On Taking Risks And Going For Gold
Wole Faroun, Founder and MD of NetPlus Advisory is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University (0AU) Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He also holds an MBA from the prestigious Wharton School of Business. Wole left a rewarding career in the US to fulfill his true purpose in Nigeria. His story lends credence to the fact that anyone can achieve their dreams through determination, perseverance, and faith. Here is another believer in the African Dream.
Why did you leave a well-paying job in the US to venture into business in Nigeria?
After business school, it became obvious to me that the opportunities to create value in Africa were enormous and needed highly skilled and talented entrepreneurs to execute. With my tech background, it was not too difficult to come up with tech focused solutions to business issues that are inherent in the Nigerian market. CBN had just started the Cashless Policy Drive so I thought it was an opportunity for innovative product to support the drive and create value. Leaving my job in the US was an easy decision to pursue the dream.
What are the challenges you faced?
Capital – which is always an issue for startups and small businesses.
Human Capital – Putting together a functional team is always a challenge because the required skill set are sometimes lacking and ability to attract top quality candidate is also an issue for new businesses.
The Nigerian way of doing things was also something we had to deal with to make things work. People don’t keep appointments, contracts are not upheld, decision making takes forever, etc.
What did you learn from these challenges?
You have to be determined and persistent to make things work
Entrepreneurship anywhere in the world requires determination and this especially so in Nigeria. However, keeping at it and having realistic expectation helps to pace oneself and prepare for the long haul.
Do you think the opportunities are more than the problems?
I believe so and that’s why we do this – we firmly believe what we are doing will create value for customers, the company, our investors, and employees.
There will be challenges but solving those challenges and forging a path forward in itself validates the determination of the business not just to survive but also to thrive.
Who are your role models?
Mark Cuban – owner of Dallas Maverick
Reid Hoffman – Founder of Linkedin
What advice do you have for other people in the diaspora who want to return Nigeria to do business?
Be determined to succeed. The fact that you have an option to return back to the Diaspora can be a problem and could make you give up quickly, and they should be mindful of that.
NetPlus Advisory is a tech company with solutions in e-commerce, e-payment, and digital trends.