Residency friendship among Ghanaians in the US turns into biz partnership

It’s not every day that you find your future business partner while working to complete a doctoral degree. But that’s exactly what happened for Grand Canyon University (GCU) doctoral learners Eugene Frimpong and Kevin Abankwa.

They met while in the midst of their doctoral program in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Data Analytics. They chatted virtually before finally meeting in person at one of their residencies at the College of Doctoral Studies. After the work Frimpong completed earlier this year in his home country of Ghana, discussing the importance of big data with students from his alma mater, a plan was set in motion to get even more involved in the field of data analytics.

After returning from Ghana, Frimpong met with Abankwa and another colleague, Carlos Ofosu, and formed the data analytics company The Analytics Professionals (TAP), which is registered in Texas and Ghana. Frimpong started the company under a different name, but after the additions of Abankwa and Ofosu, the company took on a new name.

It is basically business consulting, but our emphasis is in data analytics,” Abankwa said. “Most of our clients are going to be businesses that are trying to figure out and make sense of their data.”

L2R: Eugene Frimpong, Kevin Abankwa, and Carlos Ofosu

What we realized is that a lot of people collect a lot of data and they don’t necessarily know what to do with it. Some collect it just because they want to keep it there to have some information for the future, but then they don’t realize that there’s actually some value that you can gain from those to enable you to make strategic business decisions.

In addition to Frimpong and Abankwa being enrolled in the same doctoral program at GCU, both men grew up in Ghana. Frimpong immigrated to the US from Ghana and now lives in Texas, while Abankwa has made a home for himself in North Carolina.

Our focus of being in Ghana is pretty much because it’s not a mature market yet and it’s something that’s really new to them,” Abankwa said. “So, with our training at GCU, our education and our background, we are harnessing our experiences here in the States and doing business here while, at the same time, doing business in Ghana.”

Naturally, the pair has a lot in common, which made their fist face-to-face meeting during a residency last month that much more special.

It was a very unique experience,” Abankwa said about finally getting to meet Frimpong in person after months of email correspondence. 

Because of the pandemic, the pair wasn’t able to meet at a usual residency on campus, but instead met at a hotel in the area. Faculty from the College of Doctoral Studies would meet with residency learners at a Hilton Resort for their residency to assist them with anything they needed in regard to their program.

We started the program on the same day. We are like taking the same classes at the same time,” Frimpong said. “It was so easy for us to come to an agreement that we were going to be in business together.”

It’s challenging enough to get a business off the ground under normal circumstances, but the fact that TAP was created during the COVID era makes it even more impressive. Luckily, the pandemic had little effect on the company’s start up and has allowed it to continue to build clientele.

So, what makes TAP stand out from other data analytics companies? 

Frimpong says it’s the diversity of each of the founder’s areas of expertise.

“I have about 15 years of experience in financial services, mostly in the life insurance industry. Carlos is coming from the oil and gas sector, and Kevin is coming from the engineering sector. If you put our experiences together, I think it’s a very rich reservoir,” said Frimpong, who is looking for what’s next in his and his colleagues’ journey: expanding the company globally.

Source: Ashlee Larrison/GCU News Bureau

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