Business Leader of the Week | Glory Oguegbu - The Wonder Woman of Renewable Energy in Africa |
welcome to the first video edition of business leader of the week by dabba my name is Chris Ani your host and founder daba.school . Of course! you know a platform where people are getting high income skill to gain financial freedom world creation and also to build their capacity and on today's edition, I have here with me Glory Oguegbu. She is the founder of RETTI she's an author and Mandela Washington fellow and this lady is a trailblazer in the renewable energy industry good to have you here glory thank you for having me um you flatter me a lot Chris.
First of all, I must say that this is such an amazing space that you've got here. I've been a day-one admirer of the work that you guys do here at daba.school. Guys, I have to tell you how I met Chris he was on a plane going to Dubai I was on my way to Paris and there was this guy sitting beside me he was dozing throughout in the plane it was just two of us on the seat and I was going to Paris but the plane was going to get to Dubai first. Then after a while I went to the restroom and came back and then he was still sleeping and so after. I just noticed someone say- "hello lady! have you heard about crypto? my name is Chris. I've written a book on cryptocurrency". Then he starts talking with so much passion and I've never seen anything like it before.
I knew that he was a different person. I'm like- "are you in Nigeria? Are you also coming from Nigeria?" and he tells me about this massive speaking engagement he was going to do at Dubai I was so impressed because I was like this is a young guy like me this is a young person like me and he gives me a copy of his book I think it's crypto 101 yes right and guys I was we started talking about dreams he started talking to me about visions the passion he had for DABA. I'm like wow this is a person to know and he he was the first person to teach me how to use zoom. At the time I didn't know how to use zoom. He taught me how to create a schedule, schedule a call and guys! I was just so hopeful for tomorrow we talked about dreams and everything and he said we have to do something together about renewable energy so he taught me a lot of digital things and this was (in) late December 2019 right? and I'm so happy to see what DABA has built in this day so I'm really happy to tell people that I know Chris. so thank you so much for having me you're welcome. I think I was meant to do an introduction right? so my name is Gloria Oguebu.
I am the founder and CEO of Renewable Energy Technology Training Institute. My industry is the solar industry because I'm very passionate about how to promote access to electricity to up to 93 million Nigerians who have no access to power supply. I'm very passionate about writing and telling stories. so I talk a lot about climate change i teach children about how renewable energy
is a solution of climate change and so i've written five books. My latest book now is how to make money from solar and so i'm constantly talking about how people could create businesses to promote access to electricity a whole 93 million Nigerians have no access to. That is a market size and a lot of young people can create businesses and solve this problem and so that is what i do at Renewable Energy Tech Training Institute to actually train people on the value chains the opportunities that are in the industry wow that's that's big that's thank you service not to cut you but I want you to tell us about the renewable energy industry in Africa - the possibilities, the current challenges, the ongoing solutions and of course business opportunity, so you could start with the challenge tell us give us an overview of the industry itself thank you and that's one of the questions I like answering the most now I like to say that 600 million people in Africa are without access to electricity. wow! that's a lot of people. 600 million now. In Nigeria we have the highest number of people globally without electricity access 93 million Nigerians and so experts have said that the fastest way to deliver access to 24/7 electricity to these people, is true solar power. right? because if we're wait and when i say 93 million people i'm talking about 93 million people in nigeria that have never seen an electric pole there is no electricity or NEPA wirings in their house. i'm not talking about people like you and i
that don't see the regular electricity so people like you and i that have electricity connection but we hardly see the lights we are called people living under the grid so there are there is about 170 million other people who do not have access to constant power you know so and these have hampered economic development a whole lot yes and so i was discussing with Chris earlier- what access to electricity could do to young people and how new businesses can grow and develop. and so this is the problem and because every problem needs a solution initiatives in solar power initiative in renewable energy began to spring up because this need had to be met and so that is what the industry looks like solar power technology became popular because the development of the technology has seen a rise in the last five years. Do you know that at this time solar power is is now known as the LCOE that is the lowest cost of electricity it means that solar power is becoming the cheapest form of electricity generation so you talk about diesel, you talk about gas, and hydro solar technology has become the cheapest. Of course! we haven't seen this materialized in Nigeria yet because of what our economy is going through because of forex and inflation so you can imagine what it's going to look like in the next five years right because these people without access