leo Stan Ekeh, was born on February 22, 1956, into the family of Mr and Mrs Ihentuge Ekeh in Ubomiri Mbaitoli, Imo State, Nigeria. His mother was a dietitian while his father was a nurse. He has three brothers and two sisters.
Leo Stan Ekeh had his secondary school education at the Holy Ghost College, Owerri, and proceeded to India for his tertiary education. While in India, he studied at the prestigious Punjab University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in economics. He also has a postgraduate degree in Risk Management from Nottingham University.
Stan got married to Chioma in 1986, and they are blessed with five children, three boys and two girls.
Journey To Entrepreneurship
Leo Stan Ekeh’s interest in entrepreneurship has been kindled since his early years. At first, his desire was to own the biggest transportation company in Nigeria. Though he did not eventually tread this path, he has gone ahead to start multiple successful companies, with most in the tech sector.
As an entrepreneur, he is known to have spearheaded the creation of the following companies: Task Systems Limited, Technology Distribution Limited, Zinox Technologies, Buyright Africa Dotcom Limited, Task Direct Limited, ITEC Solutions and many more.
He is more popularly known for Zinox Technologies and his recent acquisition of Konga and its affiliates.
Task Systems Limited
Task Systems Limited was Leo’s first entrepreneurial venture. It was the first company in Nigeria to venture into desktop publishing and computer graphics. It is an ICT Solutions Company, which he founded in 1987, and commenced business in 1989 with a head office in Lagos and branches strategically located in other major cities of the country.
It has been in the forefront of implementing various ICT solutions in various sectors of the economy in Nigeria and has proffered solutions for companies like Total and Chevron.
Task has won various excellence awards and partners with world-class global IT organizations like HP, MICROSOFT, ZINOX, CISCO amongst a host of others.
Leo Stan Ekeh founded the Zinox Technologies Limited in 2001. He founded it with a team of ICT technocrats. Zinox is one of the most innovative ICT companies in Africa. The brand is the first internationally certified branded computer OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) in West Africa. In addition, it is the first to receive Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) certification. Similarly, it is the first computer hardware manufacturing company and ICT integration company in Nigeria to receive the ISO 9001-2000.
Zinox creates business solutions that utilize new technologies to streamline systems, efficiently align, integrate and maximise productivity. It also designs and develops products with consideration for the security of systems and IT infrastructure. Zinox has helped several African countries revolutionise their electoral processes, including Nigeria, The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.
At a point, the International Data Corporation (IDC), USA rated Zinox as the No. 1 brand in terms of computer sales amongst local and international brands in Nigeria. Most importantly, it is the only local OEM partner of Microsoft and the Intel corporation in Nigeria.
Konga is an e-commerce company founded in July 2012 by Sim Shagaya. Its headquarter is located in Gbagada, Lagos, Nigeria. It offers a third-party online marketplace and a first-party direct retail in various categories of consumer goods and products. In 2018, Zinox acquired 99% of Konga’s shares.
The Zinox group concluded the acquisition of the e-commerce powerhouse, Konga, on Feb. 5, 2018, with major investors: Naspers and AB Kinnevik. Meanwhile, Zinox assumed the ownership of Konga.com, KongaPay, and KOS-Express. Zinox acquired Konga.com because of their interest in e-commerce business.
On May 1, 2018, Konga was merged with Zinox’s retail outfit: Yudala, forming the biggest e-commerce and retail company in Africa. They retained the brand name Konga.
Buyright Africa Dotcom Limited
Leo Stan Ekeh is also the Chairman and CEO of the Buyright Africa Dotcom Limited. It is a platform that executes and funds information and communication technology projects, equipment leasing, ownership scheme and other related ideas in Africa. The company offers ICT consultancy services and sales of ICT products, infrastructures and digital tools to educational institutions and government.
Leo Stan Ekeh is a philanthropist who finds a way to give back to society when he can. His philanthropic acts include:
- He launched the Computerize Nigeria Project to encourage and sensitize development in the use of computers by Nigerians on August 5, 2000.
- He launched the CANi Scheme, a scheme that provided laptops to Nigerians at a reduced price, with a repayment plan within the period of 24 months.
- He built a church in Ubomiri community, the church where he once served as a mass servant.
- In 2016, his charity organisation, Leo Stan Ekeh Foundation pledged N1.5 billion to support YUBOSS, an entrepreneurship and wealth creation scheme.
- Also, in 2017, through his foundation, he disbursed N50 million as a humanitarian fund to victims injured during the demolition of Okeukwu Owere Market in Owerri.
Leo Stan Ekeh is a recipient of numerous awards, both personal and company awards including:
- ICON of Hope by Fmr. President Olusegun Obasanjo
- ICT Personality, IT & Telecom Digest, 2002
- Corporate citizen of the year, Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria 2002/2003
- Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR), 2004
- Nigerian Science & Technology Achiever of the Year, 2003
- Awards of Excellence, This Day, 2007
- Member of Nigerian Economic Summit Group
- Fellow of the Nigerian Computer Society, FNCS
- Life Membership, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs.
- Doctor of Business Administration (Honoraris Causa), Imo State University, Owerri
- Director, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs.
- A Doctor of Business Administration (Honoraris Causa), Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi
- Doctor of Science (Honorary), University of Jos
- Doctor of Business Administration (Honoraris Causa), Federal University of Technology, Owerri
- Fellow of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Lagos
- Fellow of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State.
- A Fellow of the Federal Polytechnic, Idah.
To Sum It Up
Leo Stan Ekeh is a man of many firsts. He broke barriers and set standards in his industry, and many others only always trail behind.
He places importance on the discovery of purpose because an entrepreneur without a purpose cannot provide services as needed.
“The most important thing is the realisation of where you are coming from and who you want to be.” – Leo Stan Ekeh
These words of Leo Stan Ekeh himself are quite succinct to accurately deliver this message of purpose & discovery.
What are your thoughts on this success story of Bimbo Alashe? Let me know by leaving a comment below.