From the first Slot Systems Ikeja outlet twenty years ago, the brand founded by Nnamdi Ezeigbo and otherwise known as Slot Mobile, has developed into a nationwide chain of stores. I resumed at the office on the 10th of December to find an invitation to the company’s 20th year anniversary event. It was one I couldn’t miss.
And so it was that on the 16th of December 2018, I headed out to the Landmark Event Centre at Victoria Island to be a part of the celebration. I ran into Mr. Ezeigbo just right after I walked into the hall and had the pleasure of personally congratulating him. Thereafter, I found a seat and made myself comfortable. Like this.
The ambience was lovely. Good old school music was blaring from the loudspeakers, and bottles were popping already. Getting comfortable was easy. Food followed not long after. What is a party without good food?
As a matter of fact, when the Ooni of Ife arrived and was ushered in, my hands were busy and so I could not capture his grand entrance. But my hands freed up eventually (the food was quickly devoured) and I got a photo of the Onirisa giving his speech at the event.
The chairman of the occasion was the former chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Sam Ohuabunwa. Also present included: Professor Pat Utomi of the Lagos Business School, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Akande, as well as Chief Leo Stan Ekeh of Zinox Computers.
The launch of a book titled, “Entrepreneurship, The Slot Way”, written by the CEO of Slot Systems, was the first order of the day. It was followed by the anniversary party proper. But let me delve into the juicy story of Slot Systems Ltd. a bit
The Beginnings: Slot Systems Ikeja
Nnamdi Ezeigbo left paid employment for business. He started with the sales and repairs of computers. The Slot brand name came to be because while fixing customers’ PCs, he would always ask them to slot in their cards in the computer. As such, the business began to be called Slot.
Slot Systems Ikeja commenced operations in 1998 at 19 Ola Ayeni street, off Kodesoh Street, Ikeja. This is in the area of Lagos that is now popularly called Computer Village. It was from that sole outlet that the mobile retail brand has grown and stretched its tentacles across the country.
With the arrival of GSM services in Nigeria in 2001, and the subsequent blossoming of the sector, Nnamdi added mobile phones to the services that his business offered. Eventually, mobile phones became the core of the business.
As the brand developed mind-share as the go-to retail store for all kinds of mobile phones, it also became known as Slot Mobile by consumers who troop into the various branches across the country. As at today, the brand has 67 branches across Nigeria.
Slot Systems sells mobile phones, computers, and accessories at its various outlets. It also provides after-sales services at designated centres. Slot Systems Ikeja remains the hub of the activities of the nationwide operation and still records the biggest sales.
Spotlight on Nnamdi Ezeigbo
The story of how Nnamdi Ezeigbo built the Slot empire is one that inspires young entrepreneurs everywhere in the country. And he has detailed out his entrepreneurial journey in the book that was launched at the event. The book was launched by the representative of the Abia State governor with N2m, and many guests at the occasion purchased copies as well.
Nnamdi Ezeigbo was conferred with a number of honours at the event. These include: International Entrepreneurship Award for 2018, and Telecommunications Personality of the Year award by the National Association of Oduduwa Students (NAOS).
Another high point of the event was the long service awards giving to staff of Slot Systems.
Slot Mobile says its long-term goal is to become number one mobile phone retail chain company in Africa. With what has been achieved in Nigeria in the last 20 years, that is very possible and one looks forward to celebrating that landmark.
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From 2001 when GSM phones were introduced in Nigeria till date, Mister Mobility has owned and used hundreds of mobile devices running proprietary, Java, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.