to electricity have to have this asset and so there is the UN sustainable uh development goals 2030 goal 7, says that by 2030 there should be complete access to electricity in the whole world how can this happen now capacity building is a very important aspect of achieving access to 24/7 electricity people you need to understand what the value chain is if we must deliver access to electricity like three million people what do we do how do we understand the failures and three cases of what makes up solar power right. Where can I key in which area can i come from is it i'm in the finance sector so let me just miss the value chains good so if i'm in the finance sector what kind of value change what kind of value can i provide for solar power in the value chain i can consider instruments financial instruments specifically for solar power i can think about oh i already have mechanical engineering background i can actually build inverters. inverters work with solar panel battery and charge controller to generate electricity and so you have people who are good in marketing and sales. you have people who are good in community development
for solar power and and you have people who can just be trained as installers only. oh i want to go and install solar panels you have people who can become designers i was having a conversation on the phone just before i got on the set with a lady who is very good at designing. She told me i cannot install but i can design. design simply means determining the amount of solar power that
would be useful for a space so you see these are the areas that young people can learn something people can find a way to cl you know to pitch into any of the niches right. You design the system, sell your design to a hospital- oh "hello doctor! i have a design that can work for your hospital". you don't have to spend so much amounts on diesel this is designed pay me for my design then get an engineer to install the solar power for you so you find that mathematicians those are sort of statistics engineers can all do something in this sector because it's a sector that is very interesting because of the opportunities now let me shock you up to 330 billion dollars is the amount of money that has been invested into this solar power only in year 2015 it hits a peak every year and i find it very surprising, why? because we had gas and coal and other sources of power generation before but how come renewable and solar power has gotten the largest amount of investment globally? so it means that wow there's something here don't you think so there's something people young people can key into this opportunity to create solutions thank you to create solutions to meet the electricity needs of people in nigeria i know that i have talked too much that's great so with.. i want you to go to the next phase of you have a platform called ready a non-governmental organization tell us what is ready doing what have you been doing with RETTI what's the impact and okay programs you are doing with RETTI? thank you so RETTI stands for Renewable Energy Technology Training Institutes where we train and mentor people along the value chains of renewable energy power generation solar power wind energy and the opportunities around this. I was just telling Chris before i got on the set that just one area can open up a whole other
world of several opportunities right and so just this one area of solar power or this one area of wind energy there is a lot of other things tied in the value chain even professors in the university benefit from project development of renewable energy you know engineering students benefit from something you know so it's a very rich value chain right and so RETTI wants to help people to see how to create a change and how to make a difference in the sector the the sector is quite complex because people don't understand how this solar power works how can i do a business in it i've been hearing people saying solar solar some people then says that solar doesn't work and so my company is here to just make it simple for you. so we have created courses to walk you down the line different courses for the renewable energy sector different courses for companies wanting to pivot into the renewable energy sector. so we recently even had a software company who wanted to pivot. so they say oh we want to do something in solar and so we have such trainings for companies so anyone wanting to come into the country. oh what is the market like for solar power in Nigeria they should come to ready because the goal is really to make it simple to pivot into the energy industry and so we are training people in Nigeria to learn how to do that value chains such as building solar panels installing, solar panels designing solutions for banks, for industries for Dangote group for C & I. C & I means Commercial and Industry. right and so what do you need to know before you can do that how can you prospect for your market how do you get these people how do you get access to the market. so RETTI
