Frank Ewuzie is the CEO of Swank Integrated Concept, a multinational company that produces bulletproof doors. He spoke to SAMSON OTI on why many young Nigerians have been discouraged to contribute to economic growth.
Can you tell us about yourself and the journey so far?
I’m Frank Ewuzie, an accomplished Entrepreneur and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Swank Integrated Concept Ltd with expertise in Real Estate Management, Business Development, Manufacturing and Hospitality Industry.
In 2014, I started this company, which specialises in manufacturing of luxury doors and furniture to fill what I saw as a void in the door and furniture market. I’m also the owner of Swank Supermarket, which quenches the need of varieties of household products.
What makes you stands out among imported manufacturers in Nigeria?
I am a Nigerian, I was born and brought up in Nigeria, so I know what it takes to bring imported good into the country and give every citizen the privilege to partake.
The locally- made doors and the imported are different in so many ways. By touching doors you can feel the real quality and ruggedness, the finishing part of it is great advantage and that’s been the edge over the years. Most local made doors structured are the ideas of the imported doors. I have seen many instances like that but the finishing aspect of it will make the difference.
Tell us more about bullet-proof doors?
Bullet proof doors are one of the major parts of our dealings. We have celebrities, politicians, footballers, government officials as well as individuals who have patronised and see the difference. Of course, it is quite expensive and still affordable. But we do it in such a way that everybody will be able to afford it.
You and I know that insecurity is one of the most challenging problems in Nigeria and lots of people have to secure their lives in one way or the other. We are not limited to some set of people alone. We make our business much open and affordable to everybody in the country.
Most Nigerians believe so much in security and since our government are not doing enough, people have to ensure they live safely at all cost and that’s why Swank door is affordable. In our company, we try to unfold some secrets whereby the riches and poor will be treated equally and for now most of these high metal doors are not done in Nigeria.
It’s from our factory from Turkey and that’s where we have been distributing all over the world. We have lots of government agencies as our customers who have tested and trusted the production.
What inspires you into this business?
I grew up to hear and know much about Bill Gate as the richest but I always believe there are lots of people locally that are equally rich but don’t have that big name like Bill Gate. Going into business has always been my dream and not only to be a business man but to be a successful business man like various top business mogul in Nigeria and the world as a whole.
I derived door business from my father’s house during my secondary school days. It was an initiative that I kept to myself and yielding much for me now. And having travelled to some countries to make some research on how I can hit a breakthrough in the Nigeria market, I went to Turkey to study and monitor lots of things and discovered it was a moment for me to start making process of becoming the boss of myself. And also business man like CEO Dozzy Oil and Gas, Sir Daniel Chukwudozie really inspired me locally.
Having discovered your business talent during your secondary school days, who are the people that really supported your vision?
Without mincing words, Emmanuel Emenike, the 2013 AFCON top scorer gave me a limelight to pursue my dream in life. God used him to allow me to hit my breakthrough in my life. He’s a generous man that has contributed to many lives.
There’s no way I will talk about Swank Integrated Concept without mentioning Emenike. I told him about my proposal. He believed and encouraged me in so many ways.
What are the challenges of being a CEO?
There are lots of challenges; the fear of unknown, risk and financial status. I knew from the beginning that it is going to be tough getting to the top but I was adamant. Many people have discouraged me going into the business. I have always known and believed that every successful journey must encounter some obstacles in the way.
And that’s why I will keep talking about Emmanuel Emenike for what he has done towards this vision. I met Emenike when lots of people are discouraging me and he was bold enough to give me the necessary support and let me be fair to you that Emenike’s support still sustaining me till this moment in terms of recognition and recommendation.
We have done business with his estate agency (Emmanuel Emenike Real Estate) we delivered some bullet proof doors to some of his building in Owerri, Lagos and Abuja and lots of celebrities have patronised us through him.
It was a tough journey for me and I will like to advise the younger ones who have the aspiration like me to keep pushing and never be discouraged.
What should government do to attract business idea into the country?
Any government who doesn’t care about security or whom insecurity is their major challenge will not attract business internationally. We produce in Turkey and bring to Nigeria and to other African countries and that’s why people take us serious. I think government should be proactive enough about our security issues.
There are lots of younger Nigerians with great ideals that will benefit the country but they are looking for opportunity to sell the idea outside Nigeria and bring it into the country. Most Nigeria billionaires get discouraged with Nigeria security issues and that’s why they prefer going to Dubai to do business.
Tell us more about the Peace Ambassador Police Ambassador Award giving to you by Nigeria Police Force?
They are recognitions for being a true and faithful Nigerian in supporting and promoting peace in the country as well as to encourage people in every part of the country on the issue of security and how to overcome the challenges through enforcement law and order.