Apr 29

‘Don’t come back with Cinderella syndrome’

Chris Okwuraiwe, a 32-year-old entrepreneur, recently moved back to Nigeria after a 12 year stint in Budapest, Hungary.

Born and raised in FESTAC Town, Lagos, Okwuraiwe left Nigeria to study at Corvinus University in Hungary.

After graduating in 2006, Okwuraiwe got a job with Hewlett Packard in Budapest in their IT Services division. He was in that role for about a year before being promoted.Somewhere in the middle of all this, he also decided to pursue an MBA Degree between 2011 and 2013, from the Corvinus School of Management, the Business School arm of the University.

Okwuraiwe said at first, living in a new country was difficult but he really enjoyed his time in Europe.

“Hungary was the first country I’d been to outside of Nigeria and it was quite a bit of a culture shock. From the weather, to the food, to the language, to race, I experienced it all.”

After much deliberation, Okwuraiwe made the move back in September 2014.

“As with many Nigerians who travel abroad, I never intended to stay abroad forever. So after I graduated with my MBA in October of 2013, I started thinking about relocating back to Nigeria. During my MBA, I also started thinking about starting my own company and in my view, it is best to start out in your home country..”

His company, Mcinos Outsource, is a management consultancy that specializes in IT Solutions for Small & Medium sized businesses.

Okwuraiwe says although there are challenges with day-to-day living in Nigeria, they can be mitigated, adding he is back home for good.

“Nigeria is home and there is no place like home. Yes we have issues, but running away from the issues doesn’t solve them. Being on the ground and making the changes one person at a time is the best route to take to solve our problems.”

He adds moving home is a very personal decision.

“ If your heart is calling out to relocate back home, then come back. But don’t come back with a ‘Cinderella’ syndrome; where you believe that everything will work out once you arrive at the airport. Before relocating, have a plan, know exactly what you want to do, have a reservoir-level amount of patience, persevere and most importantly, be optimistic. Nigeria is a land of opportunities and it’s like the process of finding gold; you will need to dig, toil and get your hands dirty, before you find it.”