It was a mind-changing experience for our Emerging Entrepreneurs (EEP 22 Class) during the visit to Beloxxi Industries Limited on August 7, 2018. The EEP Entrepreneurial Visit is integral part of the Emerging Entrepreneurs Programme (EEP) through which the entrepreneurs visit top homegrown Nigerian businesses that have defied the odds and achieved significant socioeconomic success with global standards, to tour the business system and processes for and gain experiential insights from the business founders to grow their own businesses.
Founded by Mr. Obi Ezeude in 1994, BELOXXI INDUSTRIES LIMITED (BIL) has emerged and evolved over the years to become one of the largest, most modern, fully automated and integrated biscuit manufacturing companies in Nigeria and West Africa.
During the visit, Mr. Ezeude shared with our entrepreneurs the entrepreneurial journey of Beloxxi from inception to growth and scale, detailing some of the major challenges that business leaders and businesses face on their journey to grow and scale in Nigeria. Mr. Ezeude further cited various personal examples and insights in responding to individual questions and challenges they were facing while challenging them to never accept “No” for an answer in the pursuit of progress. “All businesses in Nigeria face similar hurdles”, said Mr. Ezeude, “and complain about it rather than rise above it. As a visionary entrepreneur, you must think above and beyond to solve any problem that come across your way in business”. He further added that, “If you are in business for money alone, you will not go far; to achieve sustainable success, your drive must be to create not just a business but an institution that young Nigerian can look forward to. Prioritize the development of your people because the strength of an institution is the strength of its people.”
The next highlight of the Entrepreneurial Visit was the tour of the Beloxxi Operations led by the Head of Operations, Mr. Cyril Ani. Using the Beloxxi Tour as a live case study, Mr. Ani, led the entrepreneurs through the Production Plant and explained the Beloxxi approach to market sensitivity, maintaining a competitive edge as well as the importance of long term thinking in developing effective structures and business models.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Ezeude challenged the EEP 22 Entrepreneurs stating that, “Your job as an entrepreneur is to discover talents, polish them and unleash them. If you create a conducive environment for your people, your work will be easy.”