I did a project to redesign Google office while I was employed. Google gives every employee the opportunity to take 20 percent of their time to focus on other things as long as it’s still within the Google umbrella.
No doubt, average Nigerian residing abroad would be keen on staying oversees forever as most people believe that Africans living abroad are positioned to enjoy a better life and have the resources to reach their potentials and fulfil their goals.
However, for an individual who sees Africans for Africa and willing to drive impact, contribute towards the industrial and economic growth of the black race continent, Remi Dada‘s narrative took a new dimension as his passion to return to Nigeria to build multi-million dollar design company in his home country had been his life ambition.
Remi is the Chief Executive Officer of Space Finish – an interior design company for innovative workspaces and offices
Speaking about his educational background and his journey into designs, the entrepreneur said he had his high school education in Nigeria and had passion for technical drawing when he was younger and what made him to be inclined with design spaces.
“I studied Architecture at the University of Illinois and later practiced in Chicago for years”
In 2008, when there was a recession in United States that greatly affected the real estate industry and by extension took a toll on designing construction industry, Remi was laid off, but decided to get a business degree (MBA) to position him to become more well-rounded business oriented architect as alot of architects were not business inclined.
According to Remi, the business school experience opened up doors for him to realize that the world is growing larger and focusing on a particular sector is not the best approach to explore and thrive in the business world.
Upon his MBA completion in United States, the thirty-six years old architect left for Nigeria to join Google in 2012.
He said, “I started working at Google as Product Marketing Lead in December 2012, understood the local market and also built a network of people that I could work with.
“I did a project to redesign Google office while I was employed. Google gives every employee the opportunity to take 20 percent of their time to focus on other things as long as it’s still within the Google umbrella.
When asked why he decided to build a business in Nigeria despite his long stay oversea, the architect explained that he was interested in making impacts in Africa and felt building a brand that focuses on transforming office environments to increase workers productivity would make him a fulfilled man.
“I also want my business globally not just only in Nigeria and other African countries. The world is becoming if not a global village where you can be in a country be running operation anywhere in the world without distance barriers.
Speaking about his dream for Africa, the Lagos-born entrepreneur described Africa as the origin of civilization and great things, adding that with time and tremendous progress in Africa, they will be compared with other continents.
“There are lots of things going on in Africa, the population size is one of them, the growth of internet penetration, the access to an immense amount of natural resources, access to amazing, intelligent and talented people.
He further enjoins business owners to begin to leverage on technology to improve their businesses ease operations, business growth and profits.
While noting the challenges faced by business owners, Remi maintained that lack of exposure and awareness in the community has reduced brand market size particularly when such brand offers premium service. She also added that low income and brand awareness are the causing factors.
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“Becoming innovative and cutting edge from a global standpoint, the lack of infrastructure makes it a lot more difficult to compete on a global scale and the company status right now is not positioned to compete and it is difficult to execute at that level.
He however charged African entrepreneurs to have passion and clear purpose for their businesses and never to place premium importance on money over the values to be rendered.
“When you’re obsessed about giving values and solving clients’ problems, the rewards would come and people would appreciate your brand reputation and become brand loyalists. Ensure that you are building a brand you want to be associated with.
“Also, do whatever you need to do to find the best talent. Never be the smartest person in the room. Find people who are better than you and that’s the most important thing. It’s all about having a good team. He said.
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