The Future Awards Africa Prize In Business
Sunkanmi Ola (26)
When Sunkanmi Ola established Syracuse Digital, his advertising and product development agency, he breathed new life into an industry that settled into a ruinous routine. Ola began his drive for supremacy by hiring some of the most talented professionals in digital marketing, graphic design, advertising and content creation, creating a powerhouse content room. With his team and his ambition, Ola aggressively courted clients, developing strategic, creative and technical ideas that were ideated and streamlined to meet and fill the specific needs of each of the companies Syracuse Digital serves.
Since its establishment in 2012, Ola’s Sycracuse Digital has employed 60 people and currently employs 21 of the best heads in their various disciplines. He has grown the company into a business juggernaut, making an annual turnover of $500,000 a year through deals for clients like Adidas, Tecno mobile, Mitsubishi Motors and Infinix to name a few. Under Sunkanmi Ola’s inspired leadership, Syracuse digital has become an independent success story, reaching clients and creating campaigns for Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Cameroon and the UK.
Ladipo Lawani (30)
The Nigerian government is quick to encourage young people to return to the land and take up agriculture as a solution to the country’s growing problems. Ladipo Lawani understands that while their intentions are noble, their logic is flawed. He understands that the real problem is not in tilling the land, it is in ensuring that the process from raw material to finished product ready for the final consumer must be adequately reverse engineered and improved on to specifically factor in Nigeria’s peculiar problems.
Not one to postulate when there is work to be done, Lawani started L&L Foods, an agropeneurial business that serves as a pilot for Lawani’s ambitions of domination in Agriculture. Working with a single product, Lawani has created a production chain that connects farmers across Nigeria with final consumers with a hankering for specific kinds of processed foods. His flagship product is ‘Mr Ekpa’, a premium snack line that includes three variations of processed groundnuts; sugar-coated, regular roasted and lightly salted. Starting on a capital base of N500,000 and L&L Foods has seen phenomenal growth, and currently stocks its products in over 1000 stores across the country.
It has also taken the strain of preserving and storing freshly harvested products from farmers and currently operates with an installed capacity of 30 tonnes a month. Lawani’s business on the Columbia Business School Shark Tank competition and the Nigerian Economic Summit startup competition in 2017.
Their only way to go from here is up.
Ronke Bamisedun (31)
In two short years, Ronke Bamisedun has positioned herself as the most influential women in public relations in Nigeria, a coveted position for everyone in the field.
She runs the BWL Agency, a boutique PR agency based in Lagos Nigeria, where her decade of experience advising multinational companies like Pandora, Moet Hennessy is brought to the fore. Her consumer agency retains partnerships with Pernod Ricard Nigeria, handling the public relations for all of its internationally recognized brands including Jameson Whisky, Chivas Regal, Absolut and Martell. Her inspired decision to pivot the marketing strategy of Jameson Nigeria, introducing it to a new audience through a series of subtle but effective music parties is the talk of the PR industry for how understated marketing can remain incredibly effective.
What makes all of this even more impressive is that Bamisedun runs a very small ship, with a full team of only four members who manage an annual turnover of 70 million naira. Their extraordinary Nigerian Campaign for Chivas Regal celebrating Shola Ladoja of Simply Green Juices and Oluyomi Ojo of Printivo was also another subversive success in an industry that all too often reaches for the lowest hanging fruit.
Chidi Ajaere (31)
Revolutionizing an already successful business is often the start of its failures but for Chidi Ajaere, the son of transport magnate Edwin Ajaere; it was only the next step in a natural progression that saw his father build a reputable and extremely profitable business out of reliability and innovation.
Ajaere’s time as executive chairman of God Is Good group has been characterized by an embrace of contemporary technology and the digitization of the transport industry which is dominated by cultural stalwarts who balk at the slightest sign of change. Ajaere expanded his father’s transport business to take on challenges in logistics, oil and gas, real estate and finance. He has spent the last decade interconnecting these interests and infusing his father’s primary business with the ease of technology, including a digital app, state of the art physical transport terminals and a robust and responsive customer service network.
Ajaere also contributes to future technology by creating the GIG innovation Hub, dedicated to fostering technological development in Benin City, Edo state.
Mohammed Jammal (31)
Mohammed Jammed is an entrepreneur who runs a construction, properties and travels company called Threem Plus. He was born and bred in Jos, Nigeria where he graduated from secondary school 2006 and moved to Abuja in 2011 after completing his degrees in International Business (BA) and Global Management (Masters) at Regents College, London, United Kingdom.
Since then, he has successfully created a reputable and thriving group of companies in different industries, especially in the real estate, hospitability and construction sectors. In 2014, he started the company with his wife where they began with only 1 staff, but today his company manages over 100 Nigerian professionals, both young and old in Abuja and Lagos.
His passion is second to none in creating a viable, conducive, and a people-friendly work environment where talents are harnessed, nurtured and empowered.
In the past one year, he has managed to turn Silverbird Mall Abuja around by taking the occupancy rate from 50% to 95%. Today he is doing the same with the recent takeover of the management of Silverbird Galleria Lagos and is currently reinventing the mall in order to bring it back to its golden days.
He is also doing construction projects all over the country including the just-completed Infrastructure (Roads and Drainages) at the National Housing Programme FCT.
His passion for our country has garnered him a lot of respect amongst the youths and his peers with his initiative on youth empowerment. This is done by constantly creating job opportunities, as his company grows bigger and better.