Josh Okpata is a Power and Machineries Engineer whose drive for entrepreneurship led him to build a highly lucrative startup known as Eazyhire. Joshua had always wanted to start his own business and was always preoccupied with finding the perfect idea that works. One day while in church, an idea came to him to start a rental service that offers construction equipment and vehicles to businesses. Unfortunately, he met a lot of pitfalls along the way but persevered.
Today, Josh Opkata co-leads Eazyhire, the peer-to-peer sharing platform which is providing premium rental services across Africa. Eazyhire has won the Nigerian startup of the year NiRA Awards twice in a row. His hard work has also earned him other laurels, including a Forbes 30 Under-30 mention.
Business Elites Africa recently had a very interesting and insightful chat with him. Enjoy the read.
Q: Please tell us about yourself.
A: I’m Josh Okpata, I studied for a degree in Power and Machinery Engineering and took advanced courses in Entrepreneurship and Business Management. I have worked as a Systems Engineer in Nigeria and the US and went on to launch a rental platform, Eazyhire, which I co-led as CEO into three countries across two continents and won back to back Nigerian startup of the year NiRA Awards. I am also a Forbes Africa 30 under 30 awardee and now I serve as a Venture Partner with MEST Africa.
Q: How did you discover your vision?
A: I was in church one day when the idea dropped and then it went through a lot of refining. It’s since been driven by the desire to solve what is a pressing need, the ability of people to safely rent assets they own to those who need them temporarily.
Q: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started in business?
A: There’s such a thing as an idea whose time has not come. Timing is super critical in the success of a business. As an afterthought, never be scared to pivot if you have to.
Q: Please, describe your company – name, services/products, and any other interesting information.
A: Eazyhire is a rental platform for businesses to get temporary access to construction equipment and vehicles they need but are not able or willing to purchase.
Q: How did you get started with the company?
A: Fresh out of my engineering job, spent nearly a year in the trenches before hitting the market. That year included a lot of self-development, speaking to whatever mentors I could lay my hands on through personal and family networks, getting used to rejection, market research a lot of which required me to be out on the streets of Yaba, Surulere, Ikeja, etc., handing out questionnaires and waiting till they got filled out, to over a thousand people. I also spent a lot of time and resources attending relevant industry events as I was what you could call a greenhorn in the industry. I didn’t even know what the term “tech startup” meant till early 2015…
EDITOR’S NOTE: Keep reading the rest of the article here.