Starting a business after graduation – Pamela Egbujo’s true story

You are currently viewing Starting a business after graduation – Pamela Egbujo’s true story

Starting a business wasn’t actually in my plans. I wanted to work with NGOs, go for medical missions, and travel the world. But towards the end of NYSC, reality set in, after I’d applied for several positions and didn’t get a call back. Thankfully after NYSC I got a job with MEENA HISTOPATHOLOGY LABORATORY AND PAPSMEAR SCREENING CENTRE, JOS. I absolutely loved my job, welcoming patients, taking samples, running tests, handing out results and offering counseling where necessary.

I came home on leave one holiday, went around my hometown and found out there was a dearth of quality medical diagnostic laboratories. I saw a business opportunity and a chance to serve my community. When I got back to Jos I started making plans, watched my boss closely and learnt the ropes. I took my savings even more serious, placed orders for equipment and I was lucky enough to be allowed to pay in installments. Saving up for the equipment wasn’t easy one bit! I had so many things I wanted as a young lady but couldn’t get because I didn’t want to delay or even jeopardise my new dream, so I sacrificed and I’m glad I did.

I came back home to Imo State, found a suitable location and set up a Classic medical Diagnostic Laboratory in November of 2014. I expected a large turnout of patients and a lot of patronage from nearby health establishments; I even organized some free tests as a way to announce the new Lab in town. Two months later I still hadn’t seen a paying-patient! That’s two months of going to work 8am to 6pm without pay!!! I did vigorous marketing, visited hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, churches, town hall meetings…name it. If people were meeting there, i was there as well. It took another month before I saw my first patient, I still remember his name and the request he came with till this day. Day after day i would sit and pray for more patients to walk in, I’d always do a little celebratory dance after getting anyone. I’m a very friendly person and I carried that into my interaction with patients, a lot of people came back for counseling even after seeing their doctors, a lot more sent me more referrals. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re into, if you offer quality service, people will come looking for you. Today I still count patients, i still dance especially when I get a considerable number in a day but I’m happy to say I work with pay. People say being self-employed isn’t easy but it’s worth it, I can now testify to that.

There are times when it feels like everything is against me, I get demand notices for tax after tax some of them are preposterous! I’ve been taxed for Hospitality and Tourism…like seriously I’m running a laboratory!!! At such times I call my former boss and he tells me how to handle those. Then there are times when equipment breakdown, I get in touch with my former boss’s Biomedical Engineer and he fixes the problem. I just take each day as it comes and I’ve found there’s never a problem that can’t be solved if you’re determined.

I’m a big believer in God. I know he set me on this path and established me because there’s no way I would’ve done any of these on my own especially with zero start-up background; I’m forever grateful.

I’m also grateful to my former boss and his/my Biomedical Engineer for the numerous times they had to drop everything and help me out of a fix. Oh, in case you were wondering, my former boss is my eldest brother…and my Biomedical Engineer is my immediate elder brother. I guess that helped me a lot.

I haven’t given up on going on medical missions; I’m equipping myself for that. I’m also back in school, I want to turn my passion for teaching into a career!

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