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Ore Okuboyejo: Serial entrepreneur, human resource consultant

Ore Okuboyejo is the founder and chief executive of The Legacy Custodian, a start-up that recruits, consults and trains employees for high-end restaurants.

He possesses interdisciplinary experiences, having worked in the hospitality, real estate, and human resource sectors. He is a venture builder and pioneer of several businesses across industries with a passion for addressing societal problems.

He is also a music producer and has produced for giants within the industry. He is a recipient of the Headies award for his hit single “BOTM” in 2014.

The economist-turned-entrepreneur was inspired to establish Legacy Custodian out of his personal experience of having to repeatedly hire wrong staff for his business.

“I started Legacy Custodian out of frustration and my personal experience with recruiting for my business,” he says.

“I own a hangout spot/lounge at Ikoyi and year in year out, I keep hiring incompetent staffs,” he explains. To change this for other businesses, Ore established Legacy Custodian in 2020 to recruit, train, and consult for them.

“I decided to launch the business plan that had been in my archives for over two years,” he notes.

“We want to provide youths in West Africa the necessary employment skills to lift themselves out of poverty, so they can impact their communities,” he states.

He tells Start-Up-Digest that the business which kick-started with zero capital leveraged existing networks to scale.

“My network initially helped us enhance the opportunity to inform colleagues about our services. In the space of 11 months, we have created over 100 job placements for young Nigerians in the hospitality and service industry,” he recounts.

Since starting operations last year, the business has grown steadily and had just marked its first anniversary on July 16, 2021.

“Word of mouth has helped us grow. We haven’t spent much on social media ads but we have somehow managed to recruit for the majority of the fine diners, fast-rising food chains, private homes, and real estate companies,” he says.

According to him, Legacy Custodian would create about 300 jobs for youths in the country before the end of 2021.

Currently, the business has five full-time employees and is looking to increase the number with ongoing plans to recruit local and foreign-trained expatriates as the business hopes to scale.

Speaking on how the business was able to scale amid the pandemic, he stresses that the business operated only online via the cloud and conducted all its training and recruitments virtual.

As an added value for its clients, the young entrepreneur says a series of background checks are carried out to streamline recruiting candidates.

Similarly, regular monitoring and evaluation are conducted to evaluate candidate performance while working closely with clients’ human resources department, he states.

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Ore notes that the business plans to launch a training degree-awarding program for the restaurant industry in the fourth quarter of the year.

Speaking on the major hurdles facing the business, he says lack of commitment for excellence among youths remains the major challenge limiting the business.

He notes that despite the lack of good-paying jobs, individuals with the right attitude, mentality, training, and help from a recruiter such as Legacy Custodian, can still easily secure employment.

Speaking on how his organisation is preparing job seekers in the hospitality industry for the 21st-century workplace, he says with the proposed training model the business will equip youths with the right skills for the future workplace.

In evaluating the country’s restaurant industry, he says it is growing but not as it ought to considering the huge potential in the sector.

“The industry is growing but it is far from where it ought to be. Although every diner has its ‘USP’, everyone should practice great customer service. Unfortunately, not all diners prioritize this,” he explains.

“Once we initiate the first stage of our training program to the final stage, we will see a more refined industry,” he notes.

Ore says his training and consultancy services are affordable for start-ups and SMEs.

“We are competitively priced. In past times, I have offered free consulting services, when the client sees the good; they pay for the next session,” he says.

“We are ready to compromise our rates for clients who share similar visions with us,” he adds.

On his advice to other entrepreneurs, he says “Don’t emotionally attach yourself to any business. If in your heart of hearts you feel it’s time to move on to something else then, by all means, do so.”

“You need to know what you were called to do here on earth, make sure you’re in the right sector. You also need to surround yourself with positive people. Most importantly ask God for direction, you can’t miss it with him,” he advises.

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