Olukayode Olusanya holds an MSc Financial Economics from the University of Leicester, and attended the prestigious Lagos Business School for Public Private Partnerships. He is a well experienced Financial/Corporate market expert and a captain of industry in the Nigerian real estate space.
He is the Founder and Chief Executive of The Oak Group which includes Oak Homes; a real estate development company, The Oak Capital; a Venture Capital firm to mention a few. He is a serial entrepreneur and sits on the boards of several companies.
He has over 15 years banking experience and more than seven years in core real estate development. Oak Homes has developed several estates within Lagos with several ongoing expansion moves into the FCT, the UK and the USA.
What inspired your interest in the real estate business?
The decision to venture in real estate was influenced by a number of factors. This includes the art of bringing something to life from basically nothing; like bare-land to an edifice of sorts. The fact that you know you are contributing to reducing the deficit in house count and more importantly the joy of helping people move to their homes. The joy we see on the faces of our clients, propels us to do more.
Nigeria has continued to have an increase demand for housing as the population keeps increasing with more people migrating to the urban areas, how do you think the imbalance in supply and demand of housing can be bridged?
The only way an imbalance in supply and demand can be bridged is by building even more houses. Urban migration is an economic phenomenon that can be stemmed, but never stopped. There is always a drive/need to want more. This birthed the concept of building “vertical to manage the available land resource.
To what extent would you say Oak Homes has contributed to reducing housing deficit in Nigeria?
We can put it this way; by paying our dues, we have our name out there. Our mark is in the luxury space and for us; developing differently is our mark. So both in numbers and quality; we have built a reputation in the country.
What makes your housing projects unique as a developer?
Some say its the beauty in our simple, but modern designs. We have a signature such that when you see our developments, you can readily tell that its our product. The highest compliment you can get as a professional is when your colleagues; professional architects and engineers tell you that you have done a good job. This is our uniqueness.
Mortgage financing is one of the major challenges of house ownership in Nigeria, what do you think is the way forward?
Given my finance background, I can readily tell you that it is the absence of deep and long funding arrangements that drives this challenge. However, I believe more Nigerian Banks are looking into this space as some have approached us to partner with us in this regard. The tenure is improved for as much as 15years for some of these banks. It is a gradual but painful process in Nigeria.
What are your goals for Oak Homes in the next five years?
Our goal at Oak Homes is to continue growing. An aircraft flies furthest in the cloud by unburdening itself and with the right balance; aims into the clouds. This is our current mood.