By Elizabeth Osayande
“In this world that we are living in, especially in Nigeria, it is not easy to see an Igbo man and a Yoruba man working together and being successful…“From what I have heard from the co-founders today, I believe that business partnerships can really work- Guests at the book launch
The co-founders of a real estate firm, Pertinence Group, Dr. Sunday Olorunsheyi and Mr. Wisdom Ezekiel, recently launched a book they wrote, and published on the success, and travails doing business that has grown from nothing to billions of Naira in 10 years.
What is peculiar about the book, titled: “The Pertinence Way – Our Partnership Story,” launched at the company’s corporate headquarters in Lagos was uniqueness of the ethnicity of the authors, Igbo, and Yoruba doing business, and surviving the hurdles of partnership of a decade.
Speaking at the launch, the authors stated that the book chronicled how they went from local land sellers to global business leaders within a decade. They added the book contained lessons, pitfalls, and victories recorded within the period under review.
For Olorunsheyi: “It’s a ten-chapter book that covers everything you need to know about Pertinence, as well as the backbone of the business which is our business partnership,”
“The book is about how we went from local land sellers in 2012 to becoming directors of a group of companies, with subsidiaries blazing the trail in various sectors of the Nigerian economy such as: real estate, finance, automobile and technology.
“An interesting thing about the book is that we didn’t just write principles, we told stories of how we scaled through. You will also not just read about the success stories, but also about the failures and lessons we learnt especially when we began diversification of our business operations.
“There might have been certain things you saw us do and thought of as successes, but in this book, you’d be surprised to find us recording them as failures.”
Dr. Olorunsheyi explained that meeting with Mr. Ezekiel, who shared personal values and a credible vision to establish a good legacy in the coming years; he believed that the aim of the company would reach the centenary status in partnership and business. A feat not many have recorded.
On his part, Ezekiel said they decided to write the book about their entrepreneurial journey because documentation was necessary for processes to be replicated. Using a global burger-producing brand as a case study on the need to document business processes, he alluded to the consistency in the quality of the burgers, no matter where one patronised them globally.
His words: “We realised that there are so many people who have succeeded in business as partners even in this country, but they have not documented their journeys for younger people to read and learn from. One of the reasons why we embarked on writing this book is to fill this gap,” said Ezekiel.
Focusing on what was ahead in the Pertinence business, Ezekiel told guests at launch that in the next 10 years, the company will undertake mega projects. He said a major goal was to build over one million houses into African space.
A UK-based friend of the organisation, Mr. Olusegun Ajayi, who was a guest at the book launch said he was stunned by the success of the business partnership between the co-founders, especially considering their ethnic differences.
In his words, “In this world that we are living in, especially in Nigeria, it is not easy to see an Igbo man and a Yoruba man working together and being successful. I have known and watched them for over eight years already. I’m sure they may have had times of disagreements behind closed doors, but it has never shown outside.”
Another guest who doubled as a realtor, Ms. Oluwakemi Adegoke, said she had always believed that partnerships could never work in this part of the world, but her mindset changed after years of working with the co-founders of Pertinence.
She said, “From what I have heard from the co-founders today, I believe that business partnerships can really work. I have bought a copy of the book. I am expecting to learn more about how partnerships work, and what they have done together to have come this far. I believe that by the time I’m done reading the book, I would have seen all the secrets and all the methods they adopted to build this great organisation.”
The book launch was anchored by the Chief Operations Officer, HostNowNow, Mr. Emmanuel Osubu; while the Chief Executive Officer, Quanta Africa, Dr. Stephen Oluwatobi, welcomed the esteemed guests.
Other dignitaries present at the event included: A popular TV show co-host and CEO Rep360, Mrs. Tope Mark-Odigie; CEO, 1st Royal Character & Values Limited, Mrs. Bosede Olusola-Obasa; Co-founder, Abode Asset Limited, Mr. Damilare Oshokoya, several realtors, members of staff and other special guests.
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