sams

Celebrating Young inspiring entrepreneur – Samson Abioye, Co - founder Pass.ng sams Abioye Samson Co-founded Pass.ng in 2013 as an undergraduate of Ladoke Akintola University of technology in order to reduce the massive failure rate witnessed in the nation's national exam. Pass.ng web and mobile application which is now being used by over 250,000 students nationwide helps them prepare ahead of Nigeria’s most important examinations like JAMB, WAEC among others.

The Platform simulates the exam electronically, tracks students’ progress and performance, fully mobile, available offline and also offers scholarship to best performing students. Samson is an award winning software developer. In 2016, he batched an award from the University of Cape town in conjunction with MTN Entrepreneurship challenge as one of the youngest top 3 Entrepreneurs in Africa. He’s passionate about youth development and technology.

Here are some excerpts from our interview with Samson: 1) How did you start pass NG? The idea of creating an exam preparatory (then Jamb-cbt.com) came after a friend of mine failed his JAMB examination 4 times. I thought there should be a way to help students prepare for such major exams using technology. I co-founded Pass.ng with my Co-founders Abayomi Akanji, Oluyemi Imole and Adebagbo Joshua during our undergraduate days where we attended Ladoke Akintola University of technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomosho. Being a computer engineering student, I have always thought of ways to leverage technology to solve our everyday problems. The statistics available shows the massive failure rate experience in our national examinations. For instance, about 70% of students who sits for JAMB fail every year, thats over 1 million students. 2) What was the top 3 greatest challenges and how was it solved when starting this business? Firstly, during our take-off stage in 2014 when the first version of our mobile app was deployed online, some of our target audience couldn't afford the cost of data to access the internet. So while marketing the product, I had to give some students money to buy data on their phone to enable them download our mobile app online, it wasn't funny then. Thankfully now with our collaboration with Facebook and Airtel, students can now access out platform free of data charges. Secondly access to data: being an e-testing platform we'd be needing data of students preparing for such exams and also the needed resources to make available on our platform. It was hard getting this information as there is a lot of bureaucracy built around it. Lastly, one of the challenges was parental/cultural attitudes of parents to technology. Some of the parents found it hard to believe their children can study for exams using their mobile phone. Most times the custom is to seize their child's phone when exams is drawing near. Since our platform is fully mobile, students had some difficulties convincing their parents that the phone can be equally or even a better tool to prepare for their exams. Their attitudes is beginning to change however due to sensitization from us and outstanding performance of those who used our Platform.  Now parents even register their child on www.pass.ng. 3) What are the top 3 advice that every entrepreneur needs to succeed?
  1. A) People mind-set: Starting anything significant is hard job, you will need assistance from people, friends and family. I can't tell you how much support have gotten from people and this has helped in a long way.
  1. B) Do what you love this is the only way to keep going.
  1. C) Start small, think big: I know the urge to begin is always there but then we are faced with several challenges, the key to it is to start. As you begin the journey, the answers to some of those questions will be discovered.
 4) What is your advice for kids and young adults?  My advice for kids is for them to discover what their passion is. One of the simplest way to do this is to try different things at random. if A doesn't fit you try B, before long, you'd discover what you are caught out for. I'd advise young undergraduates to as well learn a major skill especially in the computing/ digital field since there is so much opportunity in it, that's the future. 5) Where do you see your business in the next 5 - 10 years? Firstly i see us providing enough exam preparatory and e-testing resources for all Major Exams in Nigeria including the professional exams. Afterwards extend our services to West-Africa since we share many similarities and then the whole of Africa.    

seni adetue

Mr. Seni Adetu

Celebrating successful career man: Mr. Seni Adetu seni adetue Seni Adetu, a Nigerian, is the immediate past Managing Director/CEO of Diageo Nigeria (Guinness Nigeria Plc.) and was prior to that the Managing Director of East African Breweries, based in Kenya and Guinness Ghana Breweries, based in Ghana; both Diageo subsidiaries, as well as MD/CEO, Coca-Cola West Africa. Seni’s extensive experience in Sales and Marketing and General Management working for Multinational companies in the last 30 years across Africa makes him an African icon in Consumer Marketing. He is the founder/CEO of Algorithm Media, an upscale communications company and a Non-Executive Director of various high profile companies, including Fidelity Bank Plc, Tower Aluminium Plc and Graceco Industries Plc. He is married to Janet, the CEO of JSK Etiquette Consulting and they have three kids. Do read below the short exclusive interview with Seni Adetu 1)    What are you passionate about that keeps you going no matter what ?  First and foremost, I have a purpose and that is to inspire a new generation of African leaders. By this, I mean, to role model those values that some consider “un-African”, as in values of good governance of accountability and of good integrity. In service of this, I am passionate about investing in the growth of younger business leaders. Finally, I expect that as a consequence of this, inspirational leadership would be taken to a new level. 2)    How have you been able to successfully balance your career and family life in the last 20 years of your career. Incidentally, I am one of those people that are very intense in practically everything; I am intense with my work, intense with my family, intense in friendship and intense in leisure. To be specific, when I am at work, I am very focused on what I need to do; when I am on vacation, I fly out of the country with my family from the vicinity of work demands and when I am free, I am out jogging or working out in the gym to keep fit. I have no doubt, our lives reside in God’s hands but I do the best I can to moderate and mix all that make one a complete being. 3) What was the top 3 greatest challenges you may have gone through or in your career, solution if any? I have had my fair share of challenges. The first was when I had to merge the Guinness and Heineken businesses in Ghana, as CEO Guinness Ghana Breweries and put them under one roof. This was in 2006. Considering they were sworn competitors prior to that, creating a “one team, one culture” philosophy was daunting but through alignment conversation and team engagement, we did it. Second was when I had to lead an acquisition process for Diageo in East Africa through the purchase of Serengetti Breweries Ltd, Tanzania. This was a transaction that was characterized by legal, regulatory, commercial and competition issues but by a strong stakeholder engagement strategy, we delivered. The third was when I wanted to lead the process of renovating our flagship brand, Tusker in East Africa; and that desire was countered by forces within and outside the company. I went on notwithstanding and achieved remarkable success. 4) What are your secrets for good looks and staying fit? God takes ALL the glory and credit. The only effort I put in is, I try not to let anything overwhelm me. Secondly, as I said, I try to exercise regularly and eat as “safely” as I can. My wife jokes that I would rather buy a treadmill before a bed, whenever we move to a new house, she’s right. 5) What are the top 3 advice that you want to pass to every youth, man and father who wants to be successful?  Focus! Hardwork!! Growth!!! If you want hit a C-suite level, you must be completely focused and disciplined. Secondly, there’s no substitute for hardwork, Yes – you need to work smart but hard as well and thirdly, you must continuously invest in your growth. Keep your eye on your goal, run your own race, stay the course, improve yourself constantly and pray without ceasing for God’s guidance and you should make it.