is there and has designed courses along this value chain of repair maintenance troubleshooting marketing and sales design installation distribution including importing for china how to import the solar products from china we have members of alumni that we have trained already and yesterday we actually secured a deal with a Chinese company for them. I finished the meeting with a with with the CEO of a china a Chinese company manufacturer of solar products and we had the opportunity to secure the meeting for 10 members of alumni who want to import i mean that's the real va that's what i see as value don't you think when you train somebody and then you're able to then take it further and now they're they want to buy as a group which is what i love because one person could not afford to buy a container so now the 10 um 10 alumni members now want to buy as a group yes and i thought and i felt very happy yesterday why because i mean this thing is actually looking like wow you're solving a problem because now these guys have set up businesses and they're able to buy from china so that's what RETTI does for its alumni so we're not like any other maybe a training solar company that'll just so we are not interested in money my goal is to see that 93 million people in Nigeria without access to electricity can have it and when i train hundred people or 200 people you imagine how many other people can have life so that's that's really my goal so that's what RETTI set out to do. Glory has a very big vision i must say because i got interested into i got interested in what she was doing when she mentioned renewable energy from the first time and solar. I i what you're showing on the screen now i don't know there's a time when you talked about a program with sleeping Makoko or something yes women and empires of women in the slums. Can you give us uh can you give us a brief of that program? thank you! and the impact okay thanks. so we RETTI Renewable Energy Tech Training
Institute has a CSR called 'Solar Up Nigeria' (SUN) you know we're talking about sun power wow of Nigeria thank you so Solar UP Nigeria's sun. The goal is to go to rural communities without access to electricity and provide the power and so we do that and we we we came across a person from Makoko, a lady. so i was at a conference where i was a speaker and i was on a panel and the lady is in the hall and then she says i have a question "i come from a rural area where we sell fish and most of the time our fish gets damaged. is there a solar solution for this?'' and i was so shocked i mean this was coming from somebody in the crowd right and it's easy from the crowd you can get the real problem yes like if you're looking for a change maker and you're looking to solve problems it is not from the ones you see on google it is from the grassroots like what are the people on the ground saying yes and i really became interested so i told i saw the lady afterwards and i talked to her then i would give her a scholarship in my school to come and learn about solar but i but you know like i kept thinking about her because this is a real problem she said that the economy of that community is driven by fish and but the fish gets damaged they're not able to get their money back so that's like if you can find a solution for that exactly and so i kept my mind even after that training with it but i kept him in mind so luckily an opportunity came from the us state department because i'm a Mandela Washington fellow so which is a U.S government exchange program so there's an opportunity for alumni to apply for a grant and that was the opportunity i saw to create that program Makoko Solar Women's Economic Empowerment Pprogram. wow so we found 20 fish traders who sell fish and then we train them on how to create uh solar dryers that can preserve their fees so we we built it we actually had an American come in to the... come to the country as part of that program
is a reciprocal exchange grant so i had an American contact i know come down to Nigeria to implement that project now but what what is interesting is that we build a center, solar powered center where women can even learn more things assess education assess tools for solar power development because solar power is not just so long the rooftop it's also solar products solar dryers solar oven that small businesses can use to actually preserve their products right and so like play like play we built a solar center there that has provided electricity for charging phones to about 757 homes inside that Makoko zone. that place is actually very big wow and so that small center we built you see barbers coming there to use the light there wow and then you see people coming to charge. yes and it has created jobs for at least the 20 women that we created now they are able to save more money from fish from fish preservation because the fishes are not damaging now and they're able to just retain more cash and and buy more so basically improving economic development so that's what solar power does this is mind-blowing this is mind-blowing so thank you very much glory because uh in this era where everybody's just interested in some kind of fast money-making business some kind of less heated quick what inspired you to go into the solar energy business and at the same time you know with what you've done especially in that Makoko and this last project you just talked about what exactly inspired you to start ready what inspired you to go into the solar energy industry oh it was really because of the problem that i saw the truth is that i started i learned about climate change was the inspiration initiative because i had returned from the us in 2015 where i heard about climate change and i saw the impacts climate change is going to have in Africa i was so frightened by what i read wow yes and then i saw a picture maybe that picture might be on the screen now the picture is an image from world wide life fund where it is a human being in the picture but he looks like a fish it's as if his face is turning is changing and there's a caption on the image that says stop climate change before it changes you wow hello i became friend thank you that's exactly what happened to me i became because now what it what it did was that it was a very thought provoking thing so i began to think about it now will climate change do that i didn't really know but it was a prediction from world wildlife fund that the increasing of carbon dioxide in the air in the atmosphere could become is leading to a lot of eyes melting