Mr Anthony Ogor is a vibrant Nigerian whose life would provide motivation for youths interested in taking charge of their own lives. He has ventured as a popular presenter of reggae music on Radio Benue in the late 80s. From there, he went into more uncharted territories, especially that of information technology, a world that changes faster than Lagos weather. In this special interview for Akweya.com, he explains his motivations, and why he’s once more in a new world.
|Antony Ogor is motivated by trying to solve problems using IT.|
Please, tell us about yourself.My official name is Anthony Ogor but most people know me as Paul Anthony. This was from my days on radio as a presenter. Paul is actually my father's first name. I have no issues with whichever of the two names you call me as they still address me even though I heard there is another Paul Anthony besides the Paul Anthony of Full Force of those days somewhere in Akweya land. I am an IT consultant with almost 20 years in the IT business.
I started out in Electrical and Electronics from University of Agriculture and moved into information technology in 1992 in a team that brought the first Internet node to northern Nigeria.
I had to sharpen my IT prowess further by taking up a master's degree in
Computer and Network Security at the Middlesex University in London and several trainings and workshop in various parts of the world. So, I can confidently tell you I am a veteran in information technology solutions development and deployment.
What led you into the IT business?What let me into IT business? It’s a tough one to answer but I would say interest, actually, and also the fact that it is closely linked to Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
Come to think of it, IT is it these days. We are in the information age, and technology is the vehicle that drives all business, which I am sure most people have experienced.
The first day I sat online, I knew I had found my vocation and relaxation place because IT by itself is fun. You have fun and get paid for it. I say it’s fun because you issue a few strokes of characters on your computer device and a lot is controlled across the world.
The first day I sat online, I knew I had found my vocation and relaxation place because IT by itself is fun.
What have been the greatest successes you achieved with the business?My greatest success in the business of IT was sometime in the last quarter of 2009 when I pulled up a solution that distinguished my company from amongst her competitors.
Oh, great. Can you tell us more about that solution?At the time, there was a legislation that all the broadband providers in Nigeria moved from a particular frequency allocation technology to a new one which required relinquishing your assigned frequency to a newly allocated one. This also required that people moved to a technology called WiMAX.
WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. It is a wireless broadband technology designed to provide high level of security with plenty bandwidth -up to 40mbps speed for telecommunication. Never worry about it; there is a better technology now- LTE or Long Term Evolution- optimised for mobility.
Anyway, getting the WiMAX technology to work was a very big issue and my company was losing revenue. I had just visited from the UK and I sat in the office, three days in a row, researching a solution.
It was amazing how a single one-line command issued to the connecting devices pulled the entire company back into business and the customers got happy with us again. To me that was a great success.
It was amazing how a single one-line command issued to the connecting devices pulled the entire company back into business and the customers got happy with us again.
Wow! That was great, indeed. What are the biggest challenges you've faced and how did you overcome them?My greatest challenge in the business actually just started about 2 years ago when I decided to leave the console and go selling IT. I discovered I was always churning out solutions, designing and implementing, which pulled out money in millions, sometimes billions, but I was not feeling the weight of it in my pocket. I saw that the sellers of these solutions were the ones making the dough and giving me just a little to keep me on the console to deliver more while they smiled to the bank.
I decided to sell. That is the big challenge. I am still trying to figure how I can successfully sell IT. The patience in waiting for a customer, reading the mood of the customer, getting them to sign the cheque... Man, it is not easy selling. Selling is not only about having the best product, it is also about convincing the buyer that it is worth his while. So, you see, I have not overcome it, I am still in it. I need help here.
Do you know Michael Oglegba? He sold for almost 20 years, from Gala, through chicken, to courier. Now he is selling IT and making the big bucks. So you see, I want to make the big bucks and am taking the selling lessons now. Inch by inch, I will get the hang of it, in Jesus’ name!
Please, tell us what motivates you.When you say all these, I wonder where to start from, because there are different levels in in the course of human development. As a younger person, I was motivated by making things work. I was motivated by being a solution provider using technology. It did not matter to me who you are.
In fact, I was so intrigued in 1999 in Kano when the then Governor of Kano state Kwankwaso relinquished his seat for me to sit on while I fixed some Internet issues on his PC. Imagine fixing a problem on a PC for someone who is far away in America from my desk in Nigeria. What could be more motivating than that for a young man?
But my brother, I am now an adult with responsibility. The definition of adulthood is responsibility. And in this part of the world, maybe the whole world, responsibility requires plenty money. I am motivated now to make more money to affect my world, provide solutions to their needs.
Wait a minute... haha... I think there is a link here between my motivation as a youngster and motivation as an adult... PROVIDING SOLUTION to OTHER people’s needs. Yeah, we can say that... that is the essence of life!
As an Akweya what advice do you have for youths who want to get into business?My Advice to anybody: You have to start living. To live means to be successful. To be successful means to impact your world with the investment of your personality; provide solution to people’s needs. An unsuccessful life is the life of waiting for handouts from anyone.
The Bible says, “The Lord our God has provided everything you need for life and godliness through knowledge” (2Peter 1:3). Seek knowledge, invest in yourself, read, study. Improve your mind. Before you know it, your mind will be rich enough to provide you thoughts that will earn you commercial value. That is cash. That is relevance.
Stop being a mental hobo. Stay on a course. Develop yourself in a discipline. Any one. Have you heard about the 10,000-hour rule? Anything you do for 10,000 hours will make you a star in it, so practice, practice and practice, become perfect at it and there will be an audience waiting for you. They will pay you for it. That is my advice to the youths.