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Reference no. 1-13-003
Subject category: Entrepreneurship
Published by:
The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT (2013)
1 January 2013
22 pages
Data source:
Field research


This case leads to discussion of issues faced by founders and their companies: the need for a 'governing structure'; the importance of changing direction as the market and technology evolve; an ability to forecast and respond to financial requirements; finding and developing a skilled workforce.In 1995, Austin Okere formed Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) Plc as an umbrella organization providing coordinating functions and shared services for its three divisions: CWL Systems, DCC Networks, and ExpertEdge Software. During its first decade, CWG lacked a solid strategy; its expansion was driven by opportunity and customer demand, and it often needed to change direction. By early 2012, some executive committee members were suggesting that CWG be sold. Okere disagreed. By late 2012, CWG moved from being an IT provider (selling hardware, software, and network access directly to customers) to being a major IT enabler, supplying mobile operators with infrastructure and software that they could sell directly to their customers. This model: (1) was not as capital intensive as reselling computers, servers, and ATMs, or maintaining satellite uplinks; and (2) as a service, offered through the cloud, was much more scalable geographically. CWG remained a model for indigenous ICT firms in Nigeria.


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