Chidi Nwaogu, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Publiseer applied for Africa’s Business Heroes Competition and made it to Top-20 in the Media & Entertainment category. He has decided to share his experience about the process of the competition being sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation
In your own assessment, what do you think is the challenge of the media and entertainment industry in Nigeria?
Every day, fresh talents are rising and joining the media and entertainment industry in Nigeria, and even Africa. Some of these upcoming acts are in search of fame, some in search of green pasture, while others are in it for passion. As a result of the growing population of upcoming acts in Nigeria, the media and entertainment industry is fast-pacing into a world-class industry of professionals. While creating great content is often fun, it takes a lot of hard work to be discovered. Every upcoming act experiences difficulty in getting their creative works discovered by hundreds and even thousands of people. Many contents never see the light of day, and as a result, many dreams die every day. This is the sad reality of the media and entertainment industry. There’s no point in making good content when no one will ever get to discover it.
I believe Publiseer has won some grant and seed funding in the past, what informed your decision to be part of Africa’s Business Heroes competition?
I decided to apply to this year’s Africa’s Business Heroes competition based on the recommendations of entrepreneurs who made it to the Top 50 in previous years. I’ve had a good number of entrepreneurial friends who took part in the competition in the past, and they had great things to say about the quality of the competition, and most especially the steep learning curve involved during the process. I recall meeting Joan Nalubega of Uganics sometime this year in Uganda, and it was inspiring what the competition had done to the growth of her business. This and other earlier recommendations, made me decide to apply to this year’s competition, and it has been really a steep learning curve as everyone said. Even steeper!
As a person who can be described as a veteran in competitions as this, what is your assessment of Africa’s Business Heroes competition?
Africa’s Business Heroes competition is more than the competition if I may say. It’s more like an accelerator program for African innovators. Right from the moment you make it to the Top 50 list, you begin to learn from the judges. Unlike other competitions, where judges are only interested in scoring you, this competition has its judges willing to tell you how you can take your business to the next level. During my Top 50 pitch, both judges were very knowledgeable about the work I was doing, and it was amazing the feedback they gave me, and how it has changed a lot, in such a short period of time. Also, the mentorship program that has been added to this year’s competition is phenomenal. It’s been four amazing years of doing the work that I do at Publiseer, but with ABH, I have begun to see my business from a very fresh point of view, and not only has my pitch story changed but my path has also been rethought and redefined.
What do you intend to do with the grant if Publiseer is successful in getting it?
Scaling and expansion. We intend to use the grant to record hyper-growth. First, we will start by forging partnerships with online retail stores outside of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Very recently, we forged a partnership with Libri, to get our content to the German market. We will love to see similar partnerships with digital service providers in China, other parts of Asia, and in Southern America. This will get our content discovered by other parts of the world, outside of the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. Also, we intend to start distributing content created in other languages, especially African languages. At the moment, we only distribute content in English and French, but with the grant, we will be able to get editors that are proficient in other languages and will help us in fine-tuning them and getting them ready for global distribution. Finally, we will love to expand our product offering to creatives outside of Africa. We have discovered that our product is a global solution, which is able to help creatives around the world get their content ready to compete on a global scale in a very competitive market. So why not get our product serving more people around the world?
What lessons have you learned in your entrepreneur journey and how do you inspire many budding Nigerian startups, youth, and existing entrepreneurs?
“Stick to what you know” is a strict school of thought in many entrepreneurship circles. After living that for many years, I have come to learn just the opposite. By keeping your mind open to new ideas and embracing novelty, you make opportunities for yourself. By exposing yourself to a multitude of innovations, your scope expands. Conversely, if you always have your blinders on, your perspective becomes too narrow, and you miss out on promising opportunities. On the path of inspiring other entrepreneurs, I and a team of other entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries started the Savvy program to help many aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs around the world, create sustainable, innovative, and profitable impact-driven businesses, by providing them with the knowledge, skills, resources, tools, support network, and community to achieve that. So far, we have impacted the entrepreneurial path of over 4,200 entrepreneurs in 137 countries around the world. We rise by lifting others.