Looking for Quick Money is Counterproductive to Entrepreneurship - Olatunde Victor

In this Interview with NELOC News, Mr Olatunde Victor, CMO, Extramile Africa shares his story of entrepreneurship and his experience on the journey to building an excellent product for Africans.


Looking for Quick Money is Counterproductive to Entrepreneurship - Olatunde Victor, CMO Extramile Africa

NELOC News: Can we meet you? (Personal, Education, Career wise)
Guest
: I am Olatunde Victor Adeoluwa. I had my first, second degree and presently, PhD in Agricultural and Environmental Engineering. However, I have been an entrepreneur for more than twelve years. I'm naturally a bridge between being extrovert and introvert as I have characteristics that can swing into either of the two as circumstances require.


NELOC News: How has the entrepreneurship journey been for you so far?
Guest: Entrepreneurship journey for me a mix of excitement and challenges because the road for me, started as a survival path... I did many things to survive using skills, talents, learnings etc. Those times weren't funny and I mean not funny at all. Especially the days when I started and I had to sell bread and egg, indomie and egg till 12 midnight, yet as a 300level student. Combining such with academics at first was a bit hard, though eventually mastered the art of balancing it.

Other challenges were the need to have something constant flowing as the Businesses weren't yet stable and I had to go through those times roughly just to keep on my path. However, there also are awesome stories of Victories, of businesses built, Partnerships and relationships built, people met, people raised, grants won, global fellowships won, experiences you can't buy and so many more. So like I said,  it's a mix, however, I've never regretted being an entrepreneur, I'll always choose that path any other day.

NELOC News: What is Extramile Africa about? What do you do?
Guest:
Extramile Africa is simply a one stop point digital financing platform to meet anyone's Financial needs. Extramile Africa is a Financial companion and partner to anyone who has dreams and intends to make them flower. It's a platform where you can

  • Access financial credit for education, business, and other Financial needs. This includes student Entrepreneurs
  • Save your funds with no hidden charges, and in such a manner that it can yield for you rather than reduce
  • Lock up some of your funds for some target periods and earn some rewards on it over the lock up period
  • Make Discounted purchases, in several Industries on the M Commerce section, which makes you spend less to earn more and save more
  • Make transfers of funds from wallet to wallet
  • Participate in growth mentoring for your business . This helps us grow more businesses and create more jobs.

An interesting part of our offering is, these all are even available in local and rural areas because what we are doing is to drive Financial Inclusion among those who are unreached, underserved or excluded from easy financial benefits.
 

NELOC News: How accommodating is Extramile Africa for users outside the student environment?
Guest:
We have one of the most robust Financial services among the consumers beyond school environment. So far, we have over 50,000 users who are not students, rather are farmers, traders, and so on. Many of these, have accessed credits, saved and locked up funds as well.
Through our Merchants and Direct Sales Agents  which number over 200 on the field right now, we're literally the FinTech that prepared for those out of the academic circles and the continuous demand of our presence by people in regions we're not present, is a proof that we're doing something right.




NELOC News: As a fintech company, how have you tackled trust issues as regards online savings, and bank card security?

Guest: Trust is a major factor in any business and that is one area all Financial services, even the most established ones still get to deal with daily. It will be good to point that we don't use Chipped debit cards and as such our Extracard (which is only for rural or customers without smart phones) can only be obtained and presented in an area where we have a verified merchant, which could be Individual business owners or associations. So the safety of cards is at the maximum.

For the Digital wallets, we built Extramile Africa on a high security protocol platform, and have a highly proficient team of cybersecurity experts and programmers on the job to ensure everyone's fund safety. Relative to the people, our customers review as well as our model of community building bring people to trust us from circles of influences and that keeps increasing numbers of Subscribers daily.


NELOC News: On Youth Development and growth in Nigeria, do you think we are making progress- business, entrepreneurship and finance wise?
Guest:
This question is to be answered in two dimensions, Government and the people. On the part of the government, a few things are happening which will help SMEs Growth such as the new finance bill, ease of doing business operations, instructions by the CBN to Increase the loan to Deposit ratio of banks, some finance interventions and so on. While these are there, much more are needed and its good to say that on the part of the government, we're making progress. However, on the side of the youths, I'll say there is a huge gap. Many are literally looking for fast money, quick returns, Less work, all of which are counterproductive relative to Entrepreneurship.

Many who are serious, are not open to proper and Important information and as well not willing to take risks. For example when we brought the Studentpreneurs Financing and mentoring program for Student Entrepreneurs, we were expecting those with ongoing businesses  to show up immediately, but only a few came at first, until they started coming out in trickles. Now, any student who hopes to be an entrepreneur or push their  dreams  in the nearest future (of which the future is here), is missing out big time from uncommon opportunities. So, are we trying? Maybe yes. But considering the enormous unemployment out there, it's not enough at all.

NELOC News: Many factors influence money and financial decisions. How do you measure these factors?
Guest:
On a general level, reports and analysis show that 60% of Nigerians money go into food simply because of the high poverty level, remaining factors would also be hinged on survival. These factors in Individuals vary and as such can't be generalized, I'll however say that in Nigeria, survival (which is mostly positive) drives Financial decisions. We at Extramile Africa  are however working on teaching people on how to break out that rat race.

NELOC News: There is a regular mention of  Savings and Investments. Are there other alternatives to these two? Why is Savings and investments yielding much more acceptance than other basic financial concepts? 

Guest: Saving is simply the art of keeping your funds while investment is the art of putting the saved funds to use. The other alternative to these two is "Spending", "giving" and "lending" which most people are used to, and often time command no definite yield or growth if not rightly done. Savings has actually yielded more wider acceptance than Investment. It is so because savings is an age long tradition. We're born into the culture of savings, though not all homes have successfully passed it down. Meanwhile, I won't say Investments has been well accepted.


NELOC News: What should we expect from Extramile in the near future?
Guest
: Since the launch of Extramile Africa in December 2018, we have grown in great measure. Our users and the general public should expect a whole lot. We are working to be the Platform that everyone can depend on, to track their finance and make Intellegent Financial decisions, this will include artificial intelligence and so on.

 

NNI: What is Your Advice to Young Individuals?
Guest:
Young individuals need to understand diversification and stretching of their minds. We have too many mentally lazy but physically strong persons out there but that isn't what we need. This is an information age, a time of smart and intelligent work. It will be good for all young minds to engage in deep Personal Development. Finally, my mentor taught me that "if you're not in charge of your finances, you can't be in charge of your destiny". I know this is true especially when you have dreams and you have no finance to execute. However, everyone can be in charge of their destiny if they'll go the extra mile to attain Financial discipline, and all round Financial success. The future is clear with Extramile Africa and that's why I tell all young minds to jump on board now and be serious with life.






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