BusinessDay

Meet Sokunbi, an entrepreneur helping to secure admissions, scholarships abroad

Oludayo Sokunbi is the founder and chief executive officer at JapaConsults, an academic consulting firm registered in Nigeria and Canada. His company helps people to secure undergraduate and postgraduate admissions and scholarships abroad.

“When clients come to us, we try to know about their profile. Like their undergraduate degrees, courses, work, research, and voluntary experience.

“Based on their profile, we will now advise them on the suitable schools that they can apply to, to get either scholarships or admissions. This is why we advise clients to first book consultations to understand their background, “he said.

Sokunbi who has a first-class degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria, and a master’s degree from Saudi Arabia, started his business in 2021 and has so far employed over 21 staff in his company.

“Being a staff at Japaconsults means your personal growth should be taken as a priority. If you are helping people migrate abroad, you must also migrate too’’, he said.

“This is why I have to personally train anyone I employ so that they can understand how admission/scholarship works and also apply it to themselves’’, Sokunbi explains.

“Four of our staff have gotten fully-funded scholarships to the USA since we started the company and many others are moving soon. I want people to use JapaConsults as a stepping stone to their dreams. I can always get other people to work and get trained. This is what I love doing effortlessly’’, Sokunbi says.

“After I finished my masters in Saudi Arabia, I thought about giving back to the world by sharing my scholarship, admission, and relocation experience, which I already started in many WhatsApp groups since 2018. I moved to Twitter late 2019 and became fully active in 2020,” he said.

According to the Ogun state indigene, after the ENDSARS movement in October 2020, he became more determined to share as much information as possible. That was when he realized that many people had what it takes to get Admission/scholarship, but didn’t have enough knowledge.

“My consistency and unique way of explaining scholarships, admission, and migration drew much attention on Twitter. The way I will speak to you on phone is the same way I will write on Twitter.

“This popularity became massive when I decided to show proof that people use my information to get admissions and scholarships abroad by doing it themselves, “he explained.

So far, his business has recorded exponential growth as it has recorded more than 140 admissions/scholarships/international job relocations this year alone. “About 80 percent of these people did it themselves using the available information shared on Twitter, while others used our paid services. Either you decide to pay for our service or not, just get a scholarship/admission/job and fulfill your dreams. That is what matters to me”

One of the major challenges that Sokunbi’s business faces is that his clients feel that once they pay for his services it automatically means that they have secured scholarships and admissions.

“But, unfortunately, scholarships don’t work that way. We can only apply for admissions/scholarships using our expertise. We do not influence who gets the scholarship or not. This is why we make our paid services very open.

“Once you pay for our services and sign the agreement, we will open a private Whatsapp group where you will see all that we are doing. That way, you will be able to understand how to even do it yourself and do your research,” he emphasised.

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To curb this challenge, Sokunbi ensures that his clients are carried along throughout the process, from getting to schools, to writing application essays to submissions.

“Infact, they have access to the login details. We have also introduced terms and conditions that must be signed before work begins.”

Transparency is JapaConsults watchword and it stands his business out from similar ones in his field. He is transparent to his clients from the beginning to the end of his service to them. “This transparency has given us a lot of recognition in the social media space. Many people even book consultations and could not continue with our service.”

To set up his kind of business, the immigration consultant and expert recommends problem solving and communication as the most important skills to have.

“If you cannot solve problems and communicate in the simplest form, you can’t do my kind of business’’, says Sokunbi.

“You also need to be compassionate and have the patience to understand the needs of your clients. I sacrifice a lot of my time and energy that I would have used for other things, to talk to people. Trying to understand their plights, getting their admissions and undergraduate transcripts,” he said.

Read also: Nigerian firms adjust employment criteria as ‘japa’ surges

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy is currently experiencing a huge brain drain as a lot of young, bright and vibrant talents are migrating to other countries for greener pastures.

“Everyone especially those between the ages of 21-35 years, wants to have a country where they can get the basic amenities for them to think about what they can do in life. Sadly, there is no hope for these kinds of opportunities in Nigeria,” he explained.

Some of the countries listed by Sokunbi that Nigerians are applying and migrating to are Canada, America, United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, and New Zealand.

He said, “It is easier to get job opportunities in these countries, and also most of them offer permanent residency for people who finished their studies there either with bachelors or master’s degree, or even PhD.”

On the expansion of his business, Sokunbi who is presently doing his Doctor of Philosophy at Concordia University, Canada plans to make it known worldwide and to be the first agency for admission/job placements with different physical branches in different countries.

“We also want to help as many people get international job opportunities with various operational sites worldwide. I am doing a lot of research to make this come to reality by God’s Grace,” he added.

Sokunbi advises other entrepreneurs in his field to first identify a problem that connects with their God-given abilities and learn and read from other people who have been doing it before.

“This will give them an idea of the trends. They can now think of how to be unique with their methods. Also, most importantly, they should learn how to commercialize their skills’’.

“They should have mentors online and offline so that they can constantly evolve and improve. Remember that until people find your service unique, you are not important,” he concluded.

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