Stanel Group CEO, Uzochukwu shares mind-blowing testimonies with Igbinedion students
Dr Stanley Uzochukwu, the Chief Executive Officer of Stanel Group, has admonished matriculating students of the Igbinedion University, Okada to follow the part of creativity and innovations through hard work.
Sharing personal testimonies and experiences with the students, Uzochukwu asserted that “when you solve problems, money follows services”.
Recall that Dr. Stanley Uzochukwu was in June 2021 appointed the youngest Board Member of the Igbinedion University.
Uzochukwu gave the charge on the occasion of the 23rd matriculation ceremony at the University Campus, Okada where he was assigned to deliver a matriculation lecture on, “Ascending Greater Heights Through Entrepreneurship, Innovations And Creativity”.
The young employer of labour started sharing the mind-blowing testimonies and life experiences with the matriculating students by thanking the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Lawrence Ikechukwu Ezenmonye for the rare privilege given him to speak as the Guest Speaker of the ceremony.
In his words, “Thank you very much, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lawrence Ikechukwu Ezenmonye for this great privilege.
“I would like to congratulate the matriculating students. Congratulations, to you all for making it to this great citadel of learning.
“Like I said to the VC, I have not come to give a speech but to share experiences and to tell stories that you will learn lessons from the stories because examples are shared so that principles can learn.
“First of all, I like to congratulate the matriculating students once again.
“VC, please permit me to share a testimony that I almost shared with you in your house but I have not shared the testimony on any platform before.
“I congratulated the matriculating students twice because when I got out of school, my biggest goal was to get admission into Igbinedion University.
“Sadly, that didn’t happen because my parents couldn’t afford the fees and, sadly, I found myself in the University of Jos. However, much later, VC, my younger brother, the last child, when I started a business and was doing well, we were able to send him to Igbinedion University.
“When I got a call from an elder statesman in this country, he said to me, Stanley, where are you? Come and see me. When I got there he said he wanted me to meet with his Excellency, Chief Lucky Igbinedion. When I met the former Edo State Governor, he said to me; will your time permit you to serve on the Board of Igbinedion University? I looked at him but he didn’t know why I was looking at him. I went flat on the floor thanking him for the great privilege. He didn’t understand till today why I went flat on the floor.
“I could not afford to pay the fees to attend the Igbinedion University but, to the glory of God, I am on the Board of the University today. I believe that should challenge someone. Story No.1; I like to let you know that there is nothing God cannot do.
“I am to speak on Ascending Greater Heights Through Entrepreneurship, Innovations And Creativity. When the topic was sent to me, I said to the VC, ascending greater heights through entrepreneurship alone is a broad topic of its own. I am sure, everyone here wants to grow.
“I am going to share some secrets and some life principles that I have followed and by the mercies of God has helped us grow.
“Growth is enhanced structure. I will like to you know that if you jump up, you will definitely come down. But when you climb up from the ground, you will sail up. One lesson to learn from that is patience. There is absolutely nothing like accidental success.
“My mentor, Dr. Cusmos Maduka always says that money always goes at go. There is a difference between getting and making. Whatever you make, stays but whatever you get, many atimes goes.
“Keys that will help us attain greater heights: One key that has always helped me is association. I never have my mates as my friend. I always move closer to those that are ahead of me.
Let me share this story with the matriculating students. When I was admitted into the University of Jos, I had a senior student who walked up to me and was approaching me to join a cult. He said to me,
“This is what will make you a big boy in school”. But I avoided him and instead joined a fellowship in the University. The same student pressurised me until we got into our 300L and then graduated.
“When we started our location in Anambra, I was coming out of a hotel and I saw the same man running to me and said; “Do you remember me”? I looked at him but couldn’t remember him and he then reminded me who he was. I remembered that he was the young man pressurizing me to join a cult in the University.
“It was shocking hearing what he was saying to me. He said, “I heard you are the owner of that new facility coming up in Anambra. Please, can you employ me?
“I unconsciously gave him my number and he started disturbing me with calls but I never picked.
“What is the lesson for young matriculating students today? The small boys and the small girls in the University later become the big boys and girls tomorrow. And the big boys and big girls in school become nobody when school is over. This is one proven truth I do not want you to forget even if you are to forget anything. What made them big boys and girls then, was joining different cults and doing all sorts of things while others were reading. The big boys and girls then were wearing designer shoes, designer wristwatches but the small boys and girls had none than to read their books. But they will later become the biggest boys and girls after school.
