Tunde Ibrahim Aderemi, popularly known as Tunde Buremo, has over five years’ experience as an entrepreneur in the technology industry, where he has actively engaged in freelancing, startups and business processes. He is currently the CEO of IBCdesign LLC, a web development, business branding, and digital marketing company, which oversees brands like SitesNG, LolNG, and LogoNG, with a focus to provide solutions to Nigeria’s tech/ICT related problems while maintaining global standards. Aderemi shares his thoughts with NIYI OYEDEJI about his voyage in the entrepreneurship world.
Humbly dressed in T-shirt, Jean , a pair of sneakers, no one would have guessed that he is the Chief Executive Officer of IBCdesign Nigeria Ltd, a private web development and digital agency whose brand name is on the website footer of many Nigerian owned businesses abroad.
He laughs off when recalled of an incident when he had to type his phone number in Yoruba language to avoid ban after meeting a Nigerian born Houston based cinematographer on a freelancing platform in 2016.
Tunde Aderemi, now a fully fletched techpreneur and focusing on his latest brainchild LogoNG, takes us on a ride through his skills acquisition and entrepreneurship journey, his source of motivation and how he became a millionaire at 23 using his digital skills as capital.
Tell me about yourself
My name is Aderemi Ibrahim Tunde, a.k.a Tunde Buremo, I am an Adobe Certified digital design expert, User interface and experience designer (Ui/Ux), and Website developer. I take pleasure in making money solving ICT related problems with global standards, and that makes me a Techpreneur.
Tell me about some of your previous businesses?
I’ve got a lot of them, In 2014, I founded Nairasage, a bulksms platform that served the bulk messaging need of private schools, religious organisations, and small businesses. While Nairasage was answering to those needs, I discovered people cannot send bulksms without mobile data, and as such, started a side business DatabankNG to cater for the mobile data needs of Nigerians basically through MTN Sme data share plans which wasn’t very popular at that time. Later, I joined a whatsapp group of aspiring entrepreneurs like myself who were also already into large scale data retail business known as SDS (Sincere Data Sellers) and discovered the need for me to setup a platform which that helps people convert unneeded recharge card to cash. It was an instant success as students who gets recharge cards or mobile top-up from home as gift were glad to finally have a platform that converts the mobile credit to instant cash.
What inspired you to start your business?
I’d say from inception, my passion has always been to solve problems, but because just my passion is not sufficient to succeed, I have always been motivated by my quest to be rich. I like to read and learn a lot, I learnt two things from the popular book, rich dad poor dad by Robert Kiyosaki, First was For the majority, their profession is their income. For savy people, their assets are their income.And second was Work to learn, don’t work to earn. Following the crowd everytime leads to being broke. So from the onset, I had always wanted to be my own boss, do my own things my own way, set my targets, and have no restriction to how much I could make at the end of a month. I just wanted to be different.
What was your Startup capital?
My startup capital were my skills, let me explain, I started freelancing in 2015 after I had acquired a lot of digital skills self-taught via such platforms as YouTube etc.., at that time, most Nigerians that were into freelancing were either not making any money or must have used VPN to change their browsing location to make buyers believe they are foreign. I didn’t know all these when I started out, I was just a young Nigerian with graphic design, branding, animation, video editing and website development skills. I started out with my Nigerian flag, Ibadan address, buba and sokoto with native cap profile picture, I created four gigs that ranged from making a logo design, creating a business brand identity to making animated video for brands. I went ahead to showcase some of my recent jobs, lo and behold, I got my first order for 5USD. After delivering the order, the buyer was so amazed that she recommended three of her friends immediately, that night alone ,I got orders totaling 45USD because I had already added added more gig options for higher prices, and that was how it started, I was able to realize that the white man cares less about my skin color or my country, he believes more in how standard and well-crafted my deliveries were. Due to the review system of the freelancing platform, I was already top ranked (5 Star) on Level two after about six months with total revenue of about 2700 USD. During those days I remember meeting a Nigerian born Houston based Cinematographer, Amcclips, he was so impressed with my delivery that he recommended me to a whole lot of Nigerian owned businesses In the United states. I built the web platforms of Lineagealive foundation, Gofrican, and a host of others in America and across Europe, particularly, Germany. I then migrated to being a fully fletched tech entrepreneur by finding tech related problems and solving them technologically by launching a web product around each problem. For example, in 2017, I created a web script that enable businesses around the world sell their digital products, all the buyer of such script had to do was install the script on their own platform and start selling. I was able to do an ebook manual for the product, record a “how to use” video for the product. The web script sold in its hundreds to users around the world.
What are your expansion plans?
I look forward to a time when IBCdesign would provide the best digital and web experience to users of our services around the world. Asides, SitesNG, LolNG, and LogoNG, for example seeks to bridge the gap between businesses and their quest for a brand identity that truly represents them. We have started with the delivery of quality custom Logo designs to clients and believe in the nearest future, we’d have a buyer to seller interaction between creative designers and business owners via the platform. I also look forward to having other brands poised at solving imminent problems in the ICT sphere not only in Nigeria, but around the world.
What is the number of your employee?
We have 10 direct employees and 25 indirect ones. Our concept of having employees at IBCdesign is quite different, when we started out having offices in 2017, we had about seven direct employees, later we felt our niche require partnerships rather than employees, we were more comfortable outsourcing jobs to partners rather than having them sit within a confined space. So we are gradually moving towards having very few direct employees and a lot of partners.
What are the major challenges you faced as an entrepreneur?
My biggest challenge used to be starting out as a Nigerian brand despite the false interpretations of who Nigerians are in the global market. I was over that when I realized the secret of a standard job delivery, that time, nobody cares about whom you are, they only care about how effective your services have been. Another major challenge is the orientation of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria about young people making honest living via the internet. It becomes challenging when the agencies that should protect you as citizens bringing pride to the nation stereotypes you by virtue of your age vis a vis your income. It gets so bad that young entrepreneurs making honest legal income off the internet shy away from sharing with others for the fear of not being misinterpreted.
How do you think government can address these problems?
I think the Government should create an enabling environment for Nigerian youths in Nigeria to perform excellently by fixing electricity problems, reducing the cost of doing business in Nigeria and patronize indigenous Nigerian brands most especially in the ICT sector as against using foreign expatriates.
The law enforcement agencies via their re-orientation arms should also intensify efforts to re-orientate officers about legal ways of making money via the internet, one of which is Freelancing.
How many awards and source of grant have you gotten?
In 2014, I was awarded the Meisters Graphic designer of the year. In 2015, I came first at the Osun Nysc entrepreneurial competition and proceeded to represent Osun state at the NYSC-CBN entrepreneurial competition.
What’s your advice for entrepreneurs out there?
I’d advice fellow entrepreneurs in tech to make certain that they are the best in whatever they do globally, it takes a lot of time, but with the right attitude towards learning with a lot of perseverance and consistency, you can be rest assured of success. Entrepreneurship is never a smooth ride, It really entails being futuristic in one’s thought, you don’t have to do it the same way others are doing it, as an entrepreneur, you owe yourself the basic truth, do not allow emotions or what people would say cloud your judgments.