In this special post, we interview EO Nigeria member Dele Agekameh, CEO of Quicklink International Network. Dele talks about the business landscape in his home country, the benefits of entrepreneurship and what he does in his free time.
When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
DA: I’ve always been engaged in some form of ‘buying and selling,’ especially in my early years. In middle school, I started designing and producing seasonal greeting cards for sale— that was rare among my peers at the time. This was the starting point for me.
What do you do for fun when you’re not running a business?
DA: I like to engage in intellectual discussions, importing and exporting ideas. I also play lawn tennis, badminton and go clubbing to let off steam.
What’s your favorite holiday, and why?
DA: It’s Christmas. I like all of the hype, which is exciting as one takes stock of the outgoing year and looks forward to the incoming year with friends, relations and other acquaintances. Generally, it is a season of peace, tranquility and celebration.
What do you love most about your heritage?
DA: Even with all of the biases and prejudice associated with the black race and Africans, I have always cherished the resilience, Spartan-like determination and zeal to excel that has always fueled the average black person to the pinnacle of success in whatever endeavours he or she gets involved.
What are the benefits of being an entrepreneur in Nigeria? D
A: Collectively, with other entrepreneurs one is involved in creating wealth that helps to move the society through the provision of gainful employment. It’s satisfying being able to contribute positively to the progress of humanity.
What are the challenges of being an entrepreneur in Nigeria?
DA: The challenges are multifarious, ranging from the lack of an enabling environment for business to thrive, inadequate capital, lack of cooperation from banks and other financial institutions, as well as a lack of infrastructure and inconsistency in governmental policies, among others.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?
DA: A place like Australia comes to mind. There’s so much beautiful scenery, including the wildlife and sea life at Kangaroo Island, world-heritage sites at Kakadu National Park and the spectacular mountains of Adelaide. And of course, the nightlife in Sydney, complete with its harbour cruises.
What is your favorite meal?
DA: For starters, a plate of steaming-hot ‘pepper soup’ could trigger the appetite, and then white rice with succulent Nigerian vegetables. Fresh or dried fish and fried plantain, known in local parlance as ‘dodo,’ would complete the meal.
If you could recommend one book for the world to read, which one would it be?
DA: Straight from the Gut, by Jack Welch.
What do you want to do when you retire?
DA: To mentor people in business, provide succour for the needy as far as my resources can take and allow as many people as possible to ‘drink’ from the fountain of my wisdom and knowledge.
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