Success Magazine, October 1993

Selling in Africa

Oti Bazunu's academic resume, like his career, spans continents. In Canada, he earned a bachelor's degree in economics.

But the best education he ever got, Bazunu says , was from his mother in Nigeria."She was a businesswoman to the teeth," he recalls.

As a child, Bazunu watched his mother buy wholesale goods--everything from shrimp to fabrics--and sell them in small villages across Nigeria. "She brought things available in the big city to rural villages," says Bazunu, 38. "Since she spoke five Nigerian languages, people welcomed her."

Today, Bazunu thinks he is providing customers with the same specialized service on a grander scale. His company, Osaka Electronics International in Brooklyn, NY., sells North American-made computers and high-tech accessories in Nigeria. Understanding the nuances of tthe African marketplace has been key to Bazunu's success.

Seven years ago, when Bazunu started selling computer accesoriwes to African customers, his best sellers were power backup batteries. He realized that foreign computers weren't equipped to handle Nigeria's frequent power failures and intense climate. To cater to his customers, Bazunu developed a computer with a built-in power backup and cooling system.

Since Bazunu rolled out his uLTIMA system last January, he has sold about 80 computers each month. The fast-selling units are expected to gross more than $2.5 million this year, up from about $1 million in 1992."American manufacturers often see Africa as too small a market to work on,' he says. "But those small clients add up."



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