Today we got in touch with Otoide Ayemere one of Nigeria’s creative technopreneur. He’s been doing well for years now and he’s an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs in the country. Let’s go into his world as he shared with us his journey so far and view about the industry.
WTN: Let’s meet you
Otoide: I am Otoide Ayemere, from Edo state and I live in Lagos. CEO of 2digits solutions company (www.2digitsweb.com). Studied applied information technology from Sikkim manipal university, India via APTECH Lagos.
WTN: How was starting up was?
Otoide: Starting up a business is never an easy task but it’s the most rewarding thing you can ever channel your time and energy to. It all started in school at Aptech when at the time companies would come by looking for skilled people they can outsource work to. The passion for technology was so strong and it felt good being paid to do something you love. In 2005 we decided to give the service some structure and 2digits was born in partnership with a school mate and close friend Ebuehi Kevin (currently in the UK). The quality of our delivery led to further referrals and the brand has grown considerably from then riding waves of the usual challenges like capital, power issues and unstable internet connection.
WTN: Can you share with us, your experience so far in the industry?
Otoide: So far it’s been quite exciting watching technology evolve in Nigeria. I am quite happy to chip in my bit in the evolution, which is to create world class websites for Nigerian brands. The IT industry still has a long way to go before competing with world super powers, but I’m sure in the near future we will get to where we need to be. The intellect is there in abundance we just need an enabling environment bringing us back to the issue of power and high speed internet connectivity.
WTN: Talking about web building how easy it is convincing companies to build sites?
Otoide: Slowly businesses are seeing how effective the internet is as a direct marketing tool. Brands are also keying into the potential of the internet in managing their image. These days you find more clients approaching you to manage their online presence compared to a few years ago when you had to do a lot of convincing.
WTN: You studied outside Nigeria, why did you come back home; did you see a huge potentials or what?
Otoide: I studied from a foreign University only because I wanted to tap in to the technology they had available. The curriculum was way ahead of what we had in schools in Nigeria. Note I took the course as a “Distance Learning Program” at APTECH right here in Lagos.
WTN: What is your view about the Nigerian Internet market?
Otoide: It is still at its early growing stage. More companies have websites now even if not a lot are ecommerce oriented (no thanks to the “top drawer” cost due to the interswitch/etransact monopoly). The figures would only get better. There are more agencies offering these services now and there seems to be activity going on to improve the state of broadband connectivity in Nigeria.
WTN: If you are not doing web business, what business would you have been doing?
Otoide: If I wasn’t doing IT I really don’t know what I would have been doing… may have been a jobless bum (lol). On a serious note, IT is my first love. In the recent years I have found myself dabbling into the entertainment scene especially having serviced clients like Storm Records, 2shotz, Mo’ hits, . I decided to start an entertainment company called TopLeft. Got an R&B singer called Funbi signed. TopLeft would also handle event management and working closely with 2digits offer online PR services targeted at entertainers.
WTN: What impact have social media had on you personally and business wise?
Otoide: Social media had taken the world by storm and had practically added an extra dimension to the way the internet is used. It’s been quite helpful in building a network both for me as an individual and for 2digits.
WTN: Investors & technologist, what do you think is missing, money or innovation?
Otoide: A little of both. There is need for more investment in the industry. We also need to think a bit outside the box and instead of trying to reinvent what’s already been done we should create new products that are better suited to our environment and requirements.
WTN: Going forward, what should we expect from you?
Otoide: By the grace of God I expect a growth in the 2digits brand. Working on offering more products and services. In a few months we will fully establish the enterprise software development arm. Stay tuned.
WTN: For our internet market to grow at a faster rate, what should we do as investors, technologist, entrepreneur, business and government?
Otoide: We need to fix the internet problems. I cannot stress enough how important high speed internet connection is to the development of technology in the country. On the other hand we need individuals to keep updating themselves as technology improves/changes rapidly. It would be great to see more technology schools offering the latest courses so our best brains won’t have to leave the country for that.
WTN: Thank you Otoide.
Otoide: It’s been my pleasure chatting with you.