In this interview with TNC, Victoria Akomor, a 26-year-old Nigerian lady who is running three startups, shared insight on the businesses, why she chose these lines of businesses, and also offered tips to aspiring young entrepreneurs.
TNC: First, let me congratulate you on your “ProDevs Outsourcing Limited,” “Yogi Creatives” and “Starters Africa”. We all know it is not easy to set up a business and run it successfully and you have three. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself, personal life, and the three startups?
Victoria: Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. My name is Victoria Akomor, I am from Edo state. I grew up in Kano, Nigeria. I left for the University of Benin to study Theatre Arts in 2011. My three start-ups are entwined, all focused on growing the African economy.
Starters Africa builds and trains digital talents across Africa, Yogi Creatives focuses attention on SMEs and how we can help small brands look and feel big by providing exquisite branding, promotions & marketing services, and ProDevs is focused on outsourcing/recruiting digital talents to companies around the world.
TNC: At 26, you already have three companies to your name. How does that make you feel? Why did you choose to pursue these lines of business? How long have you been into these businesses? How has it been so far?
Victoria: I feel I am just getting started because I have a lot to give to my society. The number of companies doesn’t matter when the impact isn’t felt; we focus more on building innovations to change the world. I have a passion to help businesses and talents achieve their goals and that is why I chose this line of business. We’ve been able to create a system that allows for job employment, innovation, and growth experience within these companies. We’ve been actively working behind the scene with a lot of companies for a few years now.
TNC: Please tell us about what keeps you motivated and focused on the business – despite the inevitable odds that anyone or any business faces along the way. What are the peculiar challenges you face in your businesses? How do you connect with difficult clients?
Victoria: Growth and impact are my motivation. The journey of growth is a sweet experience and it keeps me on my toes. Every business, especially businesses/start-ups created in Nigeria has challenges shooting from every corner which makes working so much fun and innovative. No client is actually difficult. They just want you to provide them with services they need and if they can’t them from you, they remind you of the inconveniences it causes; we want clients to demand more most times to help us broaden our innovative caps.
TNC: You’re a beautiful and young lady. How do you handle male customers who make sexual advances at you? Do you enjoy socializing with customers?
Victoria: Thank you. It’s normal, you just have to know who you are, what you want and can handle, and be upfront about any discomfort or uneasiness when doing business. Woman, know thyself. I try to always keep a professional relationship with my customers but I socialize when necessary.
TNC: Please tell us of a typical day in your life as a business owner: the time you wake up, get to your office, the challenges you typically face, including with clients and employees, what puts smiles on your face on a typical day to the time you retire to your bed for the day.
Victoria: I’m usually awake from 2 am till morning, we mostly work remotely due to COVID-19 but our official hours start from 9 am, I always like getting to the office at least an hour earlier. Everyday to innovate for me is a great day so I keep my mind active with positive vibes of good music and focus. Getting results put smiles on my face.
TNC: What are some of the glorious moments of these businesses? What is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur? Where do you think your companies will be in the next five years? What advice can you offer aspiring entrepreneurs?
Victoria: Getting things done rightly. Making customers happy with the services we give them. Growth is rewarding. Seeing people around you who are smarter than you get better is a delight to experience. Multi-million-naira companies with thousands of employees across Africa giving world-class digital services all rounds. To aspiring entrepreneurs, know what you want, write it out, chase it fearlessly. Everything will frustrate you in the journey but learn to see challenges as something needed for growth.
TNC: What is your advice for young people particularly graduates who don’t have jobs and are waiting for white-collar jobs?
Victoria: Come learn and improve your tech skill at Starters Africa. The future is tech and you cannot afford to not be a part of the new normal. New cohorts will be onboarded in January 2021. Follow all our social media pages for updates @starters.africa @prodevs.io @yogicreatives.