Ejimagwa… Passion beyond self
Within eight years of catching the Longrich bug, Titi Ejimagwa rose to become one of its only four five-star Directors, and the only black at that level. In recognition of her impact on company growth globally, she was given a mouth-watering offer to relocate to the United States and champion an aggressive expansion in the Americas. But she declined, choosing rather to stay and empower her countrymen. Today, aside the millions of Africans making hay in the Longrich sun, Ejimagwa, the author of Work What Works, has succeeded in dragging the company to establish a $50million manufacturing base and a research institute in Lagos. She takes Guardian Woman through her journey with the company and opportunities that abound for young people on the platform
How did you come about the Longrich Enterprise and what are the prospects for newbies in the project?
I am the brand for Longrich on the African Continent, in Europe, the United States of America, and parts of Asia. This means that without this face and name behind the company, there will no be Longrich in these regions except in China because it is owned by China. So, I am the face of Longrich.
Getting into this enterprise was not straight; initially, I did not want to get on the train. This is because at the time, I was working with another company and was doing well there. I was number three in the world, and for me, I wasn’t looking for anything again. I have been in the multi-marketing industry for over 23 years, I have paid my dues and thought I did not need to jump elsewhere. When I pick you and work with you, I don’t leave until something happens. So, when Longrich came looking for me in 2009/2010, I wasn’t ready to join them. They gave me one of their products, the panty liner as sample. It was a sanitary pad and I just felt that they saved me some money from buying sanitary pads. You imagine that mentality? I just took it and thanked them.
The interesting aspect of the story was that I didn’t have a child for about 10 years before my encounter with Longrich. I never attributed my pregnancy to the use of Longrich products because I used a lot of things. It never occurred to me that the liner could have helped in a way. But my father, who had some bladder issues, used the liner and the results were what caused the turn-around.
My mother was supposed to travel to the United Kingdom and I went to pick Dad from Ibadan. Meanwhile, because of his bladder disease, he was always using diapers. Then, we got trapped in that long traffic along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway and I asked my father if he was okay. I wanted to know if he needed a diaper change but he said no, that he was not even wearing any diaper. I told the driver to stop the vehicle, insisting that he (Dad) must have been soaked. He said no; that he even now feels the urge and knows when he wanted to urinate. I asked him how he came about that and he said I was the one that gave him the liner and since then, he had been okay. I did some findings and follow-up and it then occurred to me that the liners must also have aided my pregnancy. I decided to call the company. They had initially travelled all the way from China to look for me in Nigeria all because of my profile in the industry. So, we started the business and that was the beginning of our relationship from 2012 till now.
What is unique about the liners?
I have to bring the sanitary pad for you to see. As one who stammers, it was somewhat going to be challenging telling people about it. But when we tested more than five to 10 different pads and compared the results with that from Longrich in line with some guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) website, we discovered that the market was flooded with many low-quality sanitary pads. Some of these are even responsible for why a lot of young ladies find it difficult to get pregnant in their first four years of marriage. It also affects married women in situations we call secondary infertility, making them experience delay for between five to 10 years before they could get another child
So, when majority of newly-weds have difficulty getting pregnant, some think it is household enemies that are responsible for their predicament. But oftentimes nobody is responsible. The low-quality sanitary pad they are using is responsible, according to a research conducted by the WHO. That realisation jolted me and made me resolve to go and tell the entire world about man’s wickedness to man because of money.
I don’t what to go into the details of what ought to be in the sanitary pad that wasn’t there. But there are three basic elements that ought to be in any good sanitary pad and they are not present in most pads in the market. This is why those who have used pads produced by this brand testify to the quality and health benefits.
But aside from its products, Longrich produces for other companies?
For example, Longrich produces all the products you see with GSK brand in all parts of Asia. Longrich produces for Adidas and Nestle. Go to Walmart hypermarket retail stores across the world, Longrich produces most of the products you will get there. So, when I saw that kind of platform, I knew I was in the right company. That is the organisation I have brought to Nigeria to establish a $50millin factory, a factory that would create over 1000 direct jobs, tens of thousands of indirect jobs and also boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange.
Your journey with the company started in 2012. You are now the only black five-star Director. How did you work to that level?
A lot of self-sacrifices, selfless spirit and determination were involved. But I never saw the money; I saw the need and solution to people’s problems, like myself who at the time was barren. I saw solutions to men’s problems. According to scientists, 90 per cent of black men have tendency for prostate issue. In fact, research shows that bald men are much more vulnerable to having prostate cancer. Again, many men, because of the anxiety of meeting family needs, do not have time for their sexual life again. They do not know that not making love to your wife, at least thrice in a week creates problems. It is like someone digging his grave. The panty liners is just one of over 2000 products Longrich offers. Aside from the factory, we have also decided to open a research institute in Nigeria and it is almost completed.
A lot of young people seem to be averse to hard work. How easy was your marketing endeavour across the country?
Unfortunately, no one gets rich easily all over the world. Even the 419 business is sustained smart work in a negative way. Why not channel that energy in the right channel. It is time for our youths to think deep; they should not be deceived. There is no get-rich-quick scheme. However, the beautiful thing about Longrich is that you don’t need to do much. You are not going to break a wall or bank to start the business; it is just by talking to your friends. There are dumb people in the business and they are making it.
Why did you engage the Ooni of Ife on this project?
I wanted him to use his influence to enrich and empower our people. He is extremely influential and he can use his influence to reach more of our people. For me, Longrich is a wake-up call to all of us. Many people are working so hard but with no commensurate reward. There is always a better and right part to life. I wrote a book titled: Work What Works, which was launched last year because I want to leave a legacy. The book speaks on the right path to success. Many African countries are still operating the stereotype path that the Western world gave to us. Read Geography, History and so on. The western world have moved ahead long time ago. I am not discouraging education but there is more to do, if you want to really make it in life.