and it could become so bad that the human skin would evolve to deal with the changes in the atmosphere the human skin will begin to change i don't know how to explain it as if we are used to a certain temperature in the world now right but it's saying that it could become so warm so hot and your skin will just disfigure just change to deal with it there's a reason why fishes have gills because they need to live in water there's a reason why fish cannot survive on the outside so it's like us to human beings so there's a way the atmosphere can change and it will affect us that was a prediction though but that really feared i began to read about it i'm like wow how come in Nigeria we don't know about this right because i knew we don't really know much about it i began to yes to research about it so that's how i wrote my first book the concept and science of climate because i took a lot of course i came to Nigeria i'm like i have to talk about this that was how i learned that renewable energy is a clean source of electricity that could combat climate change so instead of us to generate electricity from our usual ways like diesel and and and and gas we can actually use cleaner sources and so i then and i became an advocate because this is two solutions to um one solution for two problems renewable energy can provide us access to electricity yeah and then it can help solve this climate change minutes right and then i saw that my parents actually they moved to a house that they built you know the way your parents would build a house and move away from the house you know before where you were born but the place they moved to a community of the town had no electricity in that community as a whole interesting yes they had no electricity at all and i was just taking a stroll and i just returned from the U.S then i was taking a stroll around and i saw a health center
that had solar panels on it i was like wow okay we can use this for light because my parents don't have any lights but i went into the center and the people it was health clinic told me that oh this solar does not work it's not working or they just put it here six months ago it's no longer working and i was so disappointed i learned three things from that lack of trained and and maintenance people lack of trained installers lack of trained engineers who could actually install these things to be sustainable and lack of knowledge for how to identify fake products or quality products right and so that was really what made me to create renewable energy tech tree to just solve this problem how can we solve the problem of lack of sustainable installations out there and how can we help combat climate change and so that was really that was the inspiration because the problem was there and you had to have a solution i'm already writing i hope you're watching as you're watching you're taking business notes because uh what i can so this is one of the most interesting conversations i am having this year because legitly this is like saying you saw a real problem there live in the community amongst people so it's like saying if i want to start a business today i should go and look for the problem i want to solve let me look for real-time problems that people have okay and on ground so when she saw the hospital and like what happened they said it's not working from not working to we installed this and now two things are there okay what what what will i pick from there number one i need to have a platform where you can train people to install solar panels and help them generate electricity not just that i can start even selling solar equipment to different communities and see if it's possible to power an entire community or a nation it starts like that so before you start thinking of changing the entire world start with the community problem start with one person start with two persons okay and now you can see i'm talking about 93 million people why she has done it in several communities and she's not stopping glory that's a wonderful one and i must say that's a big one and i must celebrate you big time thank you so much now with what you've been doing i know the challenges that comes with building starting a business so i want to share with us what are the strategies that has helped you you came back from the us you saw this problem and all that there are millions or thousands of potential solar entrepreneurs people in the renewable energy who want to be the next glory we want to also learn from glory and see what she has done share with us the strategies you've used to build a successful business and career in this industry oh first of all i would say thank you you've already said it find the problem it's always important that's the first place to start you started dabba because you found you wanted people to learn skills you saw a lot of skills hanging around and how come young people are not making money yeah you saw that problem and you decided to solve it by creating a platform where the people can lend the skills so likewise it has to be that your there can't be any value if there is no problem that you're solving so it is a problem that you provide value for and it is the value that will bring finance money yes right so pick out a problem that you have seen something that troubles people around you right so it could be that you already have an experience in a particular sector okay what is that nagging problem in that sector for people to make it in business you have to tackle a customer's pain point i tell my students that you have to tackle a customer's pain point if there's no pain points there isn't a lot of value that has been created yeah so find that and as soon as you do then you must bring the idea out of your head you know when people think of business