• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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To be financially successful you need multiple sources of income – Okafor

To be financially successful you need multiple source of income – Okafor

Oluwaseyi Margaret Okafor, founder of Sky With Us Group, a travel company, has carved a niche for herself in the travelling and other sectors in Nigeria and beyond. In this interview with Ngozi Okpalakunne, Okafor who is also a co-founder and director of AirMac Recycling Planet talked spoke on what it takes to manage multiple businesses in Nigeria. Okafor, a member of Commonwealth Businesswomen Network Nigeria, stressed the need for establishments to practise gender inclusiveness. Excerpts:

You are into travelling, recycling, paints and construction businesses. How do you juggle these businesses, your managerial capacity and what are those features that determine your success stories?

I use the People, Process and Technology (PPT) model. Over the years, I had to learn and find strategic solutions to manage multiple businesses. Being in Nigeria and having a source of income is a bit difficult to be financially successful.

Like I earlier mentioned, I am a co-founder of AirMac Recycling Planet, my husband and I own this business with equal shares, percentage equity but, he runs most of the tactical and operational systems of the company.

We had to build a structure and culture to enable great managerial capacity and most of my businesses run on auto pilot. I also employ a good hand to enable this end.

How did you surmount the challenges of coping with the male counterparts especially when it comes to decision-making?

No male or female position tops mine in the company so, I am not very sure there is much challenge here. I listen to good productive advice for the growth of the company from the board members. I even seek professional guidance if need be. Still, the final call is on me. So we are good.

Travel and logistics is time consuming and energy sapping, what are the deliberate efforts you are putting in place for young people to be passionate about the field?

At Sky With Us Group, we ensure to impact values to our employees’ lives. We ensure they get rewarded for excellent services, salary increases and bonuses where necessary. Training and structure for improvement, they achieve growth and knowledge working with our organisation.

What is your organisation’s five-point agenda and would you say the agenda favour all women at all levels?

We envision the following with most already in practice- premium customer service. We are working to ensure we give our best in this sector as it is key and a very important part of our business.

Secondly, on our success stories, we have gained experience in our past years, 98 percent success stories on our visa application is our aim. We have set up teams of visa processing agents to be thorough with our application to ensure our customers get visa approval.

On affordable flights, this is an ongoing project to ensure we have the best possible offer of flight fares in Africa. Clients complaint and resolution; customers will always reschedule, miss or have reasons to cancel their trips or whatever complaint. This unit is waxing stronger to handle all these. Immigration investment; we are building more international partnerships to help customers obtain residency and citizenship. This agenda definitely has a great impact on women at all levels.

Read also: How sustained improvement on visa openness impacts intra-African travels, exchanges

How is your organisation wired especially when it comes to ensuring effective operation and delivery of purpose?

Our organisation is wired with three major operational systems including Structure, Culture and Technology, PPT. We deliver our purpose by diversity, equality, inclusiveness and adding belongingness. Our organisation is committed to empowering its society through offering employment opportunities to people from all walks of life. We also offer contributions and charity outreach to those in need, especially workers in our recycling company and its environment.

How deliberate are you in the area of gender inclusiveness?

I am conscious and deliberate on female inclusiveness in my establishments. The just- concluded International Women’s Day, (IWD) celebration on March 8, made me realise the alarming number of females we have in our organisation especially in the travel company. Our system is women- friendly, I understand what it means to be a career woman and also a mother and so, women thrive and enjoy working in our organisation.

We are mindful of the rules and boundaries of our organisation and the job must be done as women who are competent and committed to the overall goals of the organisation.

As a business analyst, entrepreneur and a travel consultant, what are your experiences like?

It has been almost two decades of being an entrepreneur. I started the business in my university days, it was not easy, and it was a roller coaster experience back then, moving from one business to the other just trying to find where I really belonged.

Today, I am a certified travel consultant and I recently became a business analyst. The professional, intelligence and knowledge I needed to move my career to the next level in the last five years, has been amazing and the growth period for me and my companies