Solving Energy Entrepreneurship challenges, focusing on remote villages with limited infrastructure – Festus Agbonifo
Let’s get to meet you, sir. Please tell us about yourself and your background
My Full names are Festus Itohan Agbonifo. I am a lover of birthing and running with visions, I am a strong believer in the love of Christ.
I started my career as a field engineer having my background in Computer Science and Economics, I eventually transcended to the business side of things from being a core engineer.
My passion for wanting the best for my client and customer gravitated me to core sales. I started off as a sales Engineer in Palette computers, gradually building my career through the ranks as a key account manager with Computer warehouse limited.
My interest in Hybrid and backup solutions saw me find feet in the renewable energy space, hence giving me the opportunity to leverage with corporations that have the same values and portfolios to offer clean and constant hybrid and renewable energy supplies.
What’s your perception about entrepreneurship and how and when should it be best practice?
I believe strongly in Entrepreneurship, as a visioner myself with start-up enterprises of my own, I have always said amongst my peers and contemporary that the best way to give back to humanity is to ensure we are creating a solution to a problem or demand, ONLY ENTREPRENEURS can bridge that gap.
And as for when it’s best to be practiced, I will say never start anything until you have learned the roles and have under-studied others.
One of the challenges of energy entrepreneurship is geographical and how to access the hard markets, how would you develop innovative distribution channels, payment models, and customer service mechanisms to reach people in remote villages with limited infrastructure.
The biggest problem of ensuring the sustainability of proper hybrid & renewable energy is the ownership cost, Being under the exclusive list of the Federal government hasn’t helped at all, in most clans, Energy generation, distribution, and technological advancements in the mean interests of private investors and corporations with Government incentives available to support the establishments of such initiatives.
The need to develop schemes that will ensure the right skill sets are passed unto the remote places of Nigeria is key, making accessibility and support a thing of the past, not forgetting that the right investment needs to be encouraged with the right government policies in place.
Your line of business is very competitive and there is a need to focus on top-notch customer service. Do you have any customer experience initiatives driven by your company?
My entire career growth has been around customer relations and ensuring the right customer service and follow, as this is the bedrock of any business to keep afloat.
I have held positions as key account managers for key and sensitive clients and projects, from procurement to delivering timelines and of course managing complaints and dissatisfaction, so YES, I have the right skill set for customer relations.
How would you describe the concept of energy management in Nigeria, do you think there are areas the government needs to improve on?
Like I said earlier, the Government needs to create an enabling environment for private corporations to take the lead in Energy creation, technology, supply, and distribution, this needs to be taken off the exclusive list of the Federal government.
For developing countries especially in Africa, What are the 3 main challenges faced by renewable energy? Can we get an insight into possible solutions?
The key to resolving this gap is by skillset improvement via exchange programs by countries and corporations that have gotten it right in their countries, that one of the things FESBEC CONSULTING is championing globally.
What advice would you give young entrepreneurs and individual professionals that aspire to be in the energy industry? Are there particular skill sets needed for this endeavor?
Energy and renewable / Hybrid / Alternative power is capital intensive, it is still within the space for corporate organisations, however, we can have suppliers and channels for already designed sources and hardware.
What should Nigeria and the rest of the world expect from you?
As a strong believer in a better world, I support going green, so I will be working tirelessly and partnering with OEM’s who believe in making the world a better place by going green.