Meet Leslie Koroma: With all of the negative news coming from Sierra Leone right now it’s refreshing to hear from Leslie Koroma, a Sierra Leone native, about his businesses that help improve the lives of not only his fellow Sierra Leonean’s but people all over Africa. Leslie featured my soccer business on his sports radio show during the World Cup and we are super excited to be working together on a collaborative project between Conteh Soccer Academy and Leslie’s sports division. Leslie has blended nearly 20 years of sports and tech experience into a global business.
What is the name of your business and your website URL?
My Company’s name is Songhai Technologies Inc. which is registered and operating out of Houston, Texas, USA. Our corporate website is http://www.songhaitech.com .
How did you choose the name of your business?
Leslie Koroma: After much contemplation I chose the name of one of the most powerful, famous and accomplished empires that ever existed in Africa; The Songhai Empire which was noted for not just conquests and great rulers but of their pursuit of learning in science and technology as well as their accomplishments in commerce.
Sarah Conteh: What inspired you to create your company?
Leslie Koroma: Africa is a very large continent that is lacking in many areas of service providers, so in the early 2000’s I saw a need to provide sports content through a media company that I founded called African Sports Media Network through our portal African Sports TV (www.africansportstv.net) and our digital magazine African Sports Monthly which happens to be Africa’s first digital Sports Magazine and only comprehensive one that covers all sports across the continent (www.africansportsmonthly.com).
In 2012, I saw the rise of Mobile Technology becoming the sole focus of the global tech revolution and Africa, which has been our focal market, happens to be at the vanguard of this mobile tech movement. There are more mobile phones in Africa than anywhere else in the world and with my experience and passion for the tech industry as well, which spans over 18 plus years, it was natural for me to step in to seek solutions to a myriad of problems for communities and countries in Africa. So, I founded Songhai Technologies a global company with a focus on providing mobile technology and solutions for multiple issues out there.
Sarah Conteh: How and when did you start your business?
Leslie Koroma: I started my company on a bootstrap budget (out of my pocket) and still till date operate it as such. We are currently seeking investors and venture capital firms to look into what we are doing and see the value in our services, which I have to say has the potential of reaching and serving billions of consumers both in Africa and around the world.
Sarah Conteh: Tell me about your professional background and experience.
Leslie Koroma: I was an International Track athlete in University and after graduation and retirement from Track and Field proceeded to work for COMPAQ Computer Corporation and from there proceeded to work for the state of Texas as a computer Technician which I still do alongside running my businesses. My experience in both the sports and tech arena’s span close to 2 decades.
Sarah Conteh: What should your customers expect when they come to you?
Leslie Koroma: My customers should expect the best in service as we pride ourselves in delivering the most seamless and timely service with our apps and also in our sports business.
Sarah Conteh: Is this your first time operating and managing your own business? If not, share a bit of history about another business you owned.
Leslie Koroma: Songhai Technologies is a the second major business I have operated after African Sports Media Network which by the way we have absorbed into Songhai Technologies under the umbrella Songhai Sports and we are poised for delivering some of the greatest services with our blend of mobile technology and sports.
Sarah Conteh: What has been the toughest lesson you have been taught about owning a business?
Leslie Koroma: The toughest lesson is that owning a business is a full-time commitment, it is a 24/7 engagement and that here is no time off in the early stages.
Sarah Conteh: What has been the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
Leslie Koroma: It is fulfilling to do something I am passionate about in both the sports and Tech arena’s and that I am able to impact the conversation in both aspects through our mediums and the products we make.
Sarah Conteh: What are some of your specific marketing strategies?
Leslie Koroma: Well, in this information age where information is readily available to any and everyone you have to be able to deliver to your audience, clients and customers instantaneously.
Sarah Conteh: What is your target market?
Leslie Koroma: Our preferred market at the moment is emerging markets like Africa where the playing field is wide open and we stand a chance of establishing ourselves and grow on our customers and audience.
Sarah Conteh: Do you have any specific books, blogs or podcast that you recommend to other business owners?
Leslie Koroma: I take a lot of inspiration from historical figures and pioneers and so for me the History Channel show ‘The Men who Built America’ is a great treasure trove for me for ideas. Napoleon Hill’s “The Law of Success” and “Think and Grow Rich” are naturals for me and for wannabe entrepreneurs.
Sarah Conteh: Do you do much in person networking? If yes, what do you like and don’t like? If no, why not?
Leslie Koroma: Yes, I do person to person networking and it so happens that I am a people person and I am a patient person by nature as well so that is something which works well for me. I don’t think there is something I don’t like about it. I have learned to adjust well to the nuances of people’s behaviors.
Sarah Conteh: Has there been anyone in particular that helped motivate you to start your business? If yes, tell me about them and how they helped you.
Leslie Koroma: I have to say I have looked up to the likes of the late Steve Jobs, Mark Cuban along with African richest man Nigerian Billionaire Aliko Dangote as role models to do what I am doing today as innovators, Go Getters and successful entrepreneurs who have succeeded in what they have and are doing.
Sarah Conteh: What are your long-term goals for your business?
Leslie Koroma: I intend to grow my business into a global conglomerate serving the needs of our clients, customers and audience in the best way possible providing the best possible services out there.
Sarah Conteh: How can people find you on social media?
Leslie Koroma: Well that is pretty easy my twitter handle is; @lesliepkoroma and on Facebook you can find me at https://www.facebook.com/lesliepkoroma and on LinkedIn you can find me though my name Leslie Koroma
S.C.: Be sure to check out Leslie Koroma’s “Sierra Leone App” which is a one stop shop source for everything Sierra Leone and beyond that caters to the needs of its citizens and visitors to the country as well as those curious enough to want to know more about Sierra Leone.
This app provides resources ranging from news, weather, entertainment to educational resources and beyond.
Sarah Conteh: Share some fun facts about you!
Leslie Koroma: I think I can be a goofball with the folks I am close and comfortable with. I love jokes and joking and am an avid horse lover and love horseback riding.
If you are interested in being featured in this “Entrepreneur Spotlight” series contact Sarah (Nance) Conteh today!