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Men You Should Know: Mitchell Elegbe

 

Mitchell Elegbe is the MD/CEO of Interswitch, an integrated payment and transaction company in Nigeria. He is a graduate of Electrical Engineering from the University of Benin. He was formerly with Schlumberger Wireline and Testing, and Telnet, an ICT engineering and consulting company until 2002, when he started Interswitch Group where he is currently the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.


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In 2012, he was awarded the West Africa Business Leader Award at the All African Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) organized by CNBC Africa. He is an Ernest and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient and he won the Harvard Business School Association (Nigeria) Leadership Award in the General Management Category in 2015. He is a Bishop Desmond Tutu fellow of the African Leadership Institute.

Education

Mitchell Elegbe is a graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Benin. He is also an alumnus of the IESE/Wharton/CEIBS Global CEO Program.

Career

He was formerly with Schlumberger Wireline and Testing, and Telnet, an ICT engineering and consulting company until 2002, when he started Interswitch Group where he is currently the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Interswitch was founded four years after his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Year. He was employed by Telnet, a telecommunications company in Nigeria. His first encounter with an ATM was in Scotland (then no ATM existed in Nigeria) where the machine seized his card.

He developed an idea to create a system infrastructure that would enable electronic payments in Nigeria while working on a project to implement SWIFT. On his return to Nigeria, he was reemployed by Telnet. He pitched the idea of the transaction switch to his boss successfully and was authorized to execute it, but the process did not go according to plan. He started off by selling the software for switching but most players he sold to were not interested and this led him to create Interswitch so as to meet his targets.

With the assistance of Accenture, Mitchell and his team were able to establish the company but faced the challenge of finding a CEO to run the company because of finance. He was left with no choice than to become the CEO of the company, four years after his NYSC Service Year.

Awards and recognitions

Mitchell has won several awards including the CNBC/Forbes All African Business Leader (AABLA) for West Africa, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Harvard Business School Association (Nigeria) Leadership Award in the General Management category. He is also a Bishop Desmond Tutu fellow of the African Leadership Institute.


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A bit about Interswitch

Interswitch is led by an experienced management team with a proven track record of delivering growth strategies for businesses across the payments and financial services sectors. Their combined expertise has enabled Interswitch to become the leading payments and transaction switching business with a focus on Africa.

Its mission is to create transaction solutions that enable individuals and communities prosper across Africa

Its Vision is an Africa where payment is a seamless part of everyday life

Its Core Values are distinct but mutually reinforcing values. These include

– Innovation

We are committed to finding better ways of doing business every day. We believe in adaptive and multi-focus thinking. We embrace change for the growth opportunities it brings.

– Customer Success

We aim to create enjoyable experiences for our customers. We focus on solutions that advance growth and reduce operational costs.

– Individual and Team Efficiency

We operate in an environment of trust and collaboration. We reward improvements inspired by individual ingenuity and celebrate positive results brought about by team effort.

– Ethical Conduct

We are reasonable professionals who believe honesty, integrity and fair play is key to delivering sustainable benefits to our stakeholders.

Sources:

Wikipedia

Interswitch Group

Featured Image Source: Financial Technology Africa


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Jeremiah Aluwong

Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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