Good branding and web design is necessary for any business to remain competitive in today’s digital age. If don’t have an online presence, you may be kicked out of the market by more aggressive, tech-savvy competitors. We interviewed Evans Akanno, CEO of Cregital – a web design, branding and online marketing agency; and he shared his entrepreneurial journey with us:
Tell us about yourself and how you started Cregital?
I am a young entrepreneur that is very passionate about design and the web. It is hard to believe that I studied Industrial Chemistry in school, but I actually did. I loved science related tv shows and school work while growing up and was totally keen on becoming a Medical Doctor. Unfortunately I didn’t make the cut for Medicine, the available option was to study Chemistry which I was good at anyway.
How did I end up in the creative industry? Curiosity actually led me to design. We used to have a computer at home back in the day, and on it were basic design softwares like Photoshop, Paint and Corel Draw. I spent a lot of time writing my name and designing photos with fonts and colours; and over the years, I understood the tools. My passion for creativity is what has kept me here.
Cregital was borne out of the desire to run a forward thinking creative agency. Over the years, my clientele as a freelancer increased. I got corporate experience while working at Jumia and then Konga, so I thought it was time to go full scale. Cregital officially launched in April, 2015.
Can you comment on the technology industry in Africa?
Africa is developing and everyone is fast becoming technology conscious. Now we have blogs, summits, educational institutions that are solely centered around technology and how it can be improved. Though many of the tech companies in Africa are foreign owned, there is a conscious effort being made by our people to solve our problems using technology.
Give us an insight to the work environment in Cregital
The work environment at Cregital is very casual. With a people-centred culture we think of our team as a family where we care for each other. And being in a creative industry, it’s important to us that our team collaborate with each other and with clients. We provide freedom and flexibility at work, in exchange for consistently high performance.
Tell us about the challenges of running a tech business in Nigeria and how you manage them
We are still lagging behind with certain things in the country. Our challenges are usually power, internet connectivity and talent. We had to take on extra costs to get a serviced office just so we are not worried about the logistics of power supply. Internet costs are a little too high especially because we rely solely on it for most of our work. Finally, finding people with the right attitude and skill set can be challenging.
What is the most complex project you have taken on till date?
Every project comes with it’s own challenges. However, the most complex project we have taken on so far is the Zenith Bank 966 campaign. It had us combining all of our service offerings from photography to icon design, explainer videos and website design.
What mantra do you live by that motivates you as an entrepreneur?
My mantra is this – ‘If you are not part of the solution, you must be part of the problem’. With Cregital we are able to solve a number of problems from unemployment to poor brand perception for local businesses.
How do you strive to achieve optimal customer satisfaction as a service provider?
We work closely with our customers, and pay attention to every detail to understand their business objectives and help them grow within their budget. A number of times we encounter challenges with our clients on what is good for their brand, and what they think is good. We always ensure that we try all possible options so we reach a conclusion that not only pleases the client, but their target customers as well.
What opportunities are available today in the IT world for budding entrepreneurs?
There are numerous opportunities available for entrepreneurs. Everything is simply a few clicks away. The important part is to actually have the attitude to learn and explore.
Tell us about your future plans for your company
We want to be the go-to agency for smart brands looking to scale their business. We are working to create a company that resonates with people, and build the kind of confidence and trust where a client just says “do your thing, we trust you”.
Any advice for budding entrepreneurs?
My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is for them to be ready to dedicate and sacrifice long hours if they want to do better. In as much as optimism is important, entrepreneurs need to be realistic and make sure their business offering is relevant to the market. The truth is that people start out expecting a straightforward road to success especially when they are hardworking, but it’s never like that. There are so many detours and road blocks but it’s all about staying focused and pushing forward.
Contact Cregital here