How I became a business owner ― Hanu Agbodje

Fejiro Hanu Agbodje, founder and chief executive officer of one of the fastest-growing e-commerce companies in Nigeria and indeed sub-Saharan, Patricia Technologies Limited, has revealed how he came about the business.

The Warri-born Deltan and graduate of mathematics and statistics from the University of Portharcourt while speaking with Tribune Online revealed that he was a victim of scammers and instead of licking his wounds he found an opportunity gaping at him, which he took with both arms.

Recounting the story, Agbodje said, “I had an uncle who visited Nigeria, who used to give me an iTunes gift card. I didn’t own an iPhone, so I literally had no use for it, so I tried to find where I could exchange this for real money. I couldn’t find any local company doing that and I ended up getting scammed of the card. At that point, I realised I had stumbled on something. I figured if I had this problem, a fleet of other persons would most likely have the same problem and that was the birthplace for Patricia,” he said.

Curiously, for anyone who knew the Lagos-born, Warri-bred music lover, the development wouldn’t sound entirely strange because Agbodje had long demonstrated the trait for enterprise and it was just only a matter of time before he found the winning formula.

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“I have been an entrepreneur since I was 8, it came naturally to me. I am probably one of the most optimistic people you’ll ever meet. I am a graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, where I studied Mathematics and Statistics, it was quite interesting because I never really wanted to study Mathematics. But looking back, knowing what I know now, I am grateful I did and proud of myself that I didn’t flunk it. Somewhere, I always knew that the dot would connect,” he revealed in the interview.

Continuing, he added: “I have started a lot of other businesses before Patricia. I once had a mini restaurant when I was in university. I sold airtime, I sold popcorn and I got admission through a program called BASIC, kind of like A-Levels today, then I used my house rent to buy a bike and gave it to an indigene who ran away with it. I have done a lot of things to be honest.

“Coming back to Patricia, I started it sometime in 2017, it actually was supposed to be a side hustle, to earn an extra 30,000 a month but as fate would have it, it blew up. I think all my failures and trials have been preparing me for this.”

At 24 years of age Fejiro Hanu Agbodje sits atop a multi-billion naira company that dominates its landscape in e-commerce. In 2019 alone, Patricia processed over N10 billion in transaction volume in despite having started the business just two years ago (2017).

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