Like many successful entrepreneurs, Ike Okosa saw a problem in his industry and proffered a solution to it.
His journey into being an innovator started in 2015, during a short business trip he took to Nigeria from the UK, where he was based at the time and running Swoop Media, a company that provided Digital Marketing services to UK private schools.
Although it was his first visit to Nigeria in over a decade, his attendance at the 2015 edition of Social Media Week was what exposed him to the opportunities in the tech ecosystem in the country. The number of vital connections he formed and the talents he met influenced him to hire a new team that replaced his UK employees at Swoop Media.
This realization of talents in Nigeria also dawned an idea on him—hiring software engineers directly from Nigeria instead of outsourcing to India, which was what some UK firms did at the time if they want quality work done for cheap. “Working with Indian developers was painful at times,” Okosa said in an interview with Techpoint Africa. “English isn’t their first language, so communication was often a problem. The time zone difference (five and a half hours) also made working with Indian talent difficult.”
Aware of the challenges with India, Okosa was determined to proffer a solution. His solution bordered around connecting UK companies to talents in Africa as well as creating a positive impact on Africa as a whole. In 2016, eWorker was launched and with the use of social media as a marketing tool, over 500 African freelancers became members of the platform within a few weeks.
According to Okosa, some of the first set of members on the platform put out some good work while others couldn’t. This was another problem Okosa sought to solve as he made his team migrate to local tech recruitment which in turn led eWorker to become a senior engineer hiring platform connecting global companies to top tech talents in Africa.
Due to the expensive rate of highering senior engineers, Okosa says he ensures that most software engineers and clients on the platform are vetted to protect both parties. “The last thing we want to do is to connect a senior software engineer with a company that doesn’t understand the value he or she has,” he reiterates.
Since its launch in 2016 up until now, the idea which backs eWorker has evolved a lot as the company recently launched its eWorkerHR platform that helps human resource personnel to measure and find quality talent. While the startup is simultaneously providing solutions like this to companies outside tech, Okosa is confident that eWorker is committed to connecting African senior tech talent with global opportunities.
“It’s now time to broaden our scope as we have a global vision. For eWorker, talent exists across Africa, and providing opportunities to top tech talent across the continent has always been our mission,” he said.