Oluwatosin Olatujoye, founder/Group CEO of Zylus Group, in this interview spoke on the various researches he carried out to learn about the industry; how he came up with solutions to solving Nigeria’s housing deficit that led to founding Zylus Homes and Property Ltd. He also disclosed that the firm was primed to maximise the African emerging markets. Excerpts by SALAU SEYI JOHN:
It’s been five years since you started this entrepreneurial journey; how would you describe the firm’s trajectory in the real estate sector?
It was not accidental that under five years Zylus has grown in size, revenue, and portfolios. So many factors helped us so far up till now; however, the firm’s quest for research and growth remains critical to our successes recorded so far. For us a strong emphasis on market research and analysis to identify emerging trends and opportunities and continuous investment in innovation and technological advancements to stay ahead of the competition is very important to our business.
Everybody in the group understands a focus on diversification by expanding into new markets and sectors with growth potential and that we cannot do without strategic partnerships and collaborations to leverage expertise and resources.
You see in the business we operate in you must be proactive in adapting to changing customer needs and preferences, while having an agile and responsive approach to capitalize on market dynamics.
Another factor that has helped us is that we understand the need for commitment to continuous learning and improvement through employee training and development. The company aims to become one of Africa’s most prominent conglomerates with a mandate to control over 30 independently-financed subsidiaries in five countries worldwide within its first ten years of operation.
Zylus strategic framework consciously penetrates new markets daily and prides itself on enhancing the tradition of extraordinary services.
The company’s constant growth since its creation has proven that her expertise, market skills, and hard work keep satisfying her clients.
What would you attribute to the rapid success stories of Zylus Homes as real estate firm?
What people must understand is that the rapid success of Zylus Homes can be attributed to several key factors, such as: strong leadership and a clear vision for the company’s growth and development, a talented and dedicated team that brings expertise and professionalism to every aspect of the business and a focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences and building long-term relationships.
Also, we believe in effective branding and marketing strategies to create a strong market presence and we leverage the ability to identify and seize opportunities in the market. We equally thrive on the ability to adapt to changing market conditions and capitalize on emerging trends and a commitment to operational efficiency and excellence in project execution.
What is responsible for this geometric growth within a space of five years?
The geometric growth in a few years in a privately owned and internationally recognized business capital organization like Zylus is hard work for us and our dedication to build a company that is reputable despite all the hurdles on the way.
As a group we understand very clearly that sound strategic planning and execution of growth-oriented initiatives and a strong understanding of market dynamics helps to identify lucrative investment opportunities. With this at the back of our mind, we know that no business can survive without effective risk management strategies to mitigate potential challenges that can threaten the sustainability and derail the firm.
So, in order to mitigate our risk we have been able to develop strong relationships with industry partners and stakeholders, continuous innovation and the ability to stay ahead of the curve and have strong efficient and agile decision-making processes. One thing that is clear for us is that we know how to attract and retain top talents because we know that establishment of a strong corporate culture fosters collaboration, excellence, and a drive for success.
What in your words do you think set the business apart?
The strict code of ethics that governs and guides the company’s operations is indeed part of Zylus Homes and Property business model. This commitment to ethics sets the pace for the company’s operations, including its commitment to excellence and professionalism.
Adhering to a strong code of ethics helps maintain trust with stakeholders, promotes transparency and accountability, and ensures that the company operates with integrity in all aspects of its business.
It is a key foundation for building long-term relationships and maintaining a strong reputation in the industry. Founded in 2018 on a unique model that involves constant development and evolution, Zylus homes and property, a subsidiary of Zylus Group International has defiled all odds, disrupted the norm, and set a standard in the Real Estate industry in Nigeria and across Africa.
Zylus Homes was one of the Real Estate companies to receive the Real Estate Excellence Award in 2020, and the Excellence Award as a 21st-century Real Estate Company in 2020. Also, Zylus Home was named as the best Real Estate Company of the year, in Nigeria Merit Award 2021.
What influenced your decision to quit AIICO in 2007 to establish Zylus in this entrepreneurship journey?
People don’t understand. I have two decades of Sales and Marketing, Negotiation, Public Speaking, Management, Human Resource; Project Management and Development, sales and marketing experience.
I started my career as sales representative at American International Insurance Company (AIICO) in 2007 where I began my journey and rose up the ladder to become a branch manager with over 13 years of experience. Over the years, I acquired skills that have been instrumental to the growth of my career and being an astute entrepreneur, I carried out various researches to learn about the real estate industry and came up with solutions to solving the housing deficit problems in Nigeria which led to Zylus Homes and Property ltd.
As an alumnus of the school of estate, this affords me the opportunity to learn the fundamental and comprehensive aspects of real estate. Having earned a certificate in entrepreneurship from the Metropolitan School of Business and Management, UK. And a fellow Institute of Credit Administration. All this prepared me for the task ahead because I was always attending and participating in numerous local, international seminars and summits in my quest for greatness.
