LEO STAN EKEH TO TECHNOLOGY TIMES | I don’t own Yudala

LEO STAN EKEH TO TECHNOLOGY TIMES | I don’t own Yudala

LEO STAN EKEH TO TECHNOLOGY TIMES | I don’t own Yudala

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Dr Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Zinox Technologies, has told Technology Times that contrary to what people have been made to believe, he does not own fast-growing Nigerian e-commerce company, Yudala.

The Zinox Chairman says that speculations that he owns, or that his tech company has stakes in Yudala is painful for him because of the disservice it does to the hard work of his son, Nnamdi Ekeh, who is the founder of the Nigerian e-commerce company.

In an exclusive interview with Technology Times at the weekend, Ekeh expressed concern over claims in the media that he owns Yudala, which he said minimises the efforts of the real owners of the e-commerce company and pushes them to the background.

“I feel uncomfortable when the media try to position me as the owner of Yudala. I think they are being unfair to my child, to my son and my daughter. Yudala is the brainchild of my son. He started that at 23, when he was doing his Youth Service” Leo Stan Ekeh says.

Dr Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Zinox Technologies, seen at home in photo above tells Technology Times that Yudala was founded by his son, Nnamdi Ekeh, and the e-commerce company is jointly owned by him and his sister
Dr Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Zinox Technologies, seen at home in photo above tells Technology Times that Yudala was founded by his son, Nnamdi Ekeh, and the e-commerce company is jointly owned by him and his sister

“I feel uncomfortable when the media try to position me as the owner of Yudala. I think they are being unfair to my child, to my son and my daughter. Yudala is the brainchild of my son. He started that at 23, when he was doing his Youth Service” Ekeh says.

Yudala, which is one of Nigeria’s fast-growing e-commerce sector players introduced a mix of online shopping platform with offline retail stores still spreading across the country.

Ekeh says his son is succeeding where he admitted that he failed when he made a pioneering e-commerce foray in Nigeria with a company then known as Buyright Africa.


Nnamdi Ekeh, Yudala Founder as seen on Twitter


The Zinox Chairman who gave insight into the formation of Yudala says that though he started an online business over a decade ago, it was later to fail because it was ahead of its time.

Ekeh says the entirely different establishment that originated from his son, Yudala has become a key player in the Nigerian e-commerce landscape.

“Yes. Given the fact that I started online business more than 10 years ago, but it failed because I came too early. The technology wasn’t there. The human capital wasn’t there to drive it. So, I shut it down. When my son came, he said, ‘Daddy, if you don’t mind, I want to run a different kind of business. I don’t want to join you in what you are doing. I want to experiment. But I’m 100% sure that it’s going to work.’ I said, ‘what do you want to experiment?’ He said, ‘I want to do online, but I want to add offline to it.’”

Dr Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Zinox Technologies, seen at home in photo above tells Technology Times that his pioneering e-commerce foray in Nigeria failed and that is why he wants Yudala to succeed
Dr Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Zinox Technologies, seen at home in photo above tells Technology Times that his pioneering e-commerce foray in Nigeria failed and that is why he wants Yudala to succeed

“The only way Nigeria can challenge the world is to pay attention to digital content and ICT. All this thing today is no more than direct Computer Science. Your grandmother at home is word processing because she’s using her phone to send you text. She’s doing WhatsApp, Facebook, and she did not go to any Computer School. If you also look at the history of American leaders, how many of them read Computer Science? Do they have Degree in Computer Science? The answer is no. And those who read Computer Science 20 years ago, are technically irrelevant today because of the languages they used. Everything has changed”, Leo Stan Ekeh says.

Recalling the conversation that he had with his son, Ekeh tells Technology Times that, “I said that’s not a bad one because everybody was talking online online. And he said he wanted to pioneer the online-offline on the continent. I said ‘you have my support.’ We now talked about capital and the rest of it. And I said ‘who do you want to partner with?’ And he said he wants to partner with the sister. So, I called them and we chatted as a family. We discussed it and we thought it was a good project. Then I asked him to give me his roadmap, and he did a roadmap. I was excited because I didn’t rate him to be that knowledgeable. So, it meant he has done his studies very well, and he was clear what he wanted to do, and he was passionate about it.”

According to Ekeh, “Yudala at the moment is him and his sister who are Directors of Yudala. So, I feel terrible; the young man is working 24 hours. He has no time, and then the press credits me for his effort. Yes, he is my son. I have to give him industry ideas, my experience in the country, and support him to succeed. But Yudala is not part of Zinox Group. Because he’s my son, he has to talk to me. I advise him and make sure he succeeds. But it is my prayer that he will do better than me.”

The Zinox Chairman, who is also a promoter of the concept of Digital Knowledge Democracy believes that information and communication technology (ICT) now opens fresh vista for Nigeria to challenge the world.

“The only way Nigeria can challenge the world is to pay attention to digital content and ICT. All this thing today is no more than direct Computer Science. Your grandmother at home is word processing because she’s using her phone to send you text. She’s doing WhatsApp, Facebook, and she did not go to any Computer School. If you also look at the history of American leaders, how many of them read Computer Science? Do they have Degree in Computer Science? The answer is no. And those who read Computer Science 20 years ago, are technically irrelevant today because of the languages they used. Everything has changed” Ekeh says.

In two years, I will supply the system human capital that will drive the country and then sell some of them. What they need to do is to take somebody from India, pay him salary to come and sit with them and guide them through. Our guys are smarter than their teachers. This is the only way Africa can challenge America.”

In his pursuit of the concept of Digital Knowledge Democracy, the Zinox Technology Chairman has this advice for the Nigeria government: “So, this mass unemployed people, if government sets up one incubator per city. If I were a Governor, I would set up an incubator that will not cost me salary, generator and everything more than N1.5 billion. In two years, I will supply the system human capital that will drive the country and then sell some of them. What they need to do is to take somebody from India, pay him salary to come and sit with them and guide them through. Our guys are smarter than their teachers. This is the only way Africa can challenge America.”

 

Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng

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