In Nigeria, starting a business with all its uncertainties can make anyone abandon or abdicate the idea. This is not the case for Magnus Okeke, the Co-founder of 4wardNG, a platform for purchasing all kinds of result checkers. In this exclusive interview, Okeke tells us about his fears, challenges and much more. Excerpts.
Can You Tell Us About Yourself
My name is Magnus Okeke. I am the Co-Founder and Head of Operations at 4wardNG. I studied Computer Science at the College of Technology, Yaba, also known as Yabatech. I read and review books & movies when I’m not working.
Tell Us About 4wardNG?
4ward.ng is a platform that automates the sales of cards. We sell and deliver scratch cards and result checkers faster than anyone out there in the market and our cards are affordable as well. Café owners and examination candidates visit our platform to buy scratch cards, result checkers and other pins. These cards and pins are sent to their mobile phones (SMS) and email once they are paid for.
What Prompted You To Establish 4wardNG?
The Problem. You cannot walk down the nearest store to buy exam scratch cards and result checkers and a lot of people were being scammed on the internet by so called cards sellers and educational sites as well. We wanted to create a working solution to the problem. So 4ward.ng was born. You simply visit the site, pay for the card and it’s sent to your phone immediately. Save yourself the strength, no need to leave home
How Were You Able To Secure Funds To Kickoff?
My co-founder, James John, whose idea is what 4ward.ng currently, represents had funds to kick start the business when we were starting off. We were able to pay for a host, domain name and some necessary documents that were required with the fund. It was not enough, there are other plans to grow and expand, of course, but we were able to pay for the ones that were required and necessary to help us start off.
How Will You Describe The Experience So Far?
The experience has been wonderful, you know. Testimonies come in once in a while from customers and they really love what we are doing. They can easily pay for cards from the comfort of their homes at any time of the day.
What Are The Challenges of Your Business?
Getting Investors and also convincing and partnering with card companies to sell through us.
How Did You Overcome The Fear of Starting up Something For Yourself?
I am going, to be honest with you on this. We were not afraid of starting. What we were afraid of was the Nigerian government and the business policies we didn’t understand. But we are understanding most of these policies as we grow. It’s part of the process. You might also ask me why we were afraid of the Nigerian government along the way (not when we started). We were afraid because you don’t just sell cards that belong to examination bodies like Waec and Neco without permission. Our fears were completely rubbed out when we met with Waec and Neco and worked with them to sell these cards.
Advice For People Who Want To Establish A Business?
Start Small. Don’t rush, start with the little you have and believe in your solution. If you can make most of the difficult things around you easier to get or use them, people will pay you for it.