You see, all this helped me to take the quantum lip when it was time for me to move even though I know it was not easy.
Why does Zylus priorities CSR as investment?
As a humanitarian, I have keen interest in giving back to society. So, raising help for the needy and youth capacity development is something I cannot do without. Under my leadership, Zylus Homes, through zylus Group carried out several Community Social Responsibility initiatives during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through my foundation-Oluwatosin Olatujoye Foundation, we have contributed to feeding over 1000 less privileged people in Abeokuta, Lagos and Oyo respectively.
Nigerian companies are strategically and consciously penetrating new markets; why are we witnessing this now?
The strategic and conscious penetration of new markets by Nigerian companies can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, it can be attributed to economic opportunities because Nigerian companies now recognize the potential for growth and expansion in international markets.
By venturing into new markets, they can tap into new customer bases, diversify revenue streams, and mitigate risks associated with operating in a single market.
Secondly, with globalization and connectivity, advancements in technology and improved connectivity, the world has become more interconnected. Nigerian companies are leveraging these opportunities to expand their reach beyond national borders.
The ease of communication, logistics, and access to international markets have facilitated their entry into new territories. Thirdly, Nigerian companies often possess unique strengths or capabilities that give them a competitive advantage in foreign markets.
This could be in the form of specialized skills, innovative products or services, or cost advantages. By leveraging these strengths, they can carve out a niche and establish a foothold in new markets. Most importantly businesses and entrepreneurs understand that when it comes to diversification and risk mitigation, expanding into new markets allows Nigerian companies to diversify their operations and reduce dependence on a single market.
This helps them mitigate risks associated with economic fluctuations, regulatory changes, or political instability in their home market. Overall, the strategic and conscious penetration of new markets by Nigerian companies reflects their ambition, adaptability, and desire to tap into global opportunities for growth and success.
So, Nigerian companies seeking growth opportunities may attract foreign investments or secure financing from international sources. This capital infusion enables them to expand into new markets, invest in infrastructure, and scale their operations more rapidly.
How is Zylus positioned across Africa as a real estate firm?
Zylus homes is positioning itself as a standard in the Real Estate industry in Nigeria and across Africa for several reasons because we understand commitment to Quality. Everybody at Zylus places a strong emphasis on delivering high-quality real estate properties that meet and exceed industry standards, especially in from design and construction to materials and finishes, we prioritize excellence and ensure that our properties are built to last.
However, because we have a Pan-African expansion mindset, Zylus’s vision extends beyond Nigeria to the broader African market so this give us the opportunity to deliberately position the firm as a standard in the real estate industry across Africa, while aiming to capitalize on the continent’s growth potential and establish themselves as a leading player in multiple markets. By combining these factors, Zylus strives to set a benchmark for excellence, professionalism, and innovation in the real estate industry, positioning themselves as a trusted and preferred choice for customers in Nigeria and beyond.
Going forward, what it does is that we have the requisite industry expertise and a team of experienced professionals with deep knowledge of the real estate industry. I can boldly say that from architects, engineers to project managers and sales professionals, we have the expertise to deliver on their promises and ensure the highest standards of quality. So, therefore, of course you cannot be aiming at emerging markets without good ethical business practices.
One thing I can tell you is that Zylus upholds strong ethical values and operates with integrity. Equally, we understand and strive to provide exceptional customer service, transparent processes, and personalised experiences and this we do so by putting the customer first to build long-term relationships and create customer loyalty. Zylus embraces innovation and leverages technology to enhance their operations and offerings. We adhere to legal and regulatory requirements, prioritize transparency in their dealings, and maintain a strong code of conduct.
This commitment to ethics and professionalism sets them apart and contributes to their reputation as a trusted real estate company.
As recipients of different awards in the industry, notably the best Real Estate Company of the year by Nigeria Merit Award 2021; what is the next thing for the group?
As the recipient of the Best Real Estate Company of the Year award by Nigeria Merit Award 2021, Zylus has achieved a significant milestone and gained recognition for its outstanding contributions to the industry. Winning such an accolade is a testament to the company’s commitment to excellence and its position as a leader in the real estate sector.
Following this achievement, the next step for Zylus is to build upon its success and continue to raise the bar in the industry. Some possible initiatives and goals for the group could include: focusing on expanding its presence in existing markets and exploring new markets within Nigeria and across Africa.
This could involve identifying strategic locations, acquiring new land parcels, and developing innovative projects that cater to the evolving needs of customers. We will be seriously looking at how to invest in research and development to leverage emerging technologies and trends within the real estate sector.
This could include adopting smart home solutions, sustainable building practices, and utilizing advanced project management tools to enhance efficiency and deliver exceptional value to customers. We are also taking our sustainability and corporate social responsibility very seriously as we plan to further integrate sustainability practices into our operations and promote environmental responsibility.
This could involve incorporating green building standards, investing in renewable energy sources, and implementing initiatives that positively impact the communities in which it operates.