Km 14, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, Nigeria

CRE8CAFE WITH OLUYOMI OJO

 

 

While going through Oluyomi’s profile, we couldn’t help but wonder how he came up with the title ‘director of magic’, and that’s not even the only unusual title they have at Printivo.

“At Printivo, we believe more in the act of doing things than carrying titles, hence, Chief Idea Officer. We use titles that will start conversations beyond titles like CEO, MD e.t.c. It’s a culture thing and it works for us. We place actions and inputs above titles and it helps us to focus and keep a flat team.”

“Titles sometimes could stand as barriers to innovation. We love what we do, we love what we called (or not called). I think it begins with passion and tenacity. Every other thing you can learn but passion is not taught in school.”

When you meet the brain behind Nigeria’s number one online print provider that delivers a do-it-yourself web-to-print solution, it’s an opportunity to learn how to break a market as diverse and complex as ours.

What’s the fundamental factor to starting a successful business in Nigeria?

To start a business in Nigeria, your must have passion for what you do. You have more factors against you than for you. To start, build and grow a business in a place like Nigeria, you need something not taught in schools – Passion it is. If you can add that to skills, know-how, people management and street spirit, I think you unstoppable.

That’s where you need things not taught in schools. Entrepreneurship is a journey and a destination. Don’t forget, you need an MBA earned of the streets of Nigeria.

One of the things I’ve learnt in my journey is that you can’t build a business in one day. It’s a long journey, and you must enjoy the journey. There will be ups and down and that’s where you need people that believe in you; mentors, co-founders, advisors. You can’t build a business alone and there are no ‘self-made’ entrepreneurs.

Which should a company spend more on – salaries or marketing?

It depends on the kind of company you are building and what stage the company is. (When) introducing a new product/service, you need huge marketing, (and) at this stage the team can sacrifice and earn less. As you scale, take home pay for everyone should start looking good, but marketing budget/result must still be up.

However, a balance must be created between these two. Teams must be happy, and marketing needs must also be met. There’s no specific formula for this as it varies from company to company. You need marketing to acquire customers and scale.

Many startups fail as a result of proper funding. How can an entrepreneur overcome that? 

Funding businesses in a place Nigeria is a bit difficult and this is why you have to build things that matter. You have to start a business with paying and happy customers, pending when you get external money. The good thing about starting small is that you learn as you grow, you learn on the job.

What’s the most memorable business lesson you’ve learnt this year? 

Greatest lesson this year: “NEVER WALK ALONE”

When building a business, find amazing people and build it with them. Build a business that’s not just about you. If you want it to last;

  1. Never build it alone.
  2. Never own it alone
  3. Never run it alone… Never Walk Alone!

You have to kill the ME! ME!! Syndrome. It takes people to build.

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