Art and Culture

Paul Onu: A Tech Entrepreneur’s  Tale of Success

todayAugust 21, 2022

share close

Not having parents with deep pockets can cause a bleak future sometimes, but for Paul Onu, the brain behind Postly, a social media marketing venture, education liberated him from the shackles of poverty. The tech-savvy young man had worked in the corporate world before becoming his own boss. With Postly acquiring 8,000 business users across over 100 countries, Onu tells  Funke Olaode how the power of vision turned his dreams into reality

Looking dapper in a blue blazer, Paul Onu moved around his cozy office with a sense of purpose on a recent encounter. This image of him is a far cry from his younger self who grew up in a humble background. His mind would later flashback to his past when the interview began.  Not shying away from his childhood days, he readily tells anyone that he tasted poverty once. But the power of vision and his brilliance has brought him thus far. The world of the Managing Director of Postly, today is a testament to the power of vision. He did not only fulfill his dream, but also an employer of labour whose platform has continued to have an impact on several companies.

Onu was born in  Nsukka, a small, serene university town in Enugu State.

“The beginning was rocky,” he began. “At the age of four or thereabout, my family was struggling so much that it was even difficult for all of us to stay in the two-room community apartment (popularly known as Face-me-I-Face-You) in the Nsukka village. I was then sent to the village alongside my eldest sibling to stay with our paternal grandmother.

“Our village is called Alor Agu, a very remote village, about one and half hours from Nsukka through untarred dirt roads (they were just paths, really). Life in the village with my grandmother was fun and laissez-faire, from what I could recall, I always played and then ate — usually whatever my grandmother could scrap around from the farm and purchase from the village market,” Onu recalled.

With a father who was an auto-electrician at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a mother, although late, who was a house-wife and seamstress and had to cater for a large family of nine children comprising of four males and five females, the parents barely made enough money to sustain the family, hence, they were always short of food and every basic necessity.

Despite his humble beginning, his parents understood the importance of education and so sent their children to school. Onu’s parents instilled hard work in them.  “It became a determinant factor in me from such a young age. I became independent at such an early age and that experience pushed me to find ways to support myself and my family. But then, I have a gift, and that saved me.”

Having realised the circumstances around his background, Onu saw an escape route in embracing education and things began to look up when he entered primary school and by the time he got to class four things began to change for the better.

“Suddenly I began to grasp the teachings and started doing well in tests and examinations. I took the first position from then till I finished primary six. This made me so popular in the whole village. Everyone knew Paul Onu (they pronounced my name as pR, with a heavy emphasis on the R).”

He performed excellently at the Common Entrance Examination, scoring 25/30 which was then the highest score at the centre.

“It was such a good score that my parents were so pleased and never considered me for any of the village secondary schools,” he continued. “They felt I should have a shot at the Nsukka secondary schools – specifically the St. Teresa’s Secondary school where my elder brother had attended school.”

Onu’s academic excellence continued to get even better. Despite his parents’ financial challenges, dropping out of school was not an option. During his junior secondary school examination, he got the best grades and was rewarded with a gift bag from his school containing books, a mathematical set and more. His excited father decorated the walls of their small room with the wrapping paper foils for a week.

“I also recall him buying me a bottle of Coca-Cola drink, such a big gift from him then that I  recall it vividly decades later.”

Onu continued to excel in his academic exploits by repeating the same feat in senior secondary school. “I got a very fantastic senior school certificate result (the best of the set from my checks, though such is never officially announced in the school), I had 8As out of 9, with 3-A1s, 4-A2s and a C6. No excuses, the C6 was a subject we never had a standing teacher on. I just wanted to do it because I felt I needed it for my university education.” With outstanding results, Onu saw the world at his feet and was ready to explore. He considered Medicine and Surgery which was the reigning course.

“Everyone wanted to be a doctor! Funny how trends change over time. Well, I was not different from the pack, I also wanted to be a doctor.”

