Mitchell Elegbe

The Group Managing Director of Interswitch Group, Mitchell Elegbe, has said that although having a high intelligence quotient (IQ) is necessary, IQ alone isn’t enough to make a headway in life.

He was speaking to the 81 finalists of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition during the InterswitchSPAK Masterclass 1.0, held in Lagos on Monday, August 27, 2018. Speaking on the topic ‘Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Responsibility of Youths’ during the Masterclass, Elegbe stated that emotional intelligence has become a necessity in today’s world, explaining that many people are getting more interested in the ‘softer’ skills.

He said: “Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence is very necessary in today’s world. What this means is that your high scores and academic brilliance might have gotten you this far but you need a lot more than that to be successful in life. The reason is that Nigeria continues to churn out highly intelligent people every day, so the only thing that will stand you out in life is that extra quality. This is where emotional strength, which includes attitude, good character and so on, come into play.”

He admonished the students not to set expectations that are too high for themselves and others, explaining that when people fail to meet set expectations, dissatisfaction was inevitable.

Elegbe challenged the students to break out of their cocoons and strive to be the best in their chosen careers, noting that challenges create opportunities for growth, as many innovators in the world today identified problems in the society and then proffered solutions to them.

He said: “If you come from a poor home, you are in a better position to see problems that need to be solved because those challenges are always around you. So, my advice is just be focused and be the best you can be.”

Other speakers at the event were MD /CEO Stanbic IBTC Plc, Yinka Sanni, who spoke on the topic: ‘Social Innovation – The Power of Transformative Ideas’. In his presentation, Sanni noted that most of the wealthiest Nigerians made most of their money right here in the country. He said: “I hope you students will accept this challenge to generate ideas that will help the country solve real problems to improve the lives of your country men and women. This country has real problems and social innovation starts with you seeing a specific problem and finding a solution to it.”

Eloho Omame, MD Endeavor Nigeria, addressing the topic ‘Entrepreneurship – A Tool to creating Impact in Our Society’, challenged the students to start businesses that will grow and have high impact by providing employment for many people, as this was the only way to grow the economy.

Also speaking at the Masterclass was Group Product and Marketing Officer, Cherry Eromosele. She spoke about the Innovation Challenge, which is a unique session where the students are presented with everyday societal problems to which they are required to proffer solutions to using technology.

At the Innovation Challenge, the students divided into groups of nine, would be given three topics addressing problems facing Nigeria in the areas of health care, public transportation and education, especially concerning out-of-school issue. Here, the students would be expected to research and discover solutions to these problems through the knowledge and deployment of technology. Each team is mentored by two team captains who are members of staff of the Interswitch Group to guide the students. The winning team of the challenge will get the Founder’s Award.

The Masterclass was a full-day of knowledge-sharing and engagement sessions where the students were inspired by these successful people as they discussed germane topics. It was a heartwarming session for the students as they had a good time listening to the experiences of these successful individuals in our society.

InterswitchSPAK project is a CSR initiative of the Interswitch Group, a leading Pan-African electronic payment and digital commerce solutions Company. Following the Innovation Challenge is the TV quiz competition around STEM subjects for home viewers, targeted at students aged between 14 and 17 years in SS 2. It aims to encourage and guide the students on career paths that will help them achieve full optimization of their potentials and dreams to become inventors or entrepreneurs.

The winner of the TV Quiz competition gets a whopping N7.5 million scholarship over five years in a tertiary institution. The second prize is N4.5 million in scholarship funding over three years of tertiary education while the third prize is N1.5 million scholarship for one year.