Fedironics Intelligent Metering Company was among the Nigerian startups sponsored by the Nigerian Communications Commission at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2016 Conference in Bangkok. In an interview with Justice Godfrey Okamgba, the CEO of Fedironics Co., Ifediora Ugochukwu Emmanuel speaks about the conference in Thailand.
You were among the startups that did well in the recently concluded conference in Thailand. What innovation did you bring to the table at the event that made you distinguished?
Smart electricity metering solution tailor-made for the metering challenges in Nigeria and Africa at large. Our disruptive electricity metering solution called Intelligent meter (iMeter) measures energy, detects tamper and bypass, manages energy and tariff, provides pre/post-payment services, logs events in near-real time and has a power change-over feature while integrating a dedicated mobile application interface (MAI) and a web application solution called AMI solution for the purpose of extensive two-way communication between Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and electricity consumers, and data management for both. We are also developing a Smart Water Metering solution.
On what criterion was your startup selected, am sure it was NCC that sponsored the startups from Nigeria.
Our startup was selected because of the use of innovation that is driven by ICTs which positively impact the socioeconomic development of our communities.
Tell me about your startup, regarding staff strength, capital, value proposition, and issues in encountered in doing business in Nigeria.
Our staff strength is about ten staff and above. Our fundamental value proposition is affordable and innovative products. We are still a startup, and most of our funding comes from our parent company Fedironics Sol. However, we are currently raising seed capital for the enterprise.
The issues we encountered in doing business in Nigeria majorly include lack of electricity and access to capital. These two in my view are very vital for the survival of any tech startup in a developing economy like ours.
Do you have big players in the industry that you look forward to partnering with and how many of them have you approached?
Yes, we do. Developing strategic partnership is vital to our success, and we have contacted at least 2 of the DISCOs and one telecom company in Nigeria.And for us at Fedironics, our vision still remains our focus, moving Nigeria and Africa forward by developing and deploying peculiar solutions to solve the indigenous challenges in our communities.
In what ways do you think the Conference in Thailand will add value to your business
Firstly it gave us an insight into new technologies, especially those that can be adapted to our future products. He met investors that showed tremendous interest in our business. The conference helped us identify where we are as a startup from a global perspective and to redefine where we want to be in the future. There was a lot of learning and networking opportunities for us in the conference that added value to our company.
If there are challenges you encounter in doing business, what do you think Nigeria should do to address the issues.
The believe that the government should further diversify our power source to cater to the ever increasing need of power for business to reduce startup cost for SMEs. I will also like to commend the effort the government has made so far in making the fund available for startups through the Bank of Industry.