Mitchell Elegbe: The Man Behind Multi-Billion Dollars Payment Solution Infrastructure, Interswitch

Mitchell Elegbe is the chief executive officer /managing director of Nigeria biggest integrated payment processing company Interswitch. Mitchell is an electrical engineering graduate of university of Benin.

mitchell elegbe, biography & profile

He was raised and nurtured by his uncle as he lost he father before he was born. During his undergraduate days at UNIBEN, Mitchell engaged in tape recording and shirt businesses, an experience he described as being helpful to his career as he learned how to read the markets and time management in those times.

Upon his graduation, Mitchell worked with Computer Systems Associates(CSA) in Lagos during his NYSC programme. By the end of his NYSC in 1997, he joined TELNET telecommunication and was responsible for business development, solution selling, customer & supplier relationship management. He was also incharge of conceptualization and implementation of new products.

After working with TELNET for a while, he joined Schumberger Wire Line & Testing in faraway Scotland as a field engineer. After his embarrassing experience with an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) which had trapped his card during his time in Scotland, he thought it good that those machines could as well work in Nigeria and help provide payments solutions.

He also brainstormed the idea of producing a switching system that will provide and facilitate electronics payments across board. A platform that will enable seamless payments at one click irrespective of location.

Prompted by his desire to see his dreams come into reality,he didn’t spend up to 12 months in Scotland, he returned back to Nigeria. On his return, TELNET took him back and appointed him head of marketing and business solutions. In 2002, Interswitch which was Mitchell’s brainchild was birthed.

Through the help of Accenture, Mitchell and his team was able to raise funds and set up Nigeria’s first online payment facilitating company at that time. Mitchell in series of interviews have noted that Interswitch was his idea but was financed by banks with the help of Accenture.

Mitchell was encouraged to lead the team as the CEO & MD of Interswitch after its establishment. Mitchell has steadily overseen a tremendous growth of the company. Interswitch is regarded as the biggest electronic payment solution company in west Africa and beyond.

One of its most popular products Quickteller has over thirteen million users in its platform. Verve card which is Nigeria most used card is owned by Interswitch. The company also has a mobile business handling platform called Retailpay. It also has an e-payment infrastructure  for government agencies called Smartgov.

Payments and businesses have never been easier with Interwsitch e-payments infrastructures. Today people pay tax, bills, send money and make purchases in their comforts with just a click.

Interwistch also runs a financial inclusion package targeted at millions of unbanked populations. Mitchell Elegbe was named in top 20 most important persons in Nigeria tech development by an online publishing platform pulse.ng.

Mitchell when quizzed about his mentor, he noted that there are four persons that imparted his life hence his career. First was his uncle who raised and nurtured him alongside all the bosses he has worked under: Dr. Carew who is the founder of TELNET telecommunications, Dr. Denloye and Ejovi Aror.

Mitchell Elegbe is married to Mercy Elegbe. The union is blessed with children. Mitchell is known for his large heart as he is into philanthropy. In an interview with the influential CEO, he noted that he would love to be an MD as well as one of the boys, as he believes close relationship with staff increases output and commitment.

Interswitch boss believes that luck simply means preparations and hard work. He also believes ideas gets better with time.

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The Author

Igwenagu Emmanuel

Igwenagu Emmanuel is the founder of Nigerian Informer. He holds B.A, M.Sc in Mass Communication. He is a Communication researcher and 112 emergency help line dispatcher.

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