In this five part series we feature London-based CEO Nana Parry’s incredible story, beginning being held by Moroccan immigration.
Not many CEO stories begin with a tale of being held in custody by Moroccan immigration. But then Nana Parry’s journey doesn’t follow the standard narrative of a double tech startup founder. His story traverses a senior role working alongside the CEO of Fujitsu (Japan’s leading ICT company), raising £150,000 angel investment for his first startup (the music marketing platform, Dubzoo), business school, house parties in South London, with visits to Accra, Copenhagen and Casablanca thrown in.
“I was visiting an old university friend,” smiles Nana, as he starts to realize how unbelievable the origins-story of his latest company, Metier Digital, is.
It was to be five days of winter sun when the Moroccan immigration detained Nana on arrival.
“I don’t know why: maybe they see an African name on an British passport and they get confused.”
Alongside Nana, there was one sole other detainee: a guy from Yemen.
Nana and his cellmate bonded. The former spoke about his next business idea, a “launch studio” to turn entrepreneurs’ ideas into Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). Later, the Yemeni made a few calls and spoke to an investment banker friend who was coincidentally visiting Egypt. The banker was all too familiar with Northern African bureaucracy and had a few “connections”. In no time, the two men are released.
“We shook hands, said ‘bye’, and that was it…”
This was November 2016.
Then three months later, Nana received a call in London from the anonymous banker who bailed him out. Apparently, he had heard about Nana’s launch studio.
He asked, “Do you have a team?
Nana embellished a little and said, “yes”.
The banker then asked, “Can we meet on Monday to discuss turning my idea into a business model?”.
Nana told the truth this time, but also said, “yes”.
After the weekend, at the Hotel Eccleston in London’s plush Pimlico district, Nana’s new core team of six were meeting each other for the first time, in front of their first client.
Metier Digital was born. Ahead of schedule.