The capital and entrepreneurial hub of Nigeria, Adeshola Komolafe has been steadily setting herself apart from the competition in Abuja.
When she started her company, Media Insights, she knew that if she was to compete and get ahead in the male-dominated field of marketing communications, she had to innovate, to stand out, and prove herself. Her strategic decisions and hard work paid off. As CEO, she built her client base and brought on customers such as the British Council and the UK’s Department of International Development (DFID).
Because of her powerful example, here are some few interview questions about her entrepreneurial journey, challenges, path to success, and vision for the future.
What made you start your own Integrated Marketing Communications firm?
Adeshola: I just knew it was time to start. I have always had a passion to help people consistently meet their communication objectives, to help people create and sustain communication between their brands and their target institutional, and individuals communities.I love to help people have perfect communication balance and position them for success. I had the training, the passion and the will to succeed.
What challenges have you faced starting your business in a male-dominated industry in Abuja? But more importantly, how have you overcome them?
Adeshola: The Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) world is a male-dominated one. At the beginning, it was tough being a woman in a male-dominated industry. We were up against well-established firms. In some cases, they even had prior relationships with our target clients. We were obviously the underdogs coupled with the fact that the firm was led by a woman. The only way to beat the competition was to become innovative. So, we researched on the latest trends in IMC and all our prospective clients. We reviewed their past IMC attempts and worked out ways to offer them better services at cheaper rates. Our competition could not compete with our new strategy of offering better services at cheaper rates. We encouraged our clients to give us endorsement letters to show that they we satisfied with our services.
What do you think has made you so successful?
Adeshola: I understand that success is a process. It doesn’t just happen but happens only when you deliver consistently more than is expected of you. It must be cultivated. So from the outset, I set out to be successful. I knew where I was going. I knew how to get there. All I needed was the resources.So I engaged young and vibrant individuals, overflowing with creative ideas.
What advice would you give to other women in Nigeria who want to start their own business?
A: To the young women in Nigeria, I would say, you need to be extremely good at what you do. Don’t get started until you are sure and convinced within you that it is time to start. You need to learn that there are times you might need to walk away to protect your dignity, reputation and integrity.
What are your future goals, personally and with your business?
A:Working for the political, economic, and social advancement of women in Nigeria is what appeals to me as the most important engagement that I will love to be involved in a decade from now.