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When I started electronics business, only Lagos and Ibadan had TV stations – Chief Obiekwe

Posted by By CHIDI NNADI, Enugu on 2008/04/05 | Views: 957 |

When I started electronics business, only Lagos and Ibadan had TV stations – Chief Obiekwe

Chief (Sir) Theophilus Obiekwe, chairman and managing director of Obiekwe Brothers Nigeria Limited is one of the electronics dealers in the country who had seen the metamorphosis of the appliances in so many decades.

Chief (Sir) Theophilus Obiekwe, chairman and managing director of Obiekwe Brothers Nigeria Limited is one of the electronics dealers in the country who had seen the metamorphosis of the appliances in so many decades.

He recalled that in the late “50’s when he went into the electronics business, the gramophone was the king of all electronics.

Looking back at the old good days, he said the business had brought him good fortune even though he said he would not like all his children to take to it. Why? Chief Obiekwe believes that there exist today other businesses that can easily spin money more than electronics.

He told Daily Sun how he started business in 1954 and why he had stuck to electronics business.

My name is Chief Theophilus A. Obiekwe. I am a native of Isuofia in Aguta Local Government area of Anambra State. I started to learn how to trade on January 3, 1954. I served my master for nine years and later went into another apprenticeship that took me to Port Harcourt until the civil war broke out in 1967. I had to leave Port Harcourt for my village during the war when the Nigerian soldiers entered Port Harcourt in 1968. After the war, I went back to Aba in 1970. From there, I came to Enugu because my partner, Albert Ibeano, a senior partner , was teaching me sale of electronics as I was earlier in textile. In 1972, I came to Enugu to manage Ibeano Brothers, but in 1979 I had to leave Ibeano Brothers to form Obiekwe Brothers Nigeria Limited.
In 1980, Obiekwe and Brothers Nigeria Limited began operation and since that time, we have been in electronics business. Today, we have about 28 branches all dealing in electronics.

Originally, I trained in textile sale. I was doing textile business until I joined Ibeano Brothers. It was then I went into electronics business. Electronic business is better than textile business because in electronics, you see the world. Though, according to him, textile business is more lucrative when compared with electronics business.

Old electronics
In 1957, when we started electronics business, we used to have electronics that are quite different from what we have today. Then, we used to have gramophone and the transistors were not there. It was during the civil war that the transistor radio came. After, the changer records came. Before the war, it was in Lagos and Ibadan that we had television stations, but after the war, television stations now spread to other places. So, after the war, electronics went wild and we started seeing different types of electronics. I have put in more than 50 years in electronics business. I started this business when I was 15 years old.

Electronics then and now
Electronics business now is more lucrative, but the only thing is that competition is very stiff. In those days, there are only few persons dealing in electronics because money was difficult to find, but today so many persons have come into the business, making competition to be stiff.

Our niche
If you go to Onitsha today or Aba or Alaba International or anywhere in the country where electronics is sold, you will see the boys that I trained in the business. In Enugu here I have trained many persons on the business; the people who served me here in Enugu are more than 10.

Our products
We are dealing in all sorts of electronic products; we deal in anything electronics. We have companies that import the products and then we buy from them. There are some of the electronics we import direct by ourselves.

Sub-standard products
We are very careful about the electronics we purchase. We are always mindful of quality products in order not to destroy the good business name we have built over the years.

My children and electronics
Even though I raised my children from this electronics business, I still believe that there are some businesses that are better than electronics. I will prefer that some of my children will go into other businesses, while some will continue in electronics. This is because I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket.

My achievement
I thank God that I have done very well in electronics business. I thank God for all the things He has done for me, including good health.

Advice to beginners
Electronics is a very good business so long as you don’t go into dubious deals. Like some importers will go overseas and ask the manufacturers to reduce the standard of the electronics by not putting all the necessary materials, so as to make more money. But this does not help good business as consumers or buyers will soon discover that the electronics is inferior.

Because times are hard, people no longer come to buy electronics like before. This is why I want to encourage my children to leave electronics for other businesses. In fact, I would want them to go into petroleum business because petroleum products are consumption items, you must travel, you must cook food to eat. But if you don’t have money, you cannot buy refrigerator, you cannot buy air-conditioner or television or radio or generator. So, there are other businesses that are better than electronics.

My customers
My advice to my numerous customers is to keep on buying from us because we believe in the best quality products.

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Comments (21)

robloxian(Bangor, Maine, US)says...

hahahaha u r a wierdo…hehehe

robloxian(Bangor, Maine, US)says...

wow so bad.


U r weird gus

HonchoKanji(Angus, UK)says...

Wakanda nonsense EFE don't mean "beautiful" in Benin it means "wealthy" or "rich in knowledge"

Afamefune(Isheagu, Delta, Nigeria)says...

Afamefune means, my name will never be lost,

Some fathers name their son that name maybe due to delay in child birth or sign to tell that they name still exist.