Mitchell, an Electrical/Electronic Engineering graduate from the University of Benin, Nigeria is a consummate people-centric leader who believes in motivating his colleagues to have confidence in their value as individuals; in the value of the work they do; and in their value as team members, whilst being relentless in his pursuit of sustainable value for stakeholders.
Apart from leading Africa’s only indigenous tech unicorn to win numerous coveted industry awards, Mitchell’s stellar leadership has earned him several awards, including the CNBC/Forbes All African Business Leader (AABLA) for West Africa in 2012, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the International Finance Corporation’s Inclusive Business Leader Award and the acclaimed African Leadership Network (ALN) 2013 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE), which is one of the most distinguished Africa-focused award programmes, giving over USD 200,000 prize money to outstanding African entrepreneurs who demonstrate business excellence and social impact. Most recently in June 2019, Mitchell was named as the 2019 African Banker Icon by The African Banker.
A Bishop Desmond Tutu fellow of the African Leadership Institute, he enjoys actively mentoring young entrepreneurs, a passion he finds expression for as a member of the Board of Endeavor Nigeria.
Here are some excerpts from his chat with the tech entrepreneurs:
Importance of understanding the problem you are trying to solve
“As an entrepreneur, if you are solving a real problem, it does not matter if people like you personally or not. If you solve a problem of theirs, they will pay for your services. Hence, it is very important to validate the market need for your service by carrying out research before embarking on any business venture”.
Understanding the entire value chain of each business
“Founders should have a thorough understanding of the entire value chain when building solutions for Africa. Do not assume that once you solve for your segment of the value chain, everything else will fall into place. If there are aspects of your business that depend on other players in the value chain, ensure that you secure key partnerships with credible partners to ensure efficient service delivery”.
We thank Mr. Mitchell Elegbe for taking out the time to share insights with the entrepreneurs. Listen to his entire session in full on Soundcloud.