plan they think it's hectic no i tell my students it's just one page just bring the idea out of your head and write it down it's going to help you to take a look at it and then that is the first step then you have to build a community usually what happens is that people first start out and i encourage you to start out first on your own i was just speaking on the phone to someone i started out on my own i did not know what to do or who to tell me i'm not i'm sure you maybe you didn't start with a whole lot of people as well yes implement that idea you have speak about it talk to someone about it all you need is to find one yes you may not even find that one yet one yes yes if you find one yes you're good to go even if thousands of people say if there's one person that just said ah Chris why not just try it oh like Chris was just telling me about how the studio came to life you know it was just one yes if you find that one someone to say yes let's do it we can try then start from there as soon as you take that first step usually the doors open after you take a first step i always sing it like a song you know i have a quote my favorite quote is is from this is actually an Islamic cleric rumi the quote says as you start to walk on the way the way appears it's very mind-boggling as you start to walk on the way so it means that there is no way before there is no way there isn't a chartered course for you to follow there isn't a way that somebody has put there okay glory this is the way follow it right it is you who must first start making first step then the way appears because when you take the first step you then figure what you should do next will become clearer to you then who to call would become clearer to you it's as if you're going along in a bush you're trying to get to a forest as soon as you take one step then you're able to see the other graphs there to clear so that you can pass then as you take a step forward you're able to know what to do the idea is to implement first implement get knowledge get knowledge around that area of interest get knowledge there and then implement first then what you would do will become clearer to you make sure you surround yourself and follow people that inspire you follow people like Chris Ani that inspires you so you can learn from his business strategies that he shares out and so that is what i think the question was how did i do it yes these were the things i tried out in fact when we started ready as an institute you know when you hear ready you think you would think a big institute in your head but we didn't start out like that i started in my room at home wow yes and then when people start on google to today if you search on google i wish we can even show it on screen sure you'll see that the rest is number one on google my business for anything renewable power solar training once you start you will see ready number one i started that in my room but i started getting traction so as a young visit do something don't wait for the finance that's the mistake i made at first don't wait for the funding or the money yes you must start to implement something do it for free at first do it for free so that you can say that you did this thing you can post on social media that you did this thing the us embassy and all the people you attacked would see it that you did this thing it is called traction traction is what funders investors and people who want to help you look out for and so in the year that we started i didn't know what to do of course i didn't have the money i did not have the money at all and also i'm not an engineer i didn't even have the training i just solved the problem and i thought about how can i solve it i was not an engineer till today people think i'm an engineer but of course i've learnt everything in the solar power but i looked for a partner now that's the second thing i will tell you collaborate with somebody who knows how to do it collaboration that was the first thing we did and we hosted our first training i did not understand the physics and everything but i got somebody who was doing that and we did the first and the profits i made from that training #50,000 as a profit i kept it outside i then did another one i was carrying all the profits then we bought our first solar panels i was using all the profits for all the sessions i was doing in partnership invest money back yes i use it that was see nobody gave us any fun so today i speak with investors and i make pitches they will say they'll ask who has funded because they thought we were funded he's just like you Chris i'm sure that you have not received any money from yes but if they thought i was funded that for you to create this thing you must have been we recently created an online course platform so people are like ah where you funded where did you get it for no it was from all the monies i've made from from from all the courses we did and so find a partner to do that stuff together that way you can learn and that was how i learned from the other person that i worked with i learned how to do the business because she had been doing it before so you have to be smart and think about how you can work with other people and and then you can view the community view the community at first i didn't know who to employ i did not we did not have money to employ but i saw very talented people in the alumni that we trained and that was very interesting because they were engineers already these people come from engineering background and so we offered an internship of volunteering slot and that was how we built a team so look around you you see some of these things are not very far look around you and see who you can work with who in your community you can build it with who in your church you can work