Adeshina Adewumi: A Business Doctor

Adeshina Adewumi,COO for Proville

Adeshina Adewumi is a serial entrepreneur who sees opportunity in every problem and has a strong passion to help businesses grow.Adeshina commitment is to inspire, build and coach young entrepreneurs to build profitable sustainable ventures. He is a highly sought after leader, author, speaker and business consultant. He is the author of “Giving Back”; a book that emphasis the need to have a balanced social, business and academic life while in the university.

Adeshina Adewumi is a first class graduate of Accounting from Bowen University,Osun State. He is a Fellow Royal Society of Arts (UK) and member; Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA), Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI Network). He is a strong promoter of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.

InterviewStories conducted an interview for Adeshina Adewumi. You can also read about Chidi Nwaogu.

Who Is Adeshina Adewumi?

Adeshina Adewumi is an entrepreneur who reflects the virtues of every African entrepreneur willing to make an impact within their community. An entrepreneur and management consultant with over 7 years experience working with multinational companies and also building solutions for Africa and global communities.

“I love to call myself the business doctor who is always ready to help identify solutions to makes ideas and businesses scale.”

I’m currently the Chief Operating Officer for Proville and have had the privilege to Cofound several businesses among but not limited to Regina La Meilleur Limited, Regalo Kitchen and Confectionery Limited and One Kiosk Africa. Each of these companies have received  several local and international recognition, awards and shortlistings among which include but not limited to Top 100 fastest growing SMEs in Nigeria (Award by Business Day Media and Bossman Nigeria), 100 African Startup Initiative (Program by International Finance Corporation- World Bank Group and MICC Egypt), Y Combinator Startup School Batch 2018, Pitch and Win by Sterling Bank and EDC, Lagos Business School (First batch 2019), 6 Top African Startup by Africa Com 2018, Top 30 African Tech Startup by Accenture 2018 and Future of Work Awards (Flexible Working Category by Royal Society of Arts UK).

How has your university degree helped your businesses?

My background as an accountant having studied Accounting during my undergraduate degree has contributed meaningfully to my business. One of the key metrics of measuring business success aside social impact is profitability (revenue, users etc). This has a lot to do with numbers and the survival of every business lies in her ability to make effective decisions with the numbers. Accounting as a first degree has helped a great deal even though I rarely practice now on a commercial scale.

Tell us about Regalo Kitchen and Confectionery Limited that you co-founded?

Regalo Kitchen and Confectionery Limited was birthed in 2015, although it was officially registered in 2018 in Nigeria. Regalo Kitchen started out providing catering services for busy working professionals and corporate organisations. Between 2015 till date, they have been able to service notable companies among which include but not limited to Guaranty Trust Bank, Paystack, Paga, Stanbic IBTC and Ag Leventis Nig.

In 2018, the company decided to include a social enterprise strategy in order to contribute meaningfully towards the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria and thus help reduce unemployment and underemployment. In 2018 alone, the company was able to train over 150 candidates with various catering soft skills to launch out into entrepreneurship through her Regalo Master Class. Regalo Kitchen and Confectionery Limited emerged top 100 fastest growing SMEs in Nigeria for 2018 (Award by Business Day Media and Bossman Nigeria).

The next milestone for Regalo Kitchen is to introduce the Uber Eat model in Nigeria in a refined way to meet the needs of the market and also expand her training facility to train 100,000 youths and women with various soft skills by year 2023.

How was it starting your first company?

Starting my first company was rough, I was poorly informed and prepared for the journey. Just fresh out of school having tested the waters of buying and selling back in school with great success. The bigger market however was a totally different base to operate. My first company was Regina La Meilleur Limited which I incorporated in 2012 with several products among which included Home Tutors Nigeria, RLM Network among others. We have gone through several stages of iterations and finally got a product market fit while some products scrapped and some up for sale with some investors

Did any experience or position you held at school made it easier to solve some problems that you have encountered since you have started?

Interesting question, I have always taken up several leadership roles where I have been privileged to serve so obviously they have all added up in helping me lead and see through project executions. For example, I could remember heading the Academic Committee in my final year for the accounting department and the impact our work had on the outcome of results produced that year. My opinion is that every opportunity to serve one way or the other adds value to you for higher responsibilities

Did you ever thought of getting a government job after school?

Well, government job never really crossed my mind but I wanted to work within a structured multinational firm in order to give me the basic knowledge and network for my entrepreneurial journey and yes I did get that opportunity with Stanbic IBTC within the short period spent with them.

How easy was the transition from the University into business?

As stated earlier, It was rough initially due to little or no solid foundation (capacity development and funding). Capacity development and funding are key ingredient that makes a difference in the life of every entrepreneur especially in Nigeria with all our uniqueness.  The average Nigerian youth or student has got great ideas that got potentials for success, however they lack the capacity and funding to see it through.

Capacity development has to do with basic solid knowledge, requirements to start and make a business succeed. The ability to get a product market fit and talk to the market to know the viability of the idea and then how to secure funding in terms of finance to run for the period of little or no revenue flow

What do you do as COO for Proville?

