Editor’s Note: This post is by Ladi Phillips. He’s passionate about helping people build their investment. A funds manager by profession. He breathe Cannes, Venice and Monaco.
I love the conversations Celestine has brought-up, with his story. This singular act of sharing his story can chart a new course for Nigeria and fast track the next phase in the chapter of start-ups in Nigeria. I only wish more people could join in this intellectual conversation.
I’d like to say I work closely with High Net-worth Individuals (HNI) in Nigeria, so I think I have an angle to offer on this topic.
These are the four points I believe, if anything, we could take from this conversation:
- This situation makes it clear to start-ups and entrepreneurs that Nigeria plays by a different set of rules. In Nigeria, great ideas solely cannot get you there, its ideas turned into businesses capable of/or presently generating revenue that counts in Nigeria.
- With more start-ups being conscious of point one, efforts will be directed at this and more venture-back-able businesses will spring-up, and also venture capitalist themselves.
- There are firms that offer strategic and business development advice to achieve point one; therefore founders and start-ups should make full use of them.
- Finally, more people need to tell their stories.
In relation to my fourth point, real life stories help a lot of people and Celestine’s story is evidence of the importance of doing so. This will definitely help direct the actions of people in similar situations. Experience sharing also helps the raconteur; I won’t be surprised if Celestine gets a VC funding from this. Also the many suggestions from people will prove invaluable to him in someway.
As I mentioned earlier I work with HNI, and at work we get constant calls from these individuals seeking where to invest their money. They never want to leave cash ideal in the bank. The pressure to always get an investable venture is real. The office rule is: “the firm with the best investable idea gets the money”. In the past few years a good chunk of these funds have gone into properties in Dubai. You might then ask, so why don’t we invest in start-ups? Answer is simple, very few start-ups ‘monetize’. For them to attract these investors they need to show the potential and we also need to see a few of them. Only then can we as fund manager’s advise HNI to invest in start-ups in Nigeria.
A few months ago, I went for a business deal for one of our clients in Dubai, on my way back I met a young Nigerian at the airport; we spoke about something similar, something in the line of “where is the money? Where does the money go? And who needs the money?” and one of our conclusions was, a lot of start-ups are set-up by tech/operational savvy guys, but they most times lack strategic/business skills.
One thing is for sure; the money is here in Nigeria.
A piece of advice for start-ups, business strategy advisers exist in Nigeria, use them! I know a few, but the only one I have used is P&D Allianz, and they delivered exactly what we wanted.
Yes you have great ideas, but you need to develop it to a potentially income generating business, if you don’t know how, seek advice.