Malobi Ogbechie – CEO of Malobi’s Limited Interview

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Malobi Ogbechie – CEO of Malobi’s Limited Interview

“Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men.” - Marcus Garvey (Civil RIghts Activist)

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What is your full name?

Malobi Ogbechie

What is your age range?

31-40

Where were you born and raised?

Port Harcourt, Nigeria

What countries/states did you school in?

Rivers State, Nigeria (primary school). Somerset, UK (secondary and university). London (master’s degree)

Did you go to university? If so, where did you go and what did you study?

Undergraduate degree in European Studies and Modern Languages at the University of Bath.
Masters in International Relations at Regents University London.

In what countries are you based?

Nigeria

What do you do to earn a living and when did you start?

Run family business ‘Dubi Nigeria Company Limited’. Oil and Gas drilling services company
Export fonio to the USA and UK through ‘Malobi’s Global Sevices Limited’.

What did you use to do before you did this?

I worked as a business developer for a market research company called Savanta in Central London. Before that, I did the same for another market research company called GlobalData.

What inspired you to move back home and start your business?

I watched youtube influencers like Wode Maya who inspired me to come back and invest. Also, my fonio business was slowly taking off.

Why should anyone use your service/product?

As for the family business, we are the first indigenous company in Africa to offer Waste Management and Solids control services to the oil and gas sector so our experience is unmatched. We also use our own equipment.

Malobi’s – Our fonio is the most affordable and is 100% sand free. We also work with female coops and all of our staff are female. We strongly believe in female empowerment.

Tell us about your team.

Malobi’s – Our team consists of our production manager (Ibingibo Douglas), content creation manager (Electra Daniels), and cleaner (Success).
Ibingibo studies chemistry and is indispensable when it comes to R&D
Electra has improved drastically when it comes to social media management and video production.

What is something you wish you knew before moving back home to live and start a business?

The NAFDAC process was extremely long. Best to start as soon as possible.
Driving in Nigeria is a nightmare, it takes some getting used to.

Would you advise other people to start businesses or invest in Africa? Please also share the drawbacks.

Yes, I would. The only way that Africa can get better is through investment and by creating more jobs. In addition, there are so many businesses that can be replicated from the West over here in Africa. You do not have to reinvent the wheel a lot of the time.
You do need patience. It is also important to know, B2B business in Nigeria is not always about competency, it is more about relationships.

Did you experience a culture clash with homegrown Africans?

Not as much because I have been coming back every few years. There are some slangs I had to pick up but that’s mostly it. Dating here is very different too. It is more ‘transactional’ in my opinion.

Are there things that you can get abroad that you miss whilst here? How do you deal with it?

There are a lot of things but I don’t think of that. I just try to recreate it here. Every problem is an opportunity.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other Africans looking to start-up?

Have something that feeds you on a day-to-day whilst you get your startup off the ground. Live with your relatives if it means you can save money to chase your dreams. Patience is a virtue.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other Africans in the diaspora?

There are many opportunities in Africa and you will make it if you are dedicated enough. There is a ceiling in most Western corporations. In Africa, oftentimes there isn’t, especially when you are starting something from scratch
  • Fonio stir fry

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