Engineers look beyond the orthodox to identify business opportunities
From left: Mrs Ogbechie… Engr Akintola, Engr Ibitoye, Asiwaju Onafowokan, Engr Maduka and Engr Olorunfemi Isaac

Ikeja 2017 business luncheon lived up to its billing as engineers were taken through unorthodox approach at identifying business opportunities.

And none other than the seasoned entrepreneur and industrialist, Asiwaju Solomon Kayode Onafowokan, OON that held the engineers spellbound as he addressed the theme of the Luncheon ” Private Enterprise Beyond the Orthodox (identifying unusual opportunities). 

The ambient hall of Sheraton Hotel and Tower, Ikeja was the perfect fit for the occasion as the hall was packed full with engineers and entrepreneurs. The accompanying Interactive session was even more exciting as many issues of critical importance in both the identification of the opportunities and running of the enterprise were deliberated.

Chairman went down memory lane

Engineers look beyond the orthodox to identify business opportunitiesSetting the pace for the event was the branch chairman, Engr Akin Akintola who welcomed the guests and took them through the history of the Branch and its many innovations in a bid to distinguish itself among its peers as well as serve the members. Indeed, as later confirmed by Engr Abiodun Awe, a former chairman of the branch. The branch pioneered the Business Luncheon while others followed.

President Otis’ Optimism  

Engineers look beyond the orthodox to identify business opportunitiesThe president of the Nigerian society of engineers, Otis Anyaeji was represented by a National Exco member Engr Adeniran Ibitoye who delivered the message on his behalf.

Engr Anyeaji said he is optimistic that the outcome of the luncheon would embolden more engineers to participate in business activities.

He said the NSE is in tune with the ministry of labour, office of poverty eradication’s vision to employ  young engineers as part of its national poverty alleviation programs.

He however informed that efforts are ongoing to ensure that engineers serving NYSC are posted to engineering firms.

Enterprise beyond the orthodox

Asiwaju Onafowokan, the keynote speaker offered insight into the world of identifying unusual opportunities in business by sharing his professional experience.

“Identifying and exploring opportunities in either pioneering ventures or and existing ventures is like rowing down stream and those entrepreneurs that muster uncommon zeal at tapping incentives abounds in most developing economies like Nigeria will get to the promised land effortlessly.”

Coleman wire and cable: from trial to winner

Engineers look beyond the orthodox to identify business opportunities
Engr Oguntala, Engr maduka, Engr Awoyinfa during the programme

Coleman Technical Industry started out as a distributor to a manufacturer of power cable. It won top Distributor award from the company for two consecutive years.  

Coleman Technical was however sidelined in its attempt at supplying Cables to an offshore company by the manufacturing company after spotting the opportunity and bidded for the contract. This led into a business dispute that eventually headed to Court. The Headquarters of the Manufacturing company in Germany decided to settle out of court and paid compensation instead.

By the time the dispute was resolved, Coleman Technical had spotted even more opportunities which inspired the founder to establish Coleman Wire and Cable Nigeria Limited. The resulting company, today is ahead of its competitors in the market after cheer dint of hardwork and determination as well as the business acumen of its founder and management. 

Identifying the Opportunities 

  1. See through the hidden layers of Government regulations, current tastes and trends
  2. Take Advantage of evolving technologies
  3. Know your capabilities and match it with the opportunities. 
  4. Carry others along in your plan
  5. Develop healthy relationship with your banker(s)
  6. Involve both your company’s management and staff in your vision
  7. Don’t fear adversity: confront disappointment with resilience 
  8. Investment is not sentimental; your first primary assignment is to go to where “return is guaranteed” 
  9. Be dogmatic with engineers and establish good relationship with them
  10. Failure will come at some stage; but be prepared for it. Don’t eat all your profits. 

Should Engineers Start Company from Trading and Distributorship as many Businessmen did?

No, no and no. He opined that engineers are better start producing or partner or collaborate rather than start from trading.

MD/CEO Rainoil Limited harps on Local Content, faith in Local Companies 

MD, Represented by Mrs Ogbechie. noted there is need for government to begin to trust local experts rather than running abroad to source for services. The Country will only develop when we develop our people. She also noted that engineering Education need serious attention. She challenged the NSE to include young engineers professional development in their activities.

Special mention: Engr kayode Adekoya

The branch, through the past Chairman, Engr Abiodun Awe was effusive in his praise of Engr Kayode Adekoya. Who was the first Chairman organising committee of the Ikeja Branch Business Luncheon. It was from this concept that other Branches across the country have copied and implemented.  NSE Ikeja Branch Pioonered the Annual Business Luncheon with view to provide networking platform betwen Engineers and the Business Community and also share ideas among each others. 

Engineers look beyond the orthodox to identify business opportunities
Cross section of Guests at the Event

“There are three ways to greatness: To be born great, to work hard to become great, or to have greatness thrusted upon you”

Engineers look beyond the orthodox to identify business opportunities
Nigerian Academy of Engineering President,, Engr Johanna Maduka Presenting Awards to wife of MD Rainoil Nigeria Limited, Mrs Ogbegie

 “When you watch greatness pass your street, you yourself will feel great”

 

Engineers look beyond the orthodox to identify business opportunities
Engr S. David, a current law Maker at Lagos State House of Assembly and other distinguished guests 

More than ever before, there is need for for zeal and courage of a pioneering mission the faith of martyr, stubborn persistence, perseverance and a very strong will to succeed, if the dream missions are to be translated into reality. 

Engineers look beyond the orthodox to identify business opportunities
Immediate past President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr Olorunfemi Isaac presenting Award to the keynote Speaker, Asiwaju Anafowokan Solomon

Engineers look beyond the orthodox to identify business opportunities

Compiled by Isqil Najim Follow on twitter @isqilnajim

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