American entrepreneur’s journey from finance to running an ICT company in Africa
When American-born Paul Jones flew to the Central African country of Gabon a decade ago, he didn’t know the trip would lead to him running a telecommunications company in Equatorial Guinea.
At that stage Jones worked in finance in the US. One of his clients – a communications company that had operations in Gabon – invited him to Africa to better understand their business. One thing led to another, and eventually Jones started working for them as the commercial director for Africa.
In addition to Gabon, the company was active in the Congo and Equatorial Guinea. Jones was especially bullish about the potential in Equatorial Guinea, even though the business had only a small presence there.
Over time, Jones and the company owner started to develop differences about the direction the business should take. This culminated in Jones and a local partner buying out the US company’s stake in Equatorial Guinea. And in 2011 they relaunched as IPX EG.
Jones completely overhauled the business, and has since grown it from 10 employees, to over 70 today. IPX EG provides internet connectivity as well as services such as video conferencing, surveillance systems and door access control systems to clients throughout Equatorial Guinea.
Despite parting ways with his former boss, Jones still credits him for having had a significant impact on his business career. “He is the one who showed me the opportunities that were here in Africa, and through him I learned what works and what doesn’t work here,” says Jones. Read the full article in How we Made it in Africa here: