Early years till date
I am grateful to God for my early years. It greatly helped in shaping my value system and my life’s guiding principles. I was brought up by a father who was a soldier turned clergyman and a mother who is a teacher. Your guess is as good as mine. During those days, we didn’t understand the value of the strict upbringing, but today I’m thankful for my parents and the way they brought me and my siblings up. Asides discipline, my parents placed premium value on reading and formal education. They spared no cost in ensuring we had the best education, the reading culture imbibed at an early age is still very much a part of my life today, I read practically any and everything cutting across different sectors and divides, from history to politics, motivation to biographies.
It is always exciting for me explaining what SwiftThink is; SwiftThink was established in 2009 and the dream was borne out of the need to create an institution where ideas can be given life! We live for ideas and that is why we call ourselves an Idea Development and Management Company. Our competency cuts across branding, ideation, media, project management and experiential marketing. The journey so far has been quite eventful. We have had our fair share of the highs and the lows, dissenting voices or those who just out rightly feel you are being stupid when you try to explain where you are going. Through all of these, we kept faith and continued to do all we believed while expanding our knowledge base and expertise. We are grateful for where we are today, and we are very excited about the future of our business in Nigeria.
Ewuro project is collaboration between Republic of Xtreme headed by one of Nigeria’s finest Gospel Acts, Tim Godfrey and SwiftThink LTD. It was a concept developed to highlight the challenges that women go through in their everyday lives. Women face discrimination and violence from both men and women alike and we chose to lend a voice to the campaign to end this discrimination and violence using the ARTS i.e. Music, dance and drama. Our first production was in 2015 at the Muson Centre. This year, we will be hosting the Ewuro Musical in November and it promises to be even bigger and better than its first showing in 2015. Watch out for this one as we are indeed super excited about Ewuro and its acceptance.
Project management to us is beyond just documentations, we see it as a way of life. Even our everyday living requires adequate planning, and monitoring to attain efficiency. We support projects we are involved in by providing our expertise in the various areas of management towards ensuring that the client is satisfied and the three key areas that form the triangle of projects which are Cost, Quality and Time are all spot on. With this we mean that we ensure that projects are delivered within budget, with the best quality possible and at the right time. We are adventurous, however we are also very cautious with projects, from inception of SwiftThink till date, we have handled projects in healthcare, FMCGs, entertainment, festivals, exhibitions, conferences, investitures, campaigns (Political and Charity).
CADD centre is the world’s largest provider of computer aided designs and project management training. It currently has presence in 4 continents with over 300 Centres globally. We are pleased to be the master franchise owner for the CADD Centre brand in Nigeria and 8 other West African Countries. Since inception in 2012, we have been able to provide trainings to both established and aspiring engineers in the civil, mechanical, electrical, petroleum, structural fields and our records show that we have trained well over 1,000 students within this time frame. We are also delighted that many companies in Nigeria, both local and multinationals are beginning to invest heavily in capacity development of our indigenous engineers to position them for specialised tasks by partnering with CADD Centre Nigeria to deliver world class training to them.
Being a father, a leader and an entrepreneur takes a lot of hard work and commitment. No matter how much you desire to succeed, the home front must always be adequately looked after. I endeavour to spend quality time with my three sons whenever I am in town, and to ensure that happens, despite my schedule. Professionally, the challenge is always not financial resources, but having the right kind of people around you to work. As the old saying goes “You can tell how far a person will go by the quality of company they keep”. We cannot achieve so much as islands; as such we need the right team with the right attitude to work, the sufficient amount of self-motivation and a thirst for nothing short of excellence.
Plans for 2016
2016 for us is a year of consolidation; We want to focus on giving strong footing to our in-house built initiatives and also expand capacity to take on even bigger and more challenging projects by exploring collaborative efforts with some Nigerian and International organisations with competencies in other areas we require to succeed.
Advice to unemployed youths
I’ve been privileged to have spoken a couple times at conferences and seminars where young people are gathered and one major point I do not hesitate to emphasise on is that young people need to build themselves; you need to invest in knowing and understanding the field you are in. It has become a very highly competitive market. Because of the lull in the international space, our fellow compatriots who schooled in North America, Europe and even Asia are finding their way back home to compete for the same jobs, which means the metrics and the dynamics are changing. What you knew 2 years back that would have placed you amongst the top contenders is absolutely insufficient today. So my advice to young people looking for jobs is that, as you go out job hunting, also invest in improving yourself. Do not let opportunity catch you unprepared or ill prepared, sometimes those opportunities never come back.
Not to be forgotten
Sometime in 2008, I had the opportunity to work with the Africa Promotion Centre in Brussels, Belgium. It was a very exciting experience working with people from diverse nationality, culture and background.
The one day in my life I will never forget will be when I had my first child. I remember very well I was in Abuja having a couple of business meetings when a call came through that my wife had been delivered of our first son. Funny enough we had all sort of tests done which showed that we were expecting a girl child and I was super excited because I had always wanted a girl child as my first. We had made preparations and bought all sort of girl themed items. Alas! It was a boy! I argued and said it was impossible, I caught a flight to Lagos that day and saw my Son, I immediately fell in love with him.
I’ll like to thank God for where he has brought us from and also appreciate every single person that has believed in me even when I didn’t look like it. This is a big hearty toast to even more years of endless possibilities. I will also say to everyone out there reading this piece, no matter how high you think you have climbed now, there is only a little chunk of cloud hiding the pinnacle of the next mountain. You can reach for its zenith, so push beyond the clouds; don’t settle for where you are, there is room for more!