with to do it instead of thinking about how to send cv to a recruitment firm oh i want to employ someone recruit someone who is not qualified recruit someone who is not qualified and trained and that was also what we did we currently have an intern who's not qualified and he's the best employee we've ever had wow and so that's how you can start and slowly you build a business you'll find that you will find you learn lessons that are peculiar to you you'll find that the things i'll say here may not apply completely but you can just implement some of them you would learn your own lesson on the way that's how it is and then maybe next two years you will sit down like this and talk about the lessons that you picked up on the way but the key word here is start first thank you wow this is this is a master class session for me i hope you're getting all the notes and please all our viewers watching use the comment section make sure you're able to list this point that glory has been sharing and please we'll be on the lookout for the best comments and the prizes that associates with it so glory i want you to do this under one minute if you are to give an advice to the Nigerian government as related to your industry what should the government be doing oh the government should create entrepreneurial development opportunities opportunities to capture raw talent they should encourage innovation for that sector and i know i talked with you briefly before i got in here about innovation what do you think the government should do should they bring the money to me to youtube oh i think the government can create opportunities such as hackathons for young people to create solutions for the power problem that's a way to have best ideas and then the government can select first second third and actually build that business right so i think that's one first way of course the government can support education for the sector the government can support people like us ready who are already educating people in the sector so that we can train more people the government should provide funding because yesterday one of my students asked me this just yesterday one of our alumni asked me this please is there any soft loans he says he has a business and he's be he's ready to import from china but he does not have the money so you say is there any soft loans that is available for renewable energy industry and then i thought of that and i saw that there isn't the soft laws available the requirements say if you hear the requirements it is for companies that have 20 or 30 years not for like young people who were training and so i found out that there wasn't that opportunity so the government can provide that so that young people like these who have been trained and are willing to provide power can have access to the funds interesting yeah and and i hope i hope um while you're watching please make sure you're sharing this if you have someone in government a bird a brother a friend or anyone please share this because um we need to tap into this renewable energy industry and it's a big one it has made uh billionaires like Elon Musk and cool and we should not be left behind so glory let's go to this edition a bit of fun touch if you were to be a celebrity billionaire who would you be Elon Musk if i mentioned solar business what comes to your mind what comes to my mind is ready access to electricity 247 power yeah if i mention a superhero who comes to your mind Wonder Woman thank god i practice okay so guys that's a wrap for today glory thank you so much you're welcome thank you for the opportunity thank you so much for being uh you your business is there for the week thank you for knowing that oh and i forgot to mention story that i mean i said earlier that lots of business opportunities in the solar industry and DABA is going to have a an announcement for you guys let me see that's what we've been talking about since i met him first so if you're watching um there's a link on the screen daba.school/ there's a link on the screen where you join the waiting list for the solar course we're launching a solar business course on daba yeah by glory so you want to play in the solar industry you want to be a business person you want to understand the value chains the market share so anywhere you are in the world in germany in brazil in angola thailand of course if you have sun then you have renewable energy that's right that means this course is for you if a businessman a politician an engineer or whatever industry you're playing in this course is for you so click on the link or go to the website showing on your screen to join the waiting list and also um on the screen also you're going to see all the various books Glory's written concerning this industry and the way to get them the links are and the list have been projected right now on the screen make sure you get them and upgrade your capacity this is where the future is going to the likes of tesla the likes of the mornings the mosque and everything they are doing along with so there's even a talk even in the bitcoin industry concerning green energy for mining so i also heard it this is a big interest rate the way to predict the future is to create it and one of those ways to create it is to be part of something that is the future so if you play in an industry that is the future you're already part of it already so i'm sure that we need to create new millionaires new billionaires in this industry and that's why you should take education interesting and seriously i don't want to stop this but i just have to please remember to share this like put a comment and join us next week on who was gonna be the Business Leader of the Week. Till i come your way next time do have a lovely lovely week ahead god bless you! You!