#LLAInterview: “Failure Shouldn’t Mar You, It Should Make You” #LLA Meets Eno Essien, Founder, Rheytrak Limited

Eno Essien is the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of Rheytrak Limited, a Vehicle Tracking and Recovery company licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which she established eleven years ago at the age of twenty five and with no prior work experience ever.

Under her leadership, the company has consistently experienced steady and remarkable accomplishments and recorded an exceptionally high success rate in recovery of stolen vehicles from locations within and outside the Nigerian boundary. With branches in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom and with an impressive portfolio of clients cutting across Insurance Companies, Transport and logistics Companies, Multinationals, Public Quoted Companies, Government Agencies and a host of individuals, she attributes her success rate first to the grace of God and then the effectiveness of her product.

A graduate of Microbiology from the University of Calabar. Her commitment, diligence, and dedication to a job she absolutely loves, has earned her several awards amongst which are; the Exquisite Ladies of The Year (ELOY) Award for Woman Who Inspire, the Nigeria Women Achievers Award for Enterprising Humanitarian Personality of the Year, and a recognition for her outstanding contribution as a role model and mentor to Nigerian youths. She was also nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year, Technology category at the 7th edition of the Future Awards.

She has attended various Management and Leadership Development Programmes at different times. She is also an alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School.

She is the Public Relations Officer of the Association of Telematics Operators of Nigeria and a member of the Governing Council of the Lagos Business School Alumni Association (LBSAA). Eno-Obong is the only female CEO in the vehicle tracking industry in Nigeria. Eno Essien takes the spotlight as Leading Lady of the week.

In what specific ways did life equip you for the path you are treading now? 

As one embarks on the journey of life, events unfold and doors open, so it is really not possible for one to “prepare” as such for life. Looking back I strongly believe that my family background, my upbringing shaped my life to a large extent. Being taught to put God first. Loving, caring but firm parents. Genuine bonding between us siblings and my family always being there for me.  Being taught the value of hard work and belief in myself, all this I can say directly or indirectly equipped me for the path I am treading now.

What has been your greatest challenge treading this career path? 

I would say putting square pegs in round holes. Employing the wrong people and for the wrong reason. I  had to learn and correct this.

Also the high foreign exchange rate. At Rheytrak we not only cater to high net-worth individuals, we also have regular people, take for instance the motorcycle riders who are basically trying to make a living, it is difficult to increase the cost of service necessitated by the high foreign exchange.

Why vehicle tracking? 

Providence led me here. I had an armed robbery experience where my friend lost her car and I thought, how do you spend so much buying a car and loose it just like that. I identified a problem that needed a solution  and i went all out trying to figure it out and the technology behind the solution and finally Rheytrak was born and that led me here and I absolutely love what I do.

So what does Rheytrak do? 

Rheytrak is a vehicle tracking company that provides fleet management solutions for vehicle and motorcycle owners and recovers stolen vehicles.

How does this business help you further your mission of contributing to Nigeria and Africa in a definite way

Doing what I am doing has put me in the limelight and I get inquiries very regularly from people asking how and why i am doing this. My story has inspired a lot of young people and in my interactions with them I have imparted resilience, confidence, courage and audacity to them. A lot of them are encouraged to pursue their dreams knowing that I started with nothing, they believe that if they apply themselves to what they want to do they will succeed.

Again, our industry provides peace of mind to the millions of Nigerian vehicle owners. Having our tracker in your car gives you the confidence that your car cannot be taken away from you for too long. Rheytrak runs faster than the car thief.

Can you share some highlights of your journey so far? 

This has to be the very many stolen vehicles we have recovered within and outside the Nigerian boundaries. When your car is stolen it puts you in a hopeless situation and then we recover your vehicle and hand it over to you, something these vehicle owners didn’t expect thereby restoring hope and joy. I can’t quantify the joy. 

What does failure mean to you and what has it taught you? 

Failure in my opinion is being given another chance to try again. Failure comes with a lesson for the individual. It should not mar, it should make.

Have you had mentors who have made the journey significantly easier for you? Care to share some of them with us? 

No mentors. A few strong women i admire who have built their businesses from scratch and run it successfully. In the industry i play i am the only woman with no woman ahead to look up to so i am basically self-taught.

If you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what will you tell her? Be bold, be confident, be fearless, you’re beautiful, the world is yours go ahead and take it.

Can you share some lessons you have learned as a woman in business? 

As a woman in business you need to be good at what you do. Be confident, do not go about with the air of entitlement. Do not expect unreasonable favors.

Learn the ropes and be your own boss.

What does female empowerment mean to you and how are you contributing to the movement? 

Women’s empowerment to me means equipping women with the right tools and allowing them to make life-determining decisions in the society. It is about being empowered and allowed to make important decisions in your life as well as act on those decisions. 

I contribute by mentoring young people especially women and inculcating a right attitude and outlook in their lives.

If you could have a lunch date with one woman you admire- who would it be and what will you ask her? 

That would be High Chief Mrs Winifred Awosika, the Founder of Chrisland Group of Schools. This is a great Nigerian woman who has done amazingly well, she has worked very silently. She is not loud, but her work speaks loudly for her. She started Chrisland organization as a crèche from her sitting room, see where it is today. So many campuses from primary school, secondary school to the university.

She did all this as a widow without a man’s support and she has trained her children to take over from her and they are doing very well.

Chrisland College is my Alma Mata so I am a product of her ingenuity.

In your own opinion, what’s the greatest thing holding women back from blooming and how can they get past this limitation? 

Fear. And so my question to the women will be, what will you do if you were not afraid? You must cast fear aside and go for it.

What counts as fun for Eno Essien? 

I love traveling and meeting inspiring people.

I enjoy helping people who have genuine problems.

What would you like to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered as a woman with great faith, a woman who played in a field no other woman dared and stood out beautifully.

The Leading Ladies Africa Series is a weekly interview series that focuses on women of African descent, showcases their experiences across all socio-economic sectors, highlights their personal and professional achievements and offers useful advice on how to make life more satisfying for women.

It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa; an initiative that seeks to effectively mentor and inspire women, with particular emphasis on the African continent.

Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to lead@leadingladiesafrica.org and we just might feature her.

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