Oluwamayowa Oshidero is the founder of Equilibrium Zone. In this interview by KINGSLEY ALUMONA, he speaks on how his company is impacting businesses with its advisory consulting services, among others.
What motivated your interest in entrepreneurship, youth empowerment and prosperity?
While on campus, I volunteered for a lot of organisations like Google, Dell, Total, and many others. In fact, I led major projects for my university, which helped increased its webometrics ranking. So, I was unknowingly building my consulting and growth-support career. Those experiences helped me found my true value offerings.
You are the founder of Equilibrium Zone. Briefly tell us about the company and what you do?
Equilibrium Zone is an open community focused on providing solutions for innovative companies, entrepreneurs and investors, all towards driving economic prosperity in Africa. Our services include advisory, foundry, seed-funding, capacity development and other growth consulting services.
One of your top offerings is advisory services and why you are focusing on it now?
We offer various advisory and consultancy services to companies at different stages of their growth. For new companies, we offer: Market research, product strategy design, go to market strategic planning, business plan design, and monetisation/income generation strategy.
For existing companies, we offer: business audit services (which include marketing audit, technology audit and business operations audit), data analysis and insight, business operations and structure design, total business and digital transformation, business innovation and design thinking.
We also offer some other growth consulting offering, which applies to companies at any stage. This includes investment readiness pitch deck design, brand positioning, talent hiring, business data analysis, training and capacity development.
Many Nigerian business owners are not tech savvy, so how do you intend to take this advisory service to their spaces?
We know that one of our key tasks as a company is market education.This means putting out content to educate businesses on the need for each of these services. We’ll be increasing our investment in this area.
Also, we source for companies (which we’re confident that our involvement will bring some growth) then pitch the importance of these services and how it’s a crucial necessity to their next-level of growth.
Who are you for and how can it help their businesses grow?
Every business needs a growth consultant. It’s now a question of choosing to outsource to an advisory company or to recruit in-house growth consultants. But, usually, working with a consulting company comes with the advantage of a diverse depth of thoughts since these companies house various expert minds that would approach each situation from unique angles.
Consulting and advisory help business grow by sharpening each area of that business, making it compliant, efficient and productive. Business structure and operations are key to how efficiently they deliver product or service to their customers. The more optimised a company’s operations and structure are, the faster they can deliver value to their customers, while doing more with less — hence, higher profitability and growth.
How does your company help start-ups and SMEs source for fund for their businesses. And what are the terms and conditions for these funds?
We work with partners who wish to invest in innovative companies. We take on the process of identifying findable companies, evaluating them and preparing them for investment. The interesting part is our advisory arm ensures these companies constantly get world-class consultancy services to help drive their growth.
If you were the minister of communications and digital economy, how would you ensure the economic empowerment and prosperity of Nigerian youth?
Big question (laughs). Nigerian youth are innovative. We’ve seen a lot of us (because I’m actually a part of the Nigerian youth) build something with little support and with harsh business conditions. So, the first thing is to evaluate the existing policies and then optimising them or creating new ones to reduce the barriers and improve the ease of doing business — from tax policies, access to loans and business funding etc.
Next would be to intervene in the area of working with telcos to reduce the cost of internet connectivity, as this is key to a thriving digital economy. Third would be to get government parastatals to consciously work with verified local businesses that are competent enough to provide the needed service.
What major challenges did your company face in 2020? And, what new offering should your clients/customers be expecting from your company in 2021?
In 2020, we had to innovate and adapt really fast to what companies and businesses need at those moments. For some businesses, it’s the first time operating in a whole new way.
In 2021, we’ll be getting closer to innovative companies. We’ve developed a diverse list of offerings to suit each company stage — hence, making our expert services more accessible to a lot more businesses.
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