That decision later changed after an encounter at a university student centre (Uhere Study Centre) where he attended extra-curricular, academic, spiritual and sporting activities. “This changed my view. The centre had over 90 per cent engineering students residents and naturally, I picked an interest in engineering. It was then I changed my mind to pursue engineering instead of medicine.”

Computers were very rare in those days but Onu fell in love with them and that influenced his choice of study in electronic engineering.

“My undergraduate experience was not so great. I was stressed by lack of funds – which got a lot better after I passed a test and got the Chevron scholarship. This helped me to open my first bank account and purchase my very first computer system which then led me into computer programming (Coding) – a life-saving skill for me.”

Onu would not admit that he was a gifted child but would rather quote  Erica Jong who said “Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.” 

“I think I was gifted with a brilliant mind – the ability to understand quickly, see things end to end and clearly and retain information – or, I believe I have this gift. Either way, having it or believing I have it has made me achieve a lot without much support and no soft-landing of any sort.”

Armed with a degree in electronic engineering with a major in computers, Onu stormed the corporate world to achieve his dreams. He traversed the telecommunication industry as a software engineer for close to 15 years.  He would later float Postly – Social Media Marketing Made Easy in 2015.

According to him, Postly social media management tool aims to provide cutting-edge software that allows users to manage multiple social media accounts from a single location, while also providing amazing features such as bulk content uploader, trend analytics, artificial intelligence writer for your content, the ability to connect multiple social media accounts at the same time, team collaboration, and of course post scheduling.

Throwing more light on its activities, Onu said “Our goal is to assist all companies, particularly entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and local businesses, in managing their social media accounts to attract more traffic, raise brand recognition, and increase conversions. However, to do this, we believed that providing the opportunity to manage all social media accounts from a single location was not only about making content sharing more convenient, it is concerned with assisting companies in the creation of content, streamlining the editing process, and enhancing ways for managing social media calendars.

Speaking further on the bottlenecks Postly solves, he explained: “The ability to manage all social media accounts from a single location is essential for our customers. This includes the ability to plan posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, Reddit and Telegram groups, with more platforms coming soon.”

Onu switched from coding to product management at an early stage in his career even before he could establish himself as a software engineer.

“We were at a very precarious stage where we needed to move fast up the career ladder, hence landing a good job in one biggest multinational company (as a mid-management staff) was surely a very good opportunity to build a career path.”

Onu found that  Product Management is closely related to software engineering, it also has exciting technical aspects in addition to the added skill of conceptualizing and building new products as well as management.

“The decision turned out to be my saving grace. The combination of the technical skills, product knowledge, product marketing strategy, and people skills I gained have been very potent both in driving his career and personal work.”

Onu found career fulfilment in Postly.  The initial take-off failed. Like a phoenix, Postly rose from its ashes when it was launched the second time.  And barely six months after launch, Postly has acquired over 8,000 business users across over 100 countries, surpassing its objectives in the first year of business and is steadily becoming a firm favourite with its client base.

Slow and steady, Postly extends its tentacles. “We do aggressive marketing campaigns on social media. We have also partnered with global Startup product marketplaces to sell our limited time Lifetime deal offers, which has helped us to raise the initial capital required in running the business.” While navigating through life, Onu still finds a supportive system in his wife, Edith and children. They have been married for 12 years and blessed with three lovely and brilliant children namely Michael, Kevin and Richard.

Onu the young visionary man who is currently taking the ICT by storm sees his Postly growing to millions of users and employing hundreds of staff.

“My aim is to help people by contributing to the economy and empowering people with jobs and careers.”

Written by:

Rate it

Previous post


Nigeria’s membership of BRICS 

Nigeria may not have expressly shown her interest to be a member of BRICS, a coalition of five countries motivated to work together for rapid development purposes; but it is clear that such a membership would be of immense benefits to Nigeria, in addition to signposting her as a respectable force in the comity of nations. The post Nigeria’s membership of BRICS  appeared first on The Guardian Nigeria News - […]

todayAugust 21, 2022

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply