Lang Center Entrepreneur in Residence Program
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Austin Okere

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Mr. Austin Okere is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Computer Warehouse Group, one of the fastest growing Information and Communication Technology companies in Africa today.

Computer Warehouse Group was founded by Mr. Okere in September 1992. It has grown over the years from just a computer hardware supply company to a Pan-African Multinational Systems Integration Corporation with direct operations in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon, and serving customers in 17 other African countries. From an initial annual turnover of under a million dollars, CWG now has a turnover of about US$130 million, and staff strength of about 650 professionals.

He holds a BSc (Hons.) degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Lagos, and an Executive MBA degree from the International Graduate School of Management (IESE), Spain, after a preparatory period at the Prestigious Lagos Business School. He has had 25 years industry experience covering roles in systems analysis, sales and marketing, and corporate management, with 20 years as Chief Executive Officer of the Computer Warehouse Group.

In 2012 Austin was named ICT Man of the Decade by ICT Watch Africa Digital Network, and CWG was named Conglomerate of the Year. In 2011 he was also named the ICT Personality of the year by Technology Africa, and the most outstanding ICT Personality of the Decade in 2010 by ICT Watch Africa. The Computer Warehouse Group was recently ranked among the top 50 Technology Companies in West Africa.

The journey to these achievements has been documented in a Case Study by the Columbia Business School, and has been used in various Entrepreneurship Development Centres and Business Schools in the United States, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Kenya.

Okere’s ardent interest in inspiring young entrepreneurs has been globally recognized through his invitations by the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Center to guest lecture at the Columbia Business School over the past five years, and also at MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship in Boston. He has facilitated the Lean Launch Pad Block Week at Columbia Business School with serial entrepreneurs Steve blank and Bob Dorf, co-authors of the ‘Start-up Owner’s Manual.’

Austin is a member of the Board of the National Competiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), and serves in many other professional bodies including Frontier 100 (Initiative for Global Development IGD), Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) and Nigerian Computer Society (NCS). He has been recognized in many publications across the continent as one of the pillars of African entrepreneurship. He is happily married to Sola, his wife of 18 years, and they are blessed with two lovely sons, Omimi and Chimezuo.

If you are affiliated to Columbia University, join the Entrepreneur-In-Residence mentoring community to talk to Austin. 
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