Ventures Africa writer David Adeleke gives his analysis on one…
International entrepreneur and conference speaker Onyi Anyado speaks to Nigeria-based multi-business owner Oluyinka Sorungbe to discover what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in Lagos
Onyi: Please introduce yourself…
My name is Oluyinka Sorungbe, I’m from Nigeria and I reside in Lagos. I am an enterprise developer, a compassionate leader and a people builder. I am presently involved with three business portfolios. I am the CEO of QChops BBQ Confectioneries Ltd, which is an innovative fast food company. I am also the co-founder of Sanwo.me, which is an offline payment solution. And I’m the lead business developer in a cross banking platform (still in development), which aims to take banking services to the rural population in Africa.
Onyi: With the term ‘Africa on the rise’ now part of everyday conversation, what does the term actually mean to you?
For many, the statement, ‘Africa on the rise’ finds its relevance because of the continual winning streak Africa is experiencing as it pertains to economic growth. But for me, the statement depicts the ideological evolution happening presently in Africa as a society.
The continent had, before now, been beclouded with a lot of ravaging issues like poor standard of living, high child mortality rates, political instability, gross corruption of its leaders, inadequate infrastructure, AIDS, malaria and so much more. I believe we as a people are beginning to refocus our attention more on the things that give us greater comparative advantage, and this is giving rise to real time prosperity and catching the attention of the watching world.
So for me, ‘Africa on the rise’ is a shift in ideology. An example is what happened in the recent election held here in Nigeria; we saw a multi-diverse society decide to make democracy work. The result is we can see signs of peace and prosperity for everyone – people, businesses and investors alike.
Onyi: A few years ago I penned the following definition of who an entrepreneur is; ‘An entrepreneur is a leader of excellence, trailblazer and pioneer who constantly brings change to their generation’. What does my quote mean to you and how do you think it relates to you as an entrepreneur?
In reality, all we see and celebrate in our world are individuals with great entrepreneurial prowess. From Fortune 500 companies, to the little shops on our streets, to the hawkers on the roads, these are all results of strong leadership displayed by the founding entrepreneurs of such entities. So I strongly agree with your quote because it is shaping how I approach the entities I am building here in Nigeria.
Onyi: What advice can you give to young budding African entrepreneurs, who want to become distinguished?
I began my adventure into entrepreneurship after reading some business books whilst in my second year at university. I discovered the environment here in Nigeria is quite different to what occurs in other places around the world. I have learnt over time that winning as an entrepreneur in Africa means standing your ground until you win. For me, winning means; striving to get yourself out into the market. Surviving the blows that will be shot at you by gliding through the terrain with wisdom and correct understanding of the local market, and above all, do all you can to ignore the negative expectations of onlookers by becoming successful in your business. I will also advise African entrepreneurs to think through their ideas and concepts before launching out.
Onyi: When I deliver talks, I always teach, coach and challenge my audience to write, work and win with a five year vision, minimum. In regards your vision, where do you see yourself in five years time?
My goal in life has always been to make great impact in my sphere of influence. I believe in five years time, my enterprises will be engaging about one million people. I hate seeing poverty in Africa and I am poised to stop its growth.
Onyi: Yes, there are many problems and challenges facing Africa as a continent but as a change agent, can you tell us about the possibilities and opportunities you see which are available in Africa?
First, I am assured Africa is blessed with great and innovative people. As a people, we thrive in diversity. Thus, for entrepreneurs willing to access the African marketplace, you can be assured of getting strong, hard-working, intelligent, innovative and loving people to work with. Also, Africa has a vast array of natural resources that are untapped, thus there are countless opportunities in converting those resources into finished products.
Onyi: Finally as an entrepreneur, what does Africa mean to you?
Africa is young, untapped and booming with abundant opportunities, so as an entrepreneur, I am determined to explore all the opportunities I can access. Above all, for me, Africa is home.
Follow Oluyinka Sorungbe on Twitter: @Pyinks
LinkedIn: Sorungbe Oluyinka
Onyi Anyado is a multiple award-winning international Global Thinker, Entrepreneur, Conference Speaker, Author and Life Coach. From his message of distinction, Onyi speaks on educational, business and corporate platforms around the world teaching, training and equipping people how to become distinguished in their chosen field.
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