Aniche Ezenwa Francis, a serial entrepreneur, describes himself as an aspiring young man with lofty dreams. Back when life was easy and the worst thing was not being picked to join a football team, young Francis did not know what life had in store for him. He started work quite early.
He dipped his feet into the world of politics at the tender age of 12 to help his father who, at the time, was running for the office of Igbo Chairman Alimosho, with his political campaign.
Francis has since continued to dip his fingers in a myriad of other industries across Nigeria, oil and gas, art, music and agriculture. He is currently CEO/Founder of Ghost Empire, the palm that holds all the fingers together.
In 2005, he started his first entrepreneurial outfit as a supplier of fashionable footwear. A year later, he landed his first paid job as a voucher officer with Glo at their Iyana-Ipaja office, there he paced himself and learned the sales ropes.
This experience helped him get his next job as a Sales Manager at Arthur Works and Craft in 2011, where he learned the literal art of art resale.
In 2012 he got another post as the Music Manager of Som Entertainment. He juggled these two pivotal positions that helped him get the skills he would later use for Ghost Empire. One of the people who pushed and encouraged Francis is his uncle, Chief Ikenna Stanley Aniche.
Chief Ikenna Stanley Aniche played a very pivotal role in Francis’s life. He is also his godfather and tutored him on how to make his first million. He sees him as a mentor and emulates him as much as he can. His generosity and kind heart to others is a key factor in Francis’s immense love for him.
His passion for art and music and making connections with the right people ready to support his dream pushed him to open his outfit, Ghost Empire, seven years later. A summation of love and everything he had learned up to that point and the starting point to everything he wanted to be.
From a young age, he knew he wanted to be a way maker for other youths like him who came from a background with meager means in a country designed to keep you there.
His dream to create employment, inspire youths to work hard, and keep their heads held high is one reason he keeps pushing on.
With his patience and tenacity, he was able to enter a very profitable sector of the economy, agriculture, in under two years of starting Ghost Empire
2018 was a good year for this sector as reforms to revive the agricultural industry were still in full force. For an SME, this breakthrough showed Francis that he could do whatever he set his mind on and kept moving forward.
Fifteen years ago, a younger Francis would have told you he wanted to be a footballer, one of the greats. But fate had other plans for him. As he grew, humility remained one of his key characteristics.
He learned the ropes in his chosen sector, entertainment, and his new love, agriculture, from both old and young alike who know the business. This rapidly increased the growth of Ghost Empire as they were able to break into another sector within the next year, oil and gas.
His exponential growth in less than five years of business is a testament to his motivation to make people happy. This is in line with creating jobs for youths like him who came from similar backgrounds.
He wants to inspire the next generation to show them boldly, that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters only what you do.
His immense passion for empowering youth and following the huge footsteps of his uncle led him to pursue job creation. This has also spurred him to seek lasting ways he can help the less privileged long after he is gone, with youths being his primary point of concern as always.
The present situation in Nigeria; the civil unrest and insecurity in most states has been a cause for concern.
The governments’ lackadaisical approach to coming up with viable solutions for the country has affected many, with youths and orphans being the hardest hit. This is a situation Francis is looking to rectify in any way he can.
The proudest moment in his career is not his properties or his businesses. It is their growth that amazes him, the limitless possibilities of his chosen line of work.
Even though his childhood dreams of becoming a world-renowned player never came to fruition, Francis actively plays football. When he’s not knee-deep in contracts and choked by meetings, hanging with his friends at the bar for drinks and to catch up helps him to relieve the stress on his young shoulders.
Although described as an extremely patient person, he is quite unpredictable, an attribute his friends and colleagues have gotten used to. You never know what Francis is going to do next.
True to form this ambitious young man never seems to rest, he is constantly reading new material, thinking up new ideas, and discussing new ways to create wealth, three of his favourite things to do to build himself.
One thing you can be sure of with Francis is the skills he brings to the table; an avid thinker, a well-networked gentleman, and a savvy investor. A strong believer in structure, he has set strict goals for himself and his business within the next year.