Isaac Sesi is young Ghanaian Serial entrepreneur who’s part of the Africans Building Africa Community. We had the opportunity to email interview him and learn more about his story.
Tell us about yourselves and your organization
My name is Isaac Sesi. I am an entrepreneur, front end developer, embedded systems engineer, blogger and business consultant. I am passionate about technology and my work centers around using technology to solve problems in our society
I have a degree in Electrical and Electronic engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
I founded my first company, Invent Electronics, an electronics components distribution company, while in my second year in the university and co-founded my second company, Wires & Bytes, a software development company in my 3rd year in university.
I am also passionate about STEM education in Africa and together with my friends, I run Nsesa Foundation, a social enterprise with the vision to inspire young Africans to be innovative and equip them with skills in science and technology to make impact wherever they are.
How much did you need to start your organization and how were you able to raise that capital?
When I started my first company, Invent Electronics, I didn’t have any money. As an electrical engineering student back in school I realized that it was difficult getting electronic components to buy locally and students had to import them from overseas, which came with all of its challenges.
I decided to fill that gap by being a distributor so I would import components and resell them.
I built a website and made customers pre-order and pay for their orders. We set an estimated delivery date and delivered the components when they arrived. I used the money from the pre-orders to start the business.
Along the line, a friend who saw potential in the business invested and that was how we raised our first real capital.
What are some of the challenges you face in your organization and how do you overcome those challenges?
We had a number of challenges while starting up. We didn’t have a lot of stock due to limited capital. Our customers tended to order at the very last minute and were not willing to wait so we lost a lot of customers due to that. When we raised more capital we were able to keep larger stock and that solved the problem.
Also, we wanted to be purely online e-commerce company but e-commerce and online payments in Ghana wasn’t and still isn’t really there yet. Convincing customers to place their orders from our website was a big deal.
We overcame that by giving customers the option to place their order through phone calls and pay with mobile money.
Where do you see your organization in 5 years from now and what steps are you taking today to reach that objective?
My vision is for Invent Electronics to be the largest distributor of electronic components in Africa in the next 5 years.
We’ll also be designing and manufacturing or own custom hardware electronics kits and products for the education sector.
By that, we hope to get more young people in Africa interested in electronics and technology and be able to build their own hardware companies.
My vision for my other companies is for them to be market leaders in their respective industries.
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Africa?
If you are an entrepreneur looking to start your own business, there is no better time to start than now!
Many give the excuse of not having starting capital but I believe there are so many ways to raise money to start a business which entrepreneurs can take advantage of.
There are a ton of problems in Africa begging to be solved and Africa is one of the best places to start a business so start now!
You may face a lot of opposition in the beginning even from friends and loved ones. Things may not go well in the beginning. You may be frustrated and feel like giving up.
But be focused. Persevere. Don’t give up. Keep your vision in sight and work hard.
If you are an investor, Africa is a good place to invest your money and resources. The ecosystem is becoming more and more favourable and you’ll surely reap good returns on your investments.
How is your business participating to the development of Africa?
Invent Electronics is helping young African to develop an interest and a passion for electronics and being able to build their own electronic devices.
Very soon Africa could start manufacturing its own electronic devices and stop relying on foreign countries and that could be partly due to Invent Electronics.
At Wires & Bytes is transforming the way students in Africa study with our Pasco App.
We hope to build an Africa where students can experienced personalized education focused on knowledge acquisition rather than just merely passing exams.