• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

How strong value proposition grew Ade Mabo’s Beats by Dara

20240329_095407_0000

From closing multi-million naira business deals to finding love, and learning, technology is simply at the heart of humans’ daily lives.

With technological advancements over the years bringing everything to anyone anywhere, the world has become a global village heralding innovations daily.

Owing to this, Ade Mabo, chief executive officer of Beats by Dara – an online learning management platform that teaches children artificial intelligence (AI), coding, and how to play the piano, is on a mission to deepen learning in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

The Nigerian and Canada-based entrepreneur was inspired to establish his plethora of businesses owing to his desire to solve societal problems and actively earn income from it.

He was also inspired by Daramola Olaniyi, his co-founder who already had an online piano school to establish Beats by Dara in 2022.

“Six months after I met with Daramola, we grew our user base. Dara taught the classes and I did the marketing and sales to grow our user base,” he says.

“At the end of the six months, we formed the company and nine months later we expanded our operations into coding with Dara’s suggestion and then AI,” he adds.

Mabo says his initial start-up capital was N50,000 and a piano. “We started with absolutely no significant capital. All I did was buy a piano for about N50,000, some data for internet access for the instructor, an electric lamp, and a phone which he already had,” he says.

Since its establishment, Beats by Dara has emerged as one of the leading platforms for AI and coding leading. “Now we have users across the UK, UAE, Canada, USA and several more,” he notes.

“Recently, after we became very profitable, we started to invest our profits to build a technology to support the system and build infrastructure that can sustain it,” he explains.

The entrepreneur currently has 25 full and part-time employees.

He states that his business plans to build a Beats by Dara working centre with 24-hour electricity, fast internet service, and sleeping pads and rooms to enable instructors to work voluntarily and relax as they serve students globally in the short run. A plan he notes is already 80 percent completed.

Also, the business has employed the services of a top marketing brand to lead its digital marketing and an agency for its indirect branding.

On what the business is doing differently to scale, he says Beats by Dara is growing a niche business that provides online learning for AI, coding and piano for children combined.

“We are also not a sole Nigerian company. Our instructor base is Nigerian, and our working team is Nigerian, branding, marketing, and more. But our clientele is global. We do not have a single client or user who lives in Nigeria,” he notes.

Speaking on the challenges confronting the business, he says poor internet connectivity and power supply remain a big problem in the industry.

He adds that time difference and integrity of employees is also another major challenge.

“The biggest challenge we have is teaching piano using Zoom or iPhone devices. The integrity of the sound of the piano is lost. So, we had to improvise using WhatsApp video as a tool.”

In his take on the Nigerian learning landscape, he says that the pandemic opened new learning methods in Nigeria and that the market for online learning is massive.

He notes that technology is not all about coding or AI, saying it forms the basis for kids to learn tech.

“Don’t forget that the pioneers of what we call technology today, (people like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs), even though there were rarely any computers or technology in their childhood days, still started learning about tech very early,” he states.

On his advice to other entrepreneurs, he says, “Get started. Don’t wait. Start small and grow. There is plenty of room for you to play.”