Under 30 Entrepreneurs: Edungr and Dontro.com Boss Speaks To Imagenaija

"...If she is godly, happy, hygenic, 'crazy' and pursues her dreams, she is my type of woman.

Two weeks ago, we promised to introduce a new segment called "Under 30 Entrepreneurs" where we will interview young and budding entrepreneurs who are under 30. This week, we talked to the boss of Edungr and Dontro.com and guess what? He poured out his heart. He told us everything ranging from his life, his career, how he stumbled on tech, his platforms, his relationships and every other thing and we are so excited about it. Oh, he also launched his app on Google Playstore last week. You all should go and download his app.

His name is Anakor, Arinze, but we call him Zest.

Tell us about yourself 
 I’m a graduate engineer, studied mechanical engineering at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

I’m also a self-thought software developer with 6 years programming experience in 4 programming languages and other relevant technologies.

Included in my skillset is Computer Aided Design using AutoCAD, full-stack web applications development, and of recent Android development. My first Android app is 90% ready to launch.

I have also worked on few projects as a freelancer, but oftentimes I derive pleasure in creating pet projects either to offer some kind of value to the public (like in the online classroom and JAMB CBT app I hope to launch soon), or to broaden my knowledge of software development.

I’m also a blogger, although blogging is a kind of side hustle for me as I’m more interested in software and tech field in general. Where I find blogging more interesting is the fact that I can easily implement any idea that comes into my mind on my website because I have the skills to do so.

For example, when JAMB introduced Admission Points, I quickly created a WordPress plugin that calculates JAMB admission points and that got me a lot of traffic. So I guess my programming skills can give me some kind of advantage when it comes to blogging.

You didn't study a tech related course, how did you delve into tech?Well I think Mechanical Engineering isn't "tech related" but a vast tech field. Although many other engineering or tech field have been created from mechanical engineering but it's still at the heart of technology.

Mechanical engineering is vast and has fields or subdisciplines like Robotics and Mechatronics, Automotive engineering, Computer Aided Manufacturing, Biomechanical engineering, Aerospace engineering, etc.

So, I didn't "delve into tech", it has been tech.

Unless you mean Information Technology? In that case I say passion. I discovered programming and I knew I have discovered something I love.

It was during my second year at the university when I went for AutoCAD training at Kelvin Academy, outside UNN.

There I saw another course titled Web Development in PHP & MySQL so I said let me give it a try. After the first couple of days, I knew I'm in for a long ride in programming/software development.

However, it might interest you to know that mechanical engineering is related to Information Technology. For example, two of our courses ECE 271 and ECE 281 were computer programming using C programming language.

Interestingly, we also did practical course which included Computer Aided Manufacturing. On several occasions we wrote GM codes/programs that automate CNC machines used in manufacturing.

Also in my final year we did 3 projects. In one of them my Group and I wrote a simple software that help determine solar energy requirements for a giving project. All you have to do is input how much energy you need, select your location and it will show you what you need.

So, think there mech and IT has many things in common, the reason mech is perhaps the most versatile engineering field.

Electricity and Data is a big challenge for tech guys in Nigeria. How do you scale through?
Electricity has been my problem on several occasions. Sometimes I hear stories like "something was stolen from the transformer". The next thing is 2 weeks without electricity.

I need electricity AT LEAST 16 hours a day. The electricity I need is just for my laptop and phone. But most times I don't get it.

However, I don't think I'm worst hit by the electricity challenges in Nigeria. Businesses, companies, and especially manufacturing industries may be worst hit.

I can try alternatives like a generator, go elsewhere where there is electricity, etc. Also, I hope to power my home with solar, but that's just an idea for the future, maybe.

As for data, it's not much a problem if you can recover the expenses. Sometimes I use night plans for downloads. So, data isn't really my challenge.

Education is Underrated in Nigeria. Why an education platform?
You mean my blog? Edungr.com is in education niche because I felt I can offer value in that niche. At least I can source learning materials available online. I can also create online learning platform. That challenge is coming up with ideas that can fly.

However, education is not the only niche I have interest in. I'm actually passionate about entrepreneurship niche, just that I have recorded few visible successes in education niche.

By the way, I think education is overrated in Nigeria, not underrated. Many think education is the hope of making money and living a happy life.

But to me, education is a tool for self discovery and avenue to broaden our knowledge.

What is Dontro all about?
Dontro is a dream that haven't come true. It's where I want to offer values for money using the skills I have.

At dontro, I want to help businesses grow their online presence by building state-of-the-art websites and web allocations, mobile apps, etc.

But, for some reasons it hasn't taken off. I have been using it as a blog so far but I want to give it a business look. However, that depends on a couple of things I am very much aware of.

What drives you?
- Entrepreneurship passion
- The satisfaction in creating something useful for people
- Money

Are you in a relationship?

Tell us about your kind of woman.
Hmmm... I suppose to think about this one. Well I guess If she is godly, happy, hygienic, "crazy" and pursues her dreams, she is my type of woman. But the fact is that I can't really define my type of woman but I do realize whenever I see one.

What advice do you have for young people who want to suceed?
This is like asking what advice do I have for myself, except for the keyword "young" because Obi is no more a boy.

Well, it's simple: find something you're passionate about and stick to it. Don't be a confused person. However, its very important you ask yourself what problems can I solve with it, how relevant will this skill or knowledge be in the future because you don't want to go where there is no profit. It's not all about passion but passion + profit.

Thanks so much for this, we really appreciate. We hope the youngsters can learn a thing or two from you.

If you are interested in this segment, send a mail to Imagenaija@gmail.com. See you on this segment next week. Muah!


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