Victor Iheanacho is the CEO of Visco Communications. He is enjoying his line of business immensely. In this interview with JOY EMMANUEL, he said his passion is to help the needy as well as encourage others to grow.
How long has Visco Communication been in existence in Bayelsa state?
VISCO communication is up to eight years in Bayelsa but it became active four years ago.
So what are you majorly into?
We deal on all types of phones and accessories. We are also into entertainment and artist management. We have a record label called VISCO records. We also have a recording studio. We call it VISCO studio here in Bayelsa although it got burnt on the first of January this year. We also deal on cars. We have a car stand in Lagos.
How has it been doing business in Bayelsa state?
The truth of the matter is that Bayelsa state is a good place to do business based on the fact that it is still a virgin state. We are still trying our best to develop the state business wise because it is not yet developed. So the environment is very conducive to do business based on the fact that they welcome investors.
So during this period of COVID 19, how is your business doing?
The business has been very slow because of this COVID 19 based on the series of lockdown. From the day one when they shut down Lagos State airport and they lockdown Lagos, it affected us. Anything that affects Lagos affects us because that is our source. So business has been very slow on the side of supply coupled with when they declared lockdown in Bayelsa state since 2 weeks now.
Yes it has been our habit. It is our way of giving back to the society because ever since we have been in Bayelsa, they accepted us. They patronize us. Without them, there will be no us so that is why even notwithstanding. That was why we thought it wise to reach out to them.
So how did you make your choice of communities you reached out to?
Okoloba in Sabagria is like my own community now because the brand ambassador of the VISCO communication. It comes from an event that is being organized there yearly by VISCO communication. Every 26th of December, we have a beauty pageant we organize in that community called Miss Okoloba/Sabagria ambassador of VISCO communication. Since we are part of that Community, we thought it wise to go there first before reaching out to other communities.
Is it that your main patronage comes from that axis?
No. It is based on the fact that we have an event that we organize there yearly.
How is your selection in giving out?
After the Okoloba Sabagria, in Kolokoma we wanted to visit kpasia community in yenagoa but we observed that they were some issues based on some crisis that they have in court because I called their youth president and told him what was about to happen. I asked him to grant us audience to visit the chiefs to tell them our plans so that they could give us a date but he did not respond. We tried so many ways to get to them but to no avail. We then had to try Okutukutu the next because personally I’m residing there but on the day we fixed on getting there, there were some disagreements. Some of the chiefs said that they don’t want any support from any individual. They said that if support must come, it must be from the federal government. They said that they don’t trust individuals. Based on that, that same day, we immediately went to Elebele community. Our visit to Elebele community was not planned even though they have given us a proposal before then to come. So we just used that opportunity to go to Elebele. We also stopped by at Imiringi community.
Who were your targeted audience? Was it the aged, the youth or the poorest of the poor?
When we get to a particular community, we move around. After visiting the council of chiefs, then we take our time to move round the community to look for the less privileged. We look for those people that cannot afford food in this trying period. These are the people we mainly visit and then the children. We give them the little money we can.
You gave out some money during your this year’s birthday. How did you make your selection?
We calculated because the previous birthdays, we used to celebrate it with the orphans and the less privileged but this year’s own, we said based on the pandemic, let’s do our first official give away to the friends and well-wishers of VISCO communications. It started on May 1st and we announced that we will be giving one hundred thousand naira give away to all the friends and well-wishers of VISCO communications. How to participate was that you tell us anything you know about VISCO communication in forty seconds video. Upload it in your wall and tag all your friends and VISCO. We selected our winners randomly. So selected people that did it well and have a lot of views. Our aim was to create more awareness about VISCO communication. Let people know about VISCO communications. It is also a way of giving back to our customers in our own little way.
Charity begins at home as it is said. Were you able to extend this gesture to your brothers in Bayelsa?
Recently somebody was telling me that VISO communications was busy giving aids to Bayelsans not looking at his own fellow Igbo people. I responded to the person that when this pandemic started, we were giving out one carton of noodles and two tubers of yam to people that we know that they don’t have food to eat. When you look at the Igbos, to me it is not that kind of help that they need.
Most Igbos that are here are business people. In fact majority of them can afford their daily bread but in here in Bayelsa, you can still find the needy the poorest of the poor, because this is their home state, but the fact that we are in their land. We are not doing business in Imo state or in Anambra state. Even at that, we are not justifying ourselves that we are not reaching out to Igbo people especially in my village because there are less privileged people in my village but we have not gotten to that level. When we get that level, we will do that. So this one that we are doing is just to make our stay very conducive and favourable in the state. The Igbos in Bayelsa, the kind of help they need is not the kind of help we are giving for now.
So far, do you have any collaboration with the state government?
Yes. We are working out something. In fact we are working out something underground. We are just waiting for the new government to appoint commissioners so that we can actualize our plans.
You are young man and you are doing this. What is your advice to Bayelsa youths even those at your age that are yet to start or doing something meaningful?
As a matter of fact that was what we wanted to do with this new government on how to make sure that Bayelsa youths have something doing. Most of them that are close to me, I used to tell them to try and have something doing. Something that you will be getting your daily bread from. It is not all about anytime you see somebody, you will be begging that person money. I used to encourage them to learn skills. I also tell them that self-employment remains the best. You may not be waiting for somebody to give you two hundred thousand naira so that you can start up something. There are so many things you can start.
Why did you decide to venture into business rather than looking for a white collar job?
I have been business inclined since my secondary school days. So I don’t like working for somebody. I have always like creating employment for people. Anything that will make me to be looking for employment anywhere, I don’t like it.