Opportunity of a Tragedy

January 17, 2010

It is best to present it in the form of a movie script just to fuel the imagination. Very apt given that one of the main characters who, while making the third leg of an unscheduled tripartite meeting at Heathrow, had come to the conclusion that all Nigerians are actors. He claims his  outlandish conclusion is not without basis and, believe me, he was right. We can say without contradiction, given the events of recent months, that Nigeria has gradually become one huge theatre where unbelievable, movie-like, things happen.

 

But we are not talking about theatre here. Rather opportunities that Information Technology offers.

 

Three men, let us call them Messers A, B and C stumbled on one another brought together by the harsh reality of an huge ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano which brought air travel across Europe to a standstill and for four days during which, one account said 98,899 flights were cancelled across the continent. Mr. A, a Cisco executive was actually heading to Nigeria to pursue an investment opportunity in the oil rich country; Mr. B, a visually impaired Scot who told the story of how he gradually lost his sight due to a disease that is not the well-known glaucoma; and Mr.C, a consultant who was returning from a conference in Europe to his base in Nigeria.

 

The three men met at a coffee shop and got talking after which they all retired to their respective hotels and reconvened the next day to hear Mr A say his firm had just released an internal memo to their top brass executives that it had made very tidy billions of dollars in the few days of the volcanic tragedy not only because disruptions posed by the volcanic eruption had prompted business people think and opt for video conferencing,. but incredibly it had also induced a few startup companies to begin a retail business in teleconferencing.

 

The moral of the story is whenever and wherever problems spring up unexpectedly in the world, information technology comes to the fore providing ready solutions – always making the best of a bad situation.

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