Nnamdi Ezeigbo is a phenomenal gentleman and astute businessman. You may not be familiar with the name, but once I tell you that he is the founder of SLOT Systems, instant recognition happens. In recent times, there has been a story going round in the digital media space claiming that the SLOT founder is also the owner of the TECNO and Infinix mobile brands that Nigerians have come to love.
Does The SLOT Founder Own TECNO/Infinix?
Naturally, I was intrigued by the whole thing and felt that something was a little off with the story. So, I reached out to a SLOT executive for clarification. I asked if it is true that TECNO and Infinix are owned by Mr. Ezeigbo. Here is the unedited response that I was given:
Not correct, sir. He designed the very 1st TECNO phone and still owns a small stake in the business.
The story is that he had a vision for dual SIM phones and chased after it. After some setbacks, he partnered with the Chinese for technical expertise but initially funded the TECNO project alone. And so was born the TECNO T101. That phone did not do well in the market. But Nnamdi did not give up. He pressed on and eventually joined with others to push the vision forward. Today, the TECNO brand is a huge success.
From A Little Acorn
The SLOT founder is someone young entrepreneurs in Nigeria and beyond should be studying as much as possible to replicate and even exceed his accomplishments. Of note are the following:
- he had an idea for dual SIM phones at a time that leading mobile brands scoffed at it.
- he put his money where his mouth was despite the initial hard going.
- he let the project blossom by accepting to give up full ownership and instead own a small part of a big thing rather than own all of a small thing.
How he built SLOT into the giant that it is today, and his doggedness with the vision for TECNO are the stuff of legends. From a brand that serviced the low-end (and was scorned by many Nigerians) as recently as 2007 to the premium brand that TECNO has become today, the saying, “Do not despise the days of small beginnings” is very apt.
TECNO; Not 100% Chinese
Today, TECNO is a part of the Transsion Group, a corporation that includes other brands like Infinix Mobility, iTel, and CarlCare. The group does business in over 50 countries.
This has to be said: TECNO is not exactly a 100% Chinese brand. TECNO was birthed here in Nigeria and by a Nigerian. That makes me proud. Every Nigerian should be proud of this fact.
If interested, you can check out a historical timeline of TECNO Telecom and its rise in Africa.