By Victor Gotevbe
Eyitayo with a soft but assertive personality at 25 is a certified PMP Project Manager with vast expertise in project execution. He is a Lean VI Sigma Certified Professional; a project management entrepreneur and top facilitator of Project Management (for organizations. Eyitayo is the founder and the Team Leader of PM Hub Nigeria. He is one of the youngest project management entrepreneurs and consultants in Africa. He was at the Vanguard head office to tell his story. Excerpts:
I was born and bred in Lagos State. I am 25. I lived all my life with my mom. I grew up to know only my mom. My father left us when I was 2. Please, don’t ask me why. I have four siblings—I’m the eldest. Growing up was a challenge for me. I had my primary education in Lagos, and my Junior Secondary School at Ekiti State Government College, Ado Ekiti and had to complete my secondary education in African Church Model College, Ifako-Lagos. I lived with my low-income -earning mom, and she was very proud of me.
After Secondary school, I took up a teaching job—just to support my mom— although I didn’t support her with my earnings; I spent all as a young boy. I could remember those days when my mom will force me to save—it was terrible because I always wanted to spend those little earnings.
I was teaching in a local primary school in Lagos.I trained the best graduating students and that was where I discovered my top skill for training.
Everyone around me wanted me to study medicine. I had a contrary opinion at first, but I was influenced by self- fulfilling talks,and I started to see myself as a doctor. I was admitted into University of Ilorin to study Medical Physiology. Oh, it was so difficult. I couldn’t find my passion in the field, so I joined school politics.
After graduation, I decided to start a new professional quest as a project manager.
I started PM Hub Nigeria early 2012 after long considerations. Everyone around me wanted me to get a nice job with fat salaries but I had a contrary opinion. It was a hard decision at the beginning and I have to be truthful—I was confused. I had a nice session with Nidine Rix, the co-founder and executive director of Nyansa Africa and she influenced my decision. She tutored me and told me indirectly to be the change I want to see in my field.
I started with a team of 4 young project management trainers— wonderful guys with a lady who worked with me as a freelance. I wouldn’t know what made these guys decide to join me, but I saw them displayed strong passion to help me build a sustainable and surviving enterprise. At first, I wasn’t paying them. I paid them nothing. It got to a point, they became my motivation. We started marketing our trainings together. We became all dirty—worked in the sun sharing handbills and fliers.
At the beginning, we got just four participants. Because we just started, we made our training very cheap and affordable for young professionals (Especially NYSC Corp. Members). After 3 months of hard work, we were able to increase the number of our students to just 10. It was a hard time for my team; yet they were devoted.
With energy and vision, we expanded the hub from one study centre in Lagos to three training centres and also expanded to Ogun State.
I learned that leadership is vision transmuted by energy. It’s amazing how our team grew and our centres developed. It’s a fun working with Tijani Azeez, one of our top trainers in project management and health safety and environment management also Bode Oyetunji, the guy who works with me as the corporate governance and marketing head.
My Professional Exploits
I became a member of Project Management Institute, PMI, United States in 2011 where I got certified as a PMP project manager. Then I pursued my professional certification in PMI- Scheduling Professional. With keen interest in Quality Management, I became a Green Belt Lean VI Sigma professional with American Society of Quality. After few months, I was nominated by Professor Ron Krate as an International fellow of International Professors Project, IPP, United States.
Not quiet long, I started to unveil the opportunities as created by a Netherland association of Project Managers, and I decided to join the association. I became a member of the young crew: International Project Management Association, IPMA.
And that was where my global relevance in project management started. I joined an annual competition for young project managers in the world. The competition is named GeCco, Global e-Competition Collaboration—a virtual competition among project managers in the world. I learned a lot from my international colleagues. Actually, the competition brought on board 64 project managers from about 14 countries, we were grouped and I was in group 12. I worked with some participants from Nepal, Sweden, Poland and Austria.
The competition exposed me to professional analysis of projects and business framework. At the end of the competition, my team came 3rd. It was a breakthrough for me.
My mentor, Taopheek Babayeju nominated me as the project coordinator of Project Management Conference of Nigeria, PROMACON FOUNDATION, a gathering of project managers in Nigeria. When I got the news, it was a great platform for me to work with more experienced project managers among the older professionals. Our focus in PROMACON is institutionalizing project management in Nigeria.
At the moment, I am enrolled for a professional training in entrepreneurship with Columbus Business School. I am trying to be a better entrepreneur through entrepreneurship education and mentorship.
My Consulting Career
Even though I am an entrepreneur, I still take up the challenge to build my organization through a mechanism I call Flow Wave. Flow wave is my philosophy and it explains the concept of building an organizational structure and reputation for an organization from the outside. It simply describe why I work with other consulting organization so as to develop a relationship, learn more and create huge attraction to my company. I work as the team lead of my company,PM Hub Nigeria. Three things define us: Training-Consulting-Solution. I am a team lead and not a CEO. Our organization has worked out projects charter for over 100 projects.
Our initiatives and projects
As an organization, we have been able to launch a major initiative called VPM- Volunteering for Project Management. This strategic initiative helps us connect our trained project managers to organization that need the support of suck skilful and educated individuals. In project management we call this method Value Engineering: getting the same scope for less cost. That is what we present to organization— get more young staff for less cost. This in turn gives our volunteer hands on deck experience.
At the moment, we are also work on a major project— an online exam simulator for project management, lean VI sigma, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP and other professional exams. This initiative hopes to give our organization a better platform to train our students in the subjects and also prepare them diligently for these professional exams.
We hope to launch this online simulator soon.
YOUNG NIGERIANS MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
Mark is the CEO/founder of Wealth Academy Global Initiative. His interest in Brand Management over the years has turned him into a Brand Consultant and Business growth strategist. He is very keen about Sales and has been speaking with unusual passion on Sales and Marketing. He has over 10 years experience in the Media profession having worked with Vanguard Media Limited. His passion for entrepreneurship made him also set up an air cargo Logistics company called Markyn Chairs Logistics Errand which he is the chairman. He is the founder of Project /President of Dream House Foundation and is the Brand consultant at Diffadin Nig Limited.
Mark is currently working on a project called ACTIVATE, a platform for young entrepreneurs to converge to discuss and confront issues and challenges that businesses: business men and women still face in Nigeria. Jim Ikye, Victor Gotevbe and Gregory Azemobor are the guest speakers for this project scheduled for August 10 at Aguda, Surulere, Lagos.