In March, 2014 (before our public launch), I came back to Nigeria to drive the adoption of the portal among Nigerian institutions (just as we did with our foreign partner institutions). I spent about two months moving from city to city having meetings with one University official to another. Some gave us audience, some refused to even allow us into their campus.
It’s exactly a year since my Abuja version of the trip. So, while in Abuja this past weekend, the memories of the Universities I approached in Abuja flooded my head. I can’t believe it’s exactly one year. I remember how I moved from campus to campus with my good friend’s car (Olufemi Olukolu). It was stressful. Stressful is an understatement. At the end of the Abuja tour, we didn’t close a single University. Not one. In fact, the Turkish man I met at the Nigerian Turkish Nile University almost walked me out of his office and used all kinds of insulting words. No offences :-). I shook his hand and stepped out of his office. That experience didn’t stop me from proceeding to Veritas University the same day to repeat the same pitch. It’s all part of the game.
The focus was knocking on more doors within our reach. Let it not be said of us that we didn’t do “enough” to drive adoption. Our focus at that stage was to get more schools on board especially in Nigeria before launch. For that to happen, we needed to touch base with more institutions and our major strategy was “boots on the ground” since we didn’t know any key official in most of the institutions.
365 days. So many things have happened since then. So many lessons learnt. The only thing constant is that the hustle is still on. We are not where we used to be. Those were our pre-revenue days. Those were the days when you’ll receive no phone calls or email inquiries. Today, we can barely deal with the requests we get. Still not where we want to be. No even close, but there’s been progress and we’ll keep the hustle alive for as long as we must 🙂