By Ebele Orakpo
Mr. Olufemi Durojaye is the Chief Executive Officer of Femmirate Global Ventures Limited, an outfit with many subsidiaries. In this chat with Financial Vanguard in his Ikorodu, Lagos office, Durojaye speaks on why he ventured into business, the challenges and his dream for the company; advising the youth to look inwards and see what they can do for themselves. Excerpts:
According to Durojaye, he had his secondary school education and part of his tertiary education in the northern part of Nigeria and later went for a Certificate in Computer Technology in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Thereafter, he sat for the Business Education Examination Council exams (BEEC). He is an Amadeus certified agent.
Motivation: Durojaye who noted that he had always wanted to be self-reliant and a job creator said; “I realised that in Nigeria today, everybody wants to rely on government to do everything for them. Everybody wants to be a civil servant, nobody wants to be self-reliant, or productive so as to help the economy of the country.
They just go about complaining and these complaints have not brought any solution, rather, they have made things worse. I believe so much in myself, my abilities and my goals. I believe that I do not have to depend on government to help me or rely on government to get a job.
Right from time, I have never believed I was going to work for government or go around searching for job. I know the statistics of unemployment in the country. I have an idea about how many students graduate from the universities every year and how many of them are absorbed in the civil service. So I believe in what I can do. I have business ideas, all I had to do was equip myself with the right tools and techniques and here we are.”
Speaking on the subsidiaries, he said; “Femmirate Global Ventures Limited has various subsidiaries which include the following; Femmirate Travels (handles ticketing, reservations, tours, holidays, hotel reservations, airport transportation, everything about travels); Femmirate Electronics (deals on gadgets); Femmirate Information Technology Department (supplies laptops, Ipads etc.); Courier Services Department (renders courier services in partnership with Courier Plus); Femmirate Furniture (deals with supplying office equipment – tables, executive chairs, desks for pupils, computer desks, etc, everything about furniture.)
On why he went into travels, Durojaye said the travelling industry is an interesting one and travelling is one of his hobbies.
“When I saw the large number of people that travel out of the country all the time, whether for leisure or study or for whatever purpose, I know the demand is quite high and a lot of the time, people have problems with ticketing and all sorts of issues and so I developed a lot of interest in travels.” He underwent some training in the Aviation sector to be able to give the best to the travelling public.
Challenges and how they are surviving:
“It is generally believed that it is not easy doing business in Nigeria. I quite agree but at the same time, challenges are meant to come and if you are determined, one way or the other, you will scale through those challenges. What I do know is that my business is surviving those challenges and I know that every businessman that is determined to do business in Nigeria can still scale through and make their business grow despite all the challenges.
Of course, some of the challenges are unfavourable government policies, lots of other challenges that come up in businesses day in day out. This happens in every country but I think the determination of business owners to overcome those challenges is what will make them succeed in business rather than focusing on the challenges.
“We pay so much attention on keeping our overhead cost very low and this has helped us remain in business.
Femmirate staff are very dedicated and committed to work. They are happy doing what they do, so, getting results hasn’t been a problem. We provide necessary training internally and externally, this makes it easier for them to cope with the dynamisms of the business,” he said.
Asked if Nigeria’s educational system is really tailored towards preparing the youth to be self-reliant, Durojaye said; “I understand why you are asking the question. I schooled in Nigeria and I am self-reliant, same educational system. I think this has to do with individuals.
Of course, I am not denying the fact that there are still a lot of work to be done when it comes to our curriculum and the way we go about teaching. But at the same time, this really has more to do with individuals. The youth have to realise that they are the hope of this nation, they have to realise that it is all about them, not about the government, not about government jobs, they have to take the challenge upon themselves irrespective of all the odds and unpalatable situations.”
He advised the youth not to sit down to complain about unemployment situation in the country. “Do not depend on the government for everything, take a bold step today, start with what you have passion for, in no time you will gain mastery of your chosen vocation. Remember that intelligence is never a substitute for experience.”
Future of Femmirates:
“We want to bring our business closer to our clients so that they don’t have to complain about location. We are commissioning another office in Akure later this month and another one in Ibadan next month. We are trying to make our presence felt everywhere. The closer we are, the easier it will be for us to satisfy the clients’ needs.”