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NEROS… Poly Emenike living the Nigerian dream

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NOT often do you see a person with inspiring story of rising from rag to riches, who above all strive to impart others with his experience. Such is the story of Poly Emenike, CEO of NEROS Pharmaceuticals, one of the most enterprising indigenous pharmaceuticals in Nigeria. A man who against all odds rose to prominence.

Emenike lives the Nigerian Dream. He is an industrialist, entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist and recipient of the national Order of the Niger (MON) award. His story tells that anyone from adverse background or faced with unfavorable circumstances, with strong faith in God and handwork, the sky poses no limit to their aspiration.

Philosophical and inspiring Emenike is a firm believer in finishing strong. To him, it counts not where or how you began but producing a superlative result. To him, the world can be against you, circumstances can to toy with your destiny, but no one should negate the belief in what they stand to accomplish.

Born in 1955 to a peasant farmer father and a petty trading mother in Nanka in Orumba North Local Government Area. Anambra, Emenike struggled to attend primary school due to financial constraints faced by his family. He completed his primary education in 1971. For young Emenike, despite passing his Common Entrance Examinations in flying colours, secondary education became a herculean task. When life was becoming unbearable in the village, Emenike was shipped to live with his maternal uncle, Philip Umeadi, a lawyer in Onitsha.

Life in Onitsha was a new experience for him, “A few days after I arrived in Onitsha, my uncle told me that my new job was to serve as an office boy which entailed going to court with him, where I got most of the law books. He also allocated to me the task of cooking food in his house. He assured me however, that he would be saving my salary for me.”

After spending three years in his uncle’s house Emenike who was determined to further his education began putting up acts of resistance. The occasional visit of his classmates from Christ The King College (CKC), Onitsha, made the matter worse. “With the intervention of my elder brother, I was sent off to Benin City, Edo State, to learn a trade. But the journey was short-lived as I resolved never to suffer the same fate that befell me during my short stay with my uncle. I returned to Onitsha in 1974 and started apprenticeship in the business of shoe making.”

Emenike, who believes that no matter what you call success, you will not do much if you are not ambitious launched into business a year after, with the meagre sum of N300 his uncle saved for him. He started his own shoe business, trading on rubber slippers. A business he felt would not guarantee a future of wealth and comfort. He later ventured into clothing. However, he made name in pharmaceuticals with the incorporation of NEROS, in August 1986, but started operations in June, 1989.

The company, which has grown into a multi-billion dollar firm, employing thousands of Nigerians and as well, produces world-class drugs has branches in Ghana, Angola, and Democratic Republic of Congo among others.

He was inspired to further his educational pursuit owing to the enormous inspirations he drew from reading Napoleon Hill’s books. “Financially, I achieved a lot through the books authored or co-authored by Dr. Hill. It is worthy of note that about 95 per cent of the material wealth I have acquired in life was inspired by the Principle of Success teachings espoused in Dr. Napoleon Hill’s various writings. Dr. Hill’s books have had a catalytic effect on my desire to become an educated business man.”

Emenike, whose chief driver in life is to fulfill an organized mission in life, in 1987, at the age of 32, with a wife, children, and a thriving enterprise, enrolled as a pupil at Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School in Surulere, Lagos, wearing school uniform like his much younger schoolmates where he obtained his O’ Level papers. His hunger for academic excellence further drove him to University of Lagos where he obtained his BSc and MSc in 1997 and 1999, respectively. His educational pursuit did not end there. In 2012, he obtained a doctorate
degree at the International School of Management, Paris, France.

He lives his dream and believes anyone could get to their pinnacle, “There is nothing like being focused, knowing where you are going, having clear vision, working as hard as possible, then following your line of action, you will make it no matter the time.”
On how he would like to be remembered, Emenike declared, “The legacy I would like to leave is to be known as a foremost or a renowned entrepreneur, psychologist, philosopher, writer, and a philanthropist of world repute.”

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