If I think too much about it, Nigeria scares me. Let’s get that out of the way from the start. Frequent reports of robberies and kidnappings are not abstract threats.
But my nervous tension is dwarfed by the excitement that only a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity can create. Columbia’s new Entrepreneurship in Africa Master Class has me traveling to Nigeria to write a case study on Computer Warehouse Group, West Africa's leading IT systems integrator.
I’ll be working alongside three close friends from Columbia’s class of 2008, Jindrich Zitek of the Czech Republic and two Lagos natives, Gbolade Arinoso and Lara Junaid. We'll interview many of Nigeria’s leading banks, private equity groups, IT firms, oil companies and telecommunications providers to flesh out the company’s story.
Ultimately it’s the chance to tell this story that generates the most excitement for our team. Computer Warehouse Group started in 1992 as a tiny Dell reseller committed to empowering its employees to provide superior customer service to business clients. Over the past 15 years, these principles, combined with the entrepreneurial spirit of its founders, have allowed the company to grow into a $100 million IT powerhouse providing comprehensive hardware, software and networking solutions for corporations throughout West Africa.
Over the next week, our team intends to write a case study about Computer Warehouse Group's phenomenal rise. We hope it will provide locally relevant teaching material for Africa’s leading business schools.
More next week . . .