As the Chief Operating Officer for Proville, I saddled with three (3) tasks; effective day to  day administration and operation of the company. Maintaining our brand equity that builds opportunities for investment, collaborations and partnership and lastly drive revenue for the business through effective coordination of all stakeholders of the company. These three tasks contributes majorly to business growth and success.

What service(s) does Proville provide?

Proville from the name stands for Professional hub or Villa. Our flagship product; Proville.net connects professionals with clients who need their services. We act as a bridge to close the demand supply gap that exists within the professional or would you rather say freelance niche in Africa.

So let’s say you need a web developer for a project, all you need to do is go on proville.net and post your project and budget and wait to receive offers from our pool of professionals. The same applies to all professional services and once you are ready, you assign the project to the best fit professional freelancer with assurance that all payments are done through our escrow model (a secure payment option that avails you security and you only part with money when you are satisfied) with the service you have received.

How frequently do people use Proville?

Proville is used on a daily basis with several jobs started and completed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Some jobs or projects however takes long time frame but you can be rested assured that jobs are always ongoing.

Why is Proville better than her competitors?

Our competitors are the likes of Upwork, Freelancer, Findworka, Workdesk, Tera Work, Asuqu and several others. Proville however in Nigeria as a freelance platform has the first mover advantage as we have taken the lead in educating and sensitizing the public on the viability of freelance platforms like ours as it aligns with the Future of Smart Work across Africa. We also collaborate with the vision of International notable societies such as Royal Society of Arts (UK) towards advancing flexible working options in Nigeria and Africa.


How are you able to manage being a cofounder of 59 One Kiosk Africa Limited?

Success comes with more responsibilities and little time for self if not well managed. Time management plays a vital role here and luckily the team are very effective and organised. Also we are in project mode with launch date set for June 2019

What does 59 One Kiosk Africa Limited do?

One Kiosk Africa; onekioskafrica.com was birthed to introduce a develop model to eCommerce in Nigeria and across Africa. We are an eCommerce business with a different business model that ensures that goods and services are delivered within 59 minutes to the customers while creating employment along the e-commerce value chain. Our solutions has the potentials to create 100,000 jobs by December 2019 given our set projections.

Most of these companies are online, how important is one’s business being online in the present world?

First of all, I always love to say that any business that cannot leverage on technology one way or the other is not ready for a sustained business over the next five (5) years. Technology has to do with the net and as such every business need to align accordingly. Brick and Mortar stores would still be essential but less active compared to online channels within the next 5 years.

What problems have you encountered as an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs first major challenge is finding a product market fit for their idea. This takes quite a lot of our time and once found we then move on to the problem of scaling the business. There is also that challenge of having a work life balance as everything at the beginning seems to rover around you.

This challenges can however be shortened by talking to your target market during design, development and beta stages of your solutions. Building partnerships, collaborations and opportunities for investments and lastly delegating power or would I rather say empowering your team to work effectively with or without you

What  do you want to tell  young entrepreneurs that are just starting?

Talk to your sample market audience, do not be afraid that your idea would be stolen, I believe in the school of thought that there is nothing new under the sun. Implementation and execution makes the difference. Get mentors, do not be discouraged when you get a No, a yes is just around the corner and never give up on yourself. The world needs your idea and solution to materialise, give returns and make social impacts

Do you advise students to try their ideas or start ups in school or wait till after graduation?

Well, I would suggest they can start building capacity early enough and thus they can test their ideas while in school as long as they are able to manage their time well. Most renown business were birthed when their founders were within the university age bracket or in college. So it’s a very good time to start building capacity and test the viability of your idea or solution

Do you advise people to drop out to pursue their dream?

I would usually not support dropping out of school to pursue your dream, however my counsel would depends on various factors. A lot in changing within the educational sector and how people learn and grow, I try not to emphasize  too much of academics but education (which for me the later is continuous as we keep learning and growing). Ideas or dreams as you called it has a way of clouding your mind, it literally feels as though all your life depends on it and nothing else counts.

This feeling is what every entrepreneur goes through and that’s why you see people drop out or resign from their jobs to start that idea. This feeling must, however, be very well managed and decisions are taken objectively with the right foundation laid (Knowledge and Capacity). This question is a very broad topic that cannot be discussed in full here, those interested can reach out to book a session with me.

Do you think entrepreneurs needs mentors?

The answer to this question is quite similar to asking if a tyres need air? If you want to go far, you must have people you can inspire you and support you out of their wealth of experience. Having a mentor is not rocket science, it’s a deliberate art.

Any special skill entrepreneurs needs to be successful

Tenacity is one skill that I would suggest for all entrepreneurs, it produces patience and commitment against all odds to succeed. The entrepreneurial journey is not a straight road, anyone that tells you its a straight road either has not gone through it or is lying.  There are however principles that guide success and once applied with tenacity the result shows itself.

How can young people who will love to ask you questions be able to contact you?

This question makes it look as though I am old. I am very young in mind and age. Readers out there can however reach out to me via LinkedIn (my most active platform)- https://www.linkedin.com/in/adeshina-adewumi-john-frsa-8512b06a/ or ajadewumi on any social media platform. You can also mail me directly at ajadewumi@gmail.com , I try to respond to all my emails.

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