Dr. Anaebonam'sstrategic vision for Breej is a model for business excellence andempowerment
Special to USAfricaonline.com
TheBlack Business Journal
Dr.Aloysius Anaebonam represents the new breed of African-Americans whohave achieved a consummate marriage of intellectual distinction withbusiness savvy. It must noted, set on a clear global vision of how acommunity and business can benefit each other.
"For me, it's an empowering mechanism, a vehicle to offer andshare opportunities with our folks and all persons who like to lookgood, do good business and groom themselves very well" the member ofthe American Pharmaceutical Association and the American ChemicalSociety told our media networks: USAfricaonline.com, USAfrica TheNewspaper, NigeriaCentral.com and The Black BusinessJournal during an exclusive interview.
Remarkably, Dr. Anaebonam, founder and chief executive officer ofthe Breej Technologies group, holds eleven United States Patents andco-authored a chapter in the Encyclopedia of PharmaceuticalTechnology and the Pharmaceutical Textbook, Tablets Volume II. It isimportant to note that the initial marks of the higher standardsAnaebonam set for himself was evident during his early years incollege in his native home of East central Nigeria. He made the rareand privileged First Class Honors for a Bachelor's degree inPharmacy. It was in 1978 from the prestigious University of Nigeria,Nsukka, the country's first indigenous university founded by thecountry's first president and alumnus of Lincoln University, the lateDr. the Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
At the college, he was also one of the the founding members andlater in 1977, the Governor of the elite college fraternity inNigeria, the Ancient Hellenic Order of the Beta Sigma Fraternity.
Afterwards, the young and promising Anaebonam set sail for theUnited States, in search of the proverbial "golden fleece." He didnot only make it golden but in good time. He obtained a Doctor ofPhilosophy degree and Master of Science degree in Industrial Pharmacyfrom the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Boston MA, USA in 1986and 1983 respectively, while striving with some additional work tosustain his needs as an international student
He told me during our interview that "three major things whichmotivated me towards getting in to this beauty care business arethese facts: Black folks suffer from shaving bumps[pseuodofolliculitis barbae]. My last two jobs openedmy eyes to new opportunities in the area." He added that "combiningthe fact that we need some corporations in the African-American toserve this unique need and niche in Black skin care remains a majorfactor." Indeed, it is a multi-billion dollar business.
In order to make the vision work even better he has a team oflocal and international director and investors who have contributedtheir time, resources and ideas to sharpen the Breej mission. Somehave been his friends for well over two decades. They include Dr.Emma Okafor, Thad Ugha, Anayo Nwandu, Dr. Augustine Duru, JimBarbato, Ben Ugha, Walter Adichie, Dr. Ije Nduka-Nwosu, Dr. MikeIhemaguba and Henry Barber.
For the event, Dr. Anaebonam's mother, Mrs. Maria Nneka Anaebonam,has flown in from Nigeria to support her son. A proud mother she mustbe. He has nurtured an extensive international business experienceand contacts, having traveled to and worked with Pharmaceutical andCosmetic development companies in the United States, England, France,Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Nigeria. Some of thoseinternational partners will join as the Breej group of companiesperform the launch on December 9, 2000 at the Strand Theatre inDorchester, Massachussetts, of their flagship product line, The BlackLuxury Shave. According to a statement sent to USAfricaonline.com bythe Breej group, "it is a comprehensive ten-product shaving bumptreatment system to provide relief to a lot of Black men plagued bythis problem."
He has been an active member of the United States Society ofCosmetic Chemists since 1983 and was Chairman of the New EnglandChapter in 1994 and 1997.
Dr. Anaebonam underlined the fact that he's in business not onlyto make money but to offer "first-rate service and well-packagedproducts and the synergy of natural products and modern technology."He proudly cites the work of the Milan-based design company, StudioGreen, for Breej.
But why is appearance and grooming so important? "The appearanceof everyone is important because your face is the very first thingpeople see." He made the case that Black men should groom themselveswithout being "feminized."
When I asked him what the ultimate mission for Dr. Aloy Anaebonamand the Breej Group really are, he was unwavering. "With God leading(and He is in charge of our lives) and blessing us, we'll be creatinga business with global reach and opportunities for employment for ourfolks and the best products. Our team wants to be a core part of thesolution."
Dr. Anaebonam has logged almost twenty years of industryexperience "covering all aspects of Pharmaceutical and Cosmeticproduct development, testing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling,validations, regulatory submissions and business development."
He was Vice President of Product Development and Quality Controlat Ascent Pediatrics, Wilmington, Massachussetts and Section Head,Pharmaceutical Development at Fisons Corporation, Rochester, NewYork.
In order to achieve professional and consumer value assessment forthe Breej, an ongoing clinical trial for the line is being conductedon behalf of Breej by Skin Medicine and Surgery Inc. with its MedicalDirector, Dr. Nomate Kpea as Principal Investigator.
Beyond his professional accomplishments, he is ably supported by avivacious wife Nneka (a healthcare manager). They have two children:daughter Adaeze, 4 1/2 and son Obinna, 15 months old. The CEO is notall about work. His hobbies include listening to African music,playing tennis, and world travel.
Just before we concluded our interview, the multilingualindustrial pharmacist told USAfricaonline.com and The Black BusinessJournal that "making money and working with the community are notmutually exclusive." Without a doubt, Anaebonam, speaker offunctional French and Italian, has a lucid vision set on firmentrepreneurial foundations. I was substantially impressed by therelationship of his business model model to the needs of hiscommunity, the African-American sector. Such business visionariesmake history; on December 9, 2000, Anaebonam, certainly, will leadthe Breej Group to a new pedestal in their quest to serve the beautycare needs of Blacks, globally.
ChidoNwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellenceaward (1997) and an adviser to the Mayor of Houston on internationalbusiness (Africa), is founder and publisher of the firstAfrican-owned U.S.-based newspaper to be published on the Internet,www.USAfricaonline.com. He is writing a book on the experiencesof recent African immigrants in the U.S., and covered U.S PresidentBill Clinton's visit to parts of Africa, March-April, 1998, and theAugust 26-28, 2000 visit to Nigeria.
These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.'
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