From a street vendor to a CEO, this week’s episode of Winning Wednesday features the remarkable story of our entrepreneur, Precious Adeho, CEO of Emobella Engineering.
TEF: How did you get your idea or concept for Emobella Engineering?
Precious Adeho: The idea for Emobella Engineering Nigeria Limited came through when I saw a quote by Brian Tracy, “Problems carry solutions on their backs and solution carry money in their hands. What problem can you solve which will attract money to you?” I looked at the skills I have and experience I gained from working with Nigeria Breweries Plc and Contour Global solutions Nigeria Limited. I saw a wide gap to fill in the engineering industries most especially in the areas of Tank fabrication, pipe fitting and pipe insulation and design and construction of Electrical Panel. Emobella Engineering Nigeria Limited is an indigenous engineering service company set up to address challenging issues in the engineering industry and also provide quality services while reducing costs at the same time not compromising safety.
We provide innovative engineering service solutions in the following areas:
- Welding and fabrication of metal structural work and pipe fittings of mild and stainless steel.
- Process instrument calibration e.g Temperature, pressure, transducers and flow meter
- Design of electrical Panel, automatic transfer switch, phase failure control panel
- Non-Destructive Testing using ultrasonic, magnetic, Visual and Liquid penetrating Testing
- Installation of process equipment and Pressure vessel inspection e.g Boiler
TEF: Tell us more about your background for a bit.
PA: I grew up in a financially challenged home. I was born and brought up in Sapele, Delta state in Nigeria. At a time, things were so bad for us I sold bread at a roundabout in Amukpe, one of the towns in Sapele. Seeing the circumstance around me, I had a burning passion to change it all. I worked hard everyday and used the little savings I could gather to help myself through school.
Selling bread at that roundabout showed me how to be an entrepreneur and soon enough, I learnt one secret of customer retention. Once I noticed any customer who buys from me often, I ensured s/he received small gifts and discounts after some period of patronage. When I joined Nigeria Breweries much later in life, I focused on learning the secret of doing global business and would always speak with the guys in sales ,on the secret of selling.
TEF: We are aware of a recent massive deal for an established oil & gas services firm. Tell us more about this deal and how you struck it.
PA: The current project we are working on is the Fabrication of 20 tank appurtenances for Petrolex oil and gas. The main contractor is Amtrio Oil and Gas while we are the sub-contractor. Its a N45m project and we got this job on referral. We went for the sales pitch and we were given the opportunity to bid with other contractors and we were selected based on our certification as a company and the quality of members of our team. For us as Emobella Engineering , this will give us the leverage for bigger contracts and because we are committed to quality as an ISO 9001 :2008 certified company, we will give the best so that we can get more referrals.
TEF: How has participating in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme helped your business and you as a person?
PA: The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme changed my perspective about business. The program is mind blowing. I can’t quantify the quality of the training and the bundle of information about running a successful business thatI have gotten from the Foundation. I now have a workable and investable business plan that investors can look into. As an individual, through the programme, I can now say I am a global networker. I was in Ghana last month and it was one of the entrepreneurs whom i had networked with that received me from the airport.
In the past, I had tried to source for funds but I had no collateral and the interest rate was just too high. I heard about SHELL Livewire which was the first grant opportunity I ever applied for and was selected. I equally applied for YouWin and was selected but it is important to add here that the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme taught me a lot, not just to run a business but to run a business with global mindset. I learnt to think globally and act locally.
TEF: How does your company help the community where it is located?
PA: We run a program call YEFE (Youth Employability in Field of Engineering) which is the CSR arm of our business, its a Human capital Intervention strategy with a goal to empower young people to take responsibility. We train them on technical skill that will make them become employable and can also become a business.
TEF: How do you rate the quality of the networking/collaborations that have come from being involved in this programme?
PA: The quality of the networking and collaboration has been exceptional; from the members of the Tony Elumelu foundation to all the entrepreneurs I have met all over Africa. In fact, it has been the best network I have seen or been in, in my life. It was a little challenging during the program but i reassured myself that I will finish this course. I started the program with this mindset that Tony Elumelu has paid my fees for a training at the Havard Business school. Based on this, I can’t afford to let the huge trust that an icon and man of great reputation as Tony Elumelu had placed on me by sending that wonderful congratulatory message.
TEF: What’s your advice for intending participants in the programme?
PA: Do not come into the programme with the mindset of just collecting the grant. Instead, come into the programme with the mindset to gain knowledge that will help you, your business and can be transferred to other generations.