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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Interview with Mr Opeyemi Awoyemi, Co-Founder of Jobberman.





Can you give us a brief insight into who you are and what you love doing?

I am Opeyemi Awoyemi. My Nigerian friends call me Opeawo. I have no Jamaican friends. I am a technology entepreneur and I love creating scalable and commercially viable products (internet or physical).

How did you “find yourself”?
It was not a well thought out process, I must confess, but I’d always wanted to do something beyond just going to school. I tried out many things in the year I left secondary school - movie scriptwriting, music beat making, songwriting (I got a bit successful here - there’s a semipopular mainstream gospel song that has me as the writer), short story writing, then graphics and web designing (which is what led me to what I do today).

So I guess I was just the inquisitive guy who wanted to get skilled at stuff  + do something other than loaf around.

Explain Jobberman as an idea? How did you come about Jobberman?

Jobberman is a solution to the problem of job search. Its an internet business which provides the widest pool of talent available in Nigeria to employers. The whole idea came to me during my 3rd year in OAU (internship placement period). A friend suggested the name and I played around with it for a while. In 2009, it took flight with Deji Adewunmi and Lekan coming on board as co-founders.

Tell us something interesting about Jobberman?

The company is 3 years old. There are 3 co-founders. The 3 co-founders are all under 30 and single :)

What were the difficulties you faced combining with school, in terms of financies, classes etc?

It is not a hard thing as people portray it to be i.e. combining school and business. Its a matter of prioritizing. I dont watch football, movies nor have too many friends. I managed to come out of school (OAU) with businesses and a 2nd class upper.
Caveat: I am clearly above average in terms of raw intelligence. I guess that helped.

What are the risks involved with being an entrepreneur right in school?

You will be seen as unserious and unrealistic by friends, family and lecturers. As such you will need to lay low till you have results to show for all the time you spend on your business venture. You should not expect any support. You are travelling the road less travelled. I think societal pressure is the only issue.

So, why didn't you pick up a regular job?

(Laughs) I never tried. My older cousin who was a constant inspiration was already a millionaire at 23 and I knew that was going to be almost impossible if I picked up a regular job.

What is your ideology on the way life should be lived?

Keep it simple. Be realistic. Set your desired future lifestyle. Be clear on how to achieve it. Don’t settle for less. Ditch rigid 5 year plans. Be flexible. Trust God to make things happen. Help those who sincerely need help. Suffer fools. Do constant objective self-assesments. Enjoy life to stupor and don’t forget heaven.

What’s your take on Student Entrepreneurship?

Its the best training ground. I support it 1 million%. Even if you end up getting a job. It teaches you a lot - business  objectives, customer service, sales/marketing, communication etc. The lack of these skills is the reason why lots are jobless today. And by the way, why would I spend 5+x years in school and leave with just a BSc.?

What do you think our present day graduates lack and how would a young Nigerian be relevant in today’s world?

Knowledge, direction and skills are what we lack. We have degrees but are very ignorant of what it takes to succeed at any thing. A young graduate should always ask “What am I good at?

What is your take on the Nigerian Campus Enterprise Challenge and what do you hope to share when you come?

I think it’s a wonderful initiative to help train students to learn problem solving and solution creation. I will share with students on the “availability of problems” as well as answer any questions they would like to ask.

Okay, an interesting question. What are the things you do before breakfast?

Very easy. Everything. I can’t remember the last time I had breakfast. First meal is usually around 3pm..

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3 comments:

  1. very inspiring and interesting...

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  2. watch out for my work!!....nice one

    ReplyDelete