Nigeria’s tech start-up scene can be said to have made considerable growth, over the years, but these have not been without some challenges.
Inadequate infrastructure, lack of broadband internet and unreliable power supply, limits the growth of tech companies, thereby, forcing a good number of start-ups to outsource most of their operations to companies, outside our shores, at very high costs.
I, recently, had a chat with Seun Abimbola, Co-Founder, Rentit, on the Tech Trends show on Channels Television and he shared his thoughts on how to grow the tech ecosystem and lots more.
CFA: Many start-ups in Nigeria, do complain of, how hard it is to do business in Nigeria. How has business been for you, as a start-up?
Seun: It’s been interesting, you know and I feel that, when people say that, business is hard, I try to understand, are we just trying to be cliché about it that, business is hard, or, we really think it’s hard.
I think many things are hard. People’s jobs are hard. I think life is hard. I think marriage, can be sometimes hard, as well, so, it’s what level of hard are you comfortable with.
If you think building a start-up is hard; my approach with building a start-up is that, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong and if it’s something you’re comfortable with, then you’ll be fine, but if you find yourself, constantly complaining, constantly hitting your head against the wall, constantly, getting angry, frustrated, with the limitations of infrastructures and all of those, maybe, start-up isn’t for you.
I think, it takes a certain kind of mindset, a certain kind of personality, to build a start-up, especially, in this environment and if you’re comfortable with it, you will be fine.
In fact, you will lean in towards it. For instance, when things break down, as they would, every now and then, I’m comfortable in the middle of the chaos.
In fact, it’s like a challenge, like, okay, let’s see, who’s going to get the better of each other in these circumstances. There’s always, ‘what am I going to learn’. We build, we learn. Over in a year now, I will still build a start-up.
CFA: From your experience, do you think that, partnership works?
Seun: If done correctly, but then, there’s, also, the question of; how is it done correctly? I think they work. I’ve had a few partnerships and they’ve worked.
I think, people should be able to talk to each other, at a level of bluntness, that they are comfortable with because, I think, assumptions, not properly defining things, ambiguity, I think, all of those things, create problems in partnerships.
I think if we’re clear about it and the more importantly, I think it’s, also, the conflict resolution mechanism that people set up, before that partnership starts, so, the issue is; let’s assume that, we’re not going to have this agreement.
Let us assume that, we are going to have disagreements, so, let’s agree upfront, how we are going to solve those disagreements, when they occur.
I think that, when we are smiling, if we can create a process, through which we can solve our disagreements, when we’re not smiling, we can, always, fall back on that process and trust that process, to help us resolve whatever it is that we’re going through.
You can watch the full interview here