He is a big player in the information technology sector of the Nigerian economy. His humility will enthral you. He remains unaffected by the lofty heights he has attained in his chosen career, and he is Austin Okere, Group Managing Director of Computer Warehouse Group, Lagos .
A 1986 graduate of computer science from the University of Lagos , Okere is a young man with eagle eyes for business. He saw beyond the fog of Nigeria ’s economic and political impasse when he resigned his sales and marketing job with Inlaks Computers Ltd. in Lagos to found Computer Warehouse Ltd., which is into the supply and maintenance of computer hardware and ancillary equipment.
It was particularly helpful that Okere left Inlaks on a friendly note, as he soon became their dealer. Okere’s business philosophy is to keep the customer happy. Let them speak well of you. That way he got many references, from one corporate customer to another.
In 1997, Dell Corporation, UK , invited him to accept the Dell Distribution Award for the fastest growing business in Africa territories. His Computer Warehouse is today Dell’s sole service centre in Nigeria .
Through Okere’s effective salesmanship, Dell computers outsold many of the older, more entrenched computer names in Nigeria .
Giant strides of the Imo State-born business mogul has not gone unnoticed. In 1997, Corporate Press Services honoured him with Men of Achievement Award. The Guardian newspapers honoured him among Outstanding Personality of the year and Diet Communications Limited named him among 10 Dynamic Leaders in Corporate Nigeria.
In 1999, Thisday newspaper and The Week magazine took turns to honour him. Thisday newspaper named Okere among 50 Most Dynamic CEOs while The Week honoured him with 10 Distinguished Men of Excellence in Nigeria .
Okere’s successes are not accidental. They derive from clear-headed, far-sighted business strategies. Okere simply knows where his bread is buttered at the top. Okere said that they set out from the beginning to focus on a niche. Over the years we decided that we are to continue to focus on that niche of the top of the triangle.
The growth in the Computer Warehouse Group saw the birth of Digital Computer Communications Limited that specialises in wide area network, local area network and systems integration.
Expert Edge Software and Systems Limited is another company that was incorporated as a result of the tremendous growth of the parent company, Computer Warehouse Group Ltd. Expert Edge is involved in software development, systems analysis, design and implementation, SmartCard application and packaged training on software.
For those who know when Okere started, the growth in Computer Warehouse group is astronomical and heart-warming. Computer Warehouse controls 20 percent of the market now. DCC stands on the first runs among computer communications companies. Expert Edge has tied up some strategic alliances with some of the world’s software development giants to deliver some of the most sought - after products.
Okere is a member of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group where he serves in the infrastructure development committee.
Okere had his primary and secondary education in Ghana . He attended University of Ghana , Legon for one year before he transferred to University of Lagos where he read computer science. Okere also has MBA which he read at the prestigious Lagos Business School . Okere is married and has children.