Fast Cars, Private Trips, Expensive Art and a Whole lot of Money. This is the life of an entrepreneur. Or is it really?
Being an Entrepreneur or business owner has become a trend everyone wants to associate with. From selling luxury hair to skin lightening cream to creating technological services (Apps), people are going into business. But what is the real cost of setting up and running a business? Is it all glitz and glamour as we see on social media (Instagram, we’ve got you)? Or is it much more than that?
These questions have been troubling me for quite a while, but I am grateful that Lanre Oyedotun exposed us to the real working of an entrepreneur by sharing his entrepreneurial journey to all of us.
Lanre Oyedotun is the Co-Founder and CEO of Delivery Science Inc. (Field Insight). Delivery Science is a techno-logistics firm that provides businesses with a mobile driven solution to manage and monitor their distribution assets (people, products, customers) and logistics smarter. In simple English, Delivery Science helps you know, plan and monitor your product delivery process.
With that said, the session started at a bit past 5:30pm with a brief introduction of the speaker by Mr. Tony Idugboe who is Itanna’s Vice President and Head of Investment adviser and a good friend of Lanre. After Tony’s introduction, Lanre already seating on the hot seat (it’s just a sofa) led us through his personal life and how his entrepreneurial journey started from founding “topupgenie.com” – a revolutionary multi-channel platform for vending airtime – to cofounding Delivery Science Inc. He gave us a glimpse into how his first start up couldn’t stand the test of time and the lessons he learnt from it which was “Failure isn’t really a bad thing, what matters is how you can transform that failure into something productive or an opportunity to learn”
Going from that first entrepreneurial stint, Lanre told us he tried his hands at other things which would help him survive in Nigeria because “Man must chop”, so he went into a mini-logistics business where he had drivers deliver goods for other people. This side business was plagued with so many problems from late delivery times to the drivers not showing up and so on. The problems faced with monitoring his drivers and the goods led him coming up with the idea of Delivery Science which will be a solution to manage and monitor the delivery process of a product.
From Lanre’s entrepreneurial journey, here are some lessons I took home:
• The main asset of every organization is its people; that’s why you must thoroughly train your Human Resource team. Lanre told us about the recruitment and development process of their employees and how Delivery Science employees have left to notable startups like Paystack, etc. to become forces of change. What I believe he meant by training your HR team is that ideas are created by people and if people are treated well, they’ll put in their energy to make a company better whilst making themselves better.
• To sell well in any environment you must research and understand your stakeholders. Lanre explained that coming up with a solution, product or service shouldn’t only be about you but your stakeholders. Stakeholders have a part to play in every business that’s why every business should research on how whatever idea they are considering affects its stakeholders and try to make it stakeholder friendly.
• Although this learning point was mentioned earlier, Lanre’s session highlighted the importance of not giving up. His first failed entrepreneurial venture didn’t let him give up. He picked himself up and took some learning points from his past venture to help him scale his present startup
• Lastly but not the least, Lanre’s session has taught me on how to be on the lookout for opportunities. There are so many challenges we face in Nigeria and rather than complain about the challenges they cause, why don’t we look for ways to solve them.
This Guest Speaker session with Lanre Oyedotun I will have to say was one which was inspiring. It showed or gave me, and I believe other guests a first glimpse of knowing that being an entrepreneur isn’t all that easy. I also have to say I was impressed by Lanre honesty in sharing his entrepreneurial journey and giving the cohort members answers to their questions from the best of his knowledge. Before I forget, I would also commend Mr. Ore Omolaja who is the VP Distribution at Delivery Science Inc. He helped in providing answers to questions asked by some cohort members.
To conclude from all that was said at the session being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It’s more than just having an idea but about perseverance, teamwork and a bit of luck. Being an entrepreneur is tasking but if you stick to the end you can share your story while also being able to take Instagram worthy pictures of your achievement.
Looking forward to the next session.