Who are you and what are you working on?
I’m an interesting person, I’m a young inspirational Nigerian that has a passion for change and impact. I’m that person who wants to inspire the next generation to be great, I want to leave the world better than I found the world.
My name is Solomon Ogege Udukhokai, I’m from Edo State Nigeria. I’m a hardware Engineer, I’m the MD/CEO at AXAO Technology. At AXAO we create basic active lifestyle solutions. The goal is to be able to create hardware that is powered by software basically. We are forward-thinking, we are innovative, and we look at creating an ecosystem of everything that we have created so that we can keep our consumers at a close loop where they constantly refer to different products for solutions.
Incredible. How did you get started with AXAO technology?
As a child, I’ve been an innovator. I built things right from childhood, I’ve built insane things as a child. I wanted to study Aeronautic Engineer at some point. But due to the way the country is, I proceeded to study computer science where I started understanding computers and how things work. I left school and I started working and went further to do business development. Interestingly AXAO started seven years ago. I love watches and I started creating watches seven years ago for Corporate Organizations. I started creating industrial designs. I learnt what it takes to design a product seven years ago. I nurtured it from that period to 2021 when we started full-time.
It looks like you had it all figured out at a young age, was there a point where you got confused as to what you want to become in the future?
I’d say I was never confused as to what I wanted to do in the future. But confusion came when I was working as a salesperson because it was frustrating but I knew that was not what I wanted to do at that time. I knew what I wanted to do; I knew I wanted to create products. You need to submit to authority and train yourself before you’re fully baked enough to start on your own. It’s usually a process where you work for some organizations and then you develop yourself to be independent.
Worth Reading: My Journey Into Tech and How I Travelled To 25 Countries and Still Counting – Funfere Koroye
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who have to work first to make ends meet and submit to the authority before pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams?
From my personal ideologies and philosophies. I’d only propagate what I believe. You might have the features of an entrepreneur but you might not understand the processes of becoming an entrepreneur. Your work will help you build connections and relationships that you can leverage. You are not going to sell your services or your products in a ghost town, you’re going to sell to your relatives and people in your close quarters. So, you really do need that relationship and the best place to create a relationship is through your workplace. You’d eventually appreciate the time you’ve spent in your 9-5 job.
It felt like pain when I was working but I realized that I have been trained to be a fine individual in terms of me putting forward documents or me putting forward research materials and all of that. Working for coming entrepreneurs is really you building yourself.
Excellent. How were you able to fund your startup? Were you bootstrapping or is there an investment somewhere that is helping?
Basically, we are bootstrapping. We did the first round of investment in 2022 and that helped us to get off the ground basically. You need people who believe in you, you need to be able to sell your story and sell yourself in a way where people that have the resources help you to get a head start. Hardware is very hard but there are people who believe in us. If you miss one thing, it means you’ve missed it by thousands. The great thing about hardware is that it comes out to become a product. That means you can sell the product and you can slowly build.
Incredible, what are the challenges you’re facing in AXAO Technology?
The first challenge is being an African and a Nigerian. There are shipping barriers; we work with a diverse set of people. Design and material specification is done in Milan and we manufacture in China. We had to communicate our vision to these people for them to understand what we are actually doing. We have an engineering team here in Nigeria and software is built locally. I have the most amazing team but it took time to communicate and for us to have the team dynamics that would help them discharge their duties expressly. No matter how tough something is just give it time. I believe in the process and I believe in growing organically. Penetrating the local market is also another challenge but we’ve been doing it. We didn’t get there overnight.
This is amazing and I wish you the best of luck. Are bigger brands a major competitor to you?
it’s interesting to understand that the market is actually big enough and it’s massive. If you don’t see them as competitors then they are not one but if you see them as an inspiration then they are an inspiration. I am creating a Niche and they are not a competition. We produce our products and you will get the same quality of what you will get from big brands. They are an inspiration and not a competition.
Great. If you are not an entrepreneur what will you be doing?
I will be an Entrepreneur with another expression. I am a salesperson and I love technology.
Fantastic. Any advice for other entrepreneurs who want to do what you’re doing?
The road with the least resistance often sends you to the poorest results. Think of hard and complex tasks. Don’t look for an easy route, study well and be the best at what you do. Dig well and you will find amazing answers. High resistance, high reward.