“I will tell you this other story of when I came into Abuja the first time. One of my uncles introduced me to a businessman who deals in biometric briefcases and as an entrepreneurial-minded person, I decided to pick some of the briefcases to come and introduce them to the parents of my friends who were rich to afford it.
“One of my experiences with these children of the rich who were to introduce me to their parents was not funny. There was a day one of them was to introduce me to his father and they were four in number in a car fully wind up and four of them were smoking Indian hemp. I was invited to join them to have a taste of the Indian Hemp but I refused though I was inhaling the smoke in their midst.
“I stood my ground not to join them in smoking because I was focused. My focus was to sell the briefcases.
“But may I tell you the story of those four guys today? One of them is dead as I speak. Two of them are at the rehabilitation centre while the fourth one is a mad man on the street of Enugu today.
“The rhetorical question is, what would have been my own fate today if I had joined them? Only God knows! The great lesson to learn from the story is that it is important you remain sensitive and focused. Know at every point in time why you are here at the University for.
“There are friends that will also talk you down, but in all remain, focused on your study.
“Coming into the University, I told the VC and I will tell you also that when you approach life casually, you end up a casualty. Those of you that are privileged to enter into this University, be very focused. Don’t approach this opportunity casually.
“I like to let you know that the only way up is to start from down. No tree goes up without growing from the root.
“I will like to share this testimony with you. We were privileged to buy a franchise of Chicken Republic five years ago. I stooped low in disguise to go and work in a Chicken Republic store in Lagos for three months.
“I would take off my wristwatch, parked my car somewhere and jump across the road to the store. We were asked to work in the backyard first because we have to first learn the cooking skills and all of that in the kitchen.
At another point, they said the new intakes/trainees have to wash the toilets. I was with one of my GMs then. She looked at me and I looked at her and said, let’s go. We washed the toilets. They were using us as slaves. When it was time for the cooking, we started learning.
“Now as you see me standing here, I can prepare all the meals. When I was done with the backyard training, I started working at the cashier serving customers.
“The lady that was teaching me how to cook then started falling in love with me until one day she googled my name (I didn’t know how it all happened) and discovered my true identity. When she ran to me to tell me about myself, I quietly came out and escaped. That was the last day, I went to that place.
“Today, it is helping me. I can sit down in my house now and go through the report and I will know if one meat pie is stolen or not. Sitting in my room when a report is sent to me, I go through it, if you eat one spoon of my rice, I know. Why? It’s because I went down to learn.
“Today, to the glory of God, we have started our own eatery brand that can give a huge competition to any other eatery brand in this country. We get there by going down.
“God blesses man through man. What you need is in another man’s hand. I have had a lot of people asking me, saying, how do you maintain relationships with older people? They said because they have tried it but little time the older people would stop picking up their calls. There are set principles! One major thing that would help you keep and maintain relationships with older people is humility. Humility is a door opener. There are cultures that are dying these days among young people. I stayed with older people so I learnt their character.
“The culture of honour is another principle which has helped me. I always tell young people that when you are going before a King or anyone you look up to, never go empty-handed. There is this saying in Ibo land that you don’t pour a cup of water into an ocean. That’s a useless statement! When you meet a man that is where you want to be, you sow to connect with the oil that he carries. It is something that has worked for me. It has brought me from where I used to be to where I am today.
“The culture of begging. There was a young man who had shared a brilliant business idea with a Minister but all of a sudden, the Minister stopped taking his calls and I asked him what had gone wrong. He said he sent him a text message attached with his account number asking the Minister to assist him in payment of his child’s school fees. That was the end of the business idea that had been conceived with the man.
“When you meet people, be value-oriented. Add value to yourself. One day I call Dr Cusmos Maduka and said, Sir, are you very busy, there is something I would like to discuss with you and he said, Stanley, go ahead. I am always busy but whenever your call comes, I know it’s an important call, so I always have to pick it.
“There is a lot to talk about but for want of time, let me quickly and briefly talk about entrepreneurship.
“When you solve problems, money follows service. The difference between the Nokia phone of yesterday and the iPhone of today is creativity and innovation.
“Some people say, “Think outside the box” but I say to you, “Think without a box.” Do something new and extraordinarily. Today’s excellence is tomorrow’s mediocrity. You have to keep evolving. Change is a constant thing. Imagine life today without money transfer innovation. You have to go to the bank to make the smallest transfer. Imagine lives today without service deliveries. Imagine life today without a telephone. The guys that brought about all these innovations out of their own creativity have all gone up. They are on top today on the premises of innovation.”
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