BY OJIE IMOLOAME||
I found his story very interesting and also very daring.
Bankole did his initial schooling in Nigeria, and then went ahead to America for University (Boston College) graduating in 2010. He worked in PricewaterhouseCoopers for 2 years as an associate in the financial services group, moved to The Carlyle Group for a year and a half and decided to move back to Nigeria. He says his experience, especially in the Carlyle “enhanced his business acumen”. I strongly appreciated this because I too am a firm believer in getting yourself some experience before going out on your own. My uncle says that you can always tell the ones who worked before from the ones who went straight into business. Not that its bad to go straight into business, some people (myself included) comes from a school of thought that believes that one should have some experience first!
Upon reading his interview, what struck me was when he said “ I wanted to move back home to be involved in business and to make an impact, so I’ve always been on the lookout for opportunities”. Yes, he had a desire to be in business on his own, but he was not going to just do any business just because. He was going to search for opportunities and take advantage of them. Then he went about “calling different people in different industries, to research and ask a lot of questions”. This is research. Many a time, start-ups fail because they have done enough research to determine the marketability of their product.
He took a risk, a calculated and informed risk, but a risk all the same! “I felt young enough to risk failing rather than wonder what would have been had I not taken the plunge”. It could have backfired, but that’s the cost of a risk! But, at least he did it! At the end, no matter what happens, he knows deep down that he did it, whether it worked out or not! So, he quit and came back to Nigeria to set up Easytaxi.com/ng in 2013.
Easy Taxi is basically a Smart Phone application that allows the user to request for a cab with one click. As one requests a cab, he gets the driver’s details instantly. Also, the driver can be tracked on the map and the customer can see the driver closest to him or her!
Usually, one will have to stand on the street to hail a cab, but now with a simple app, you can get a taxi to your doorstep! One word ‘INNOVATION’
If anything, the convenience alone is amazing!
What I want to stress here is that, yes, he made a sexy decision to quit his job and start his own thing. That is very attractive to hear. However, what I learnt from his story was that he made in informed decision. It was not a quickie. It was one where he had done his homework and discovered a hole in the market (opportunity) and proceeded to act on it! Simply put, he got his head out of the box and jumped!