AKOMOLAFE HENRICH BANKOLE, MD AKOTEX GROUP

Akomolafe Henrich Bankole is one of the most successful under-30 entrepreneurs in Nigeria. He is the managing director of Akotex Group, a conglomerate of four businesses across several industries, including real estate/construction, technology, escalator, elevator fitness and wellness. He was listed as one of the Forbes Africa 120 game changers in 2019. At 27, Bankole has made a considerable impact on the Nigerian business space as he constantly seeks to disrupt industries with technology through Akotex Group. Given his meteoric rise over the past years, there is a chance that the business could become a top brand in the country and Africa at large within the shortest possible time. “As an entrepreneur with a drive for continuous improvement and innovation, I am keen on developing myself and remaining focused in order to leave an indelible footprint on the global business world,” he says. His determination to succeed in life and be innovative inspired the establishment of Akotex Nigeria Limited – his first arm of business— in 2016.The engineer-turned-entrepreneur had very little to start with, but the fusion of skills and ideas was able to generate the needed capital for him to kick-start the business. With the support from family members, Bankole was able to raise his initial start-up capital. “Really there was no large sum initial start-up capital,” he says.“The business idea was present, and the skills were also in hand. So, generating the start-up capital was a fusion of skills with idea – this is what entrepreneurship is about –using value as a skill in order to generate value as a commodity,” he explains. Since starting, the young entrepreneur has grown very fast as his business has expanded despite slow economic growth. Key to this is innovation. “In the last couple of years, this growth has been remarkable when juxtaposed with previous years,” he admits “There has been expansion amid periods of market decline,” he further says. “Our main strategy has been constant innovation in our business model,” he notes. “Also, our competitive advantage has been greatly advanced by putting into maximum consideration other factors such as keeping a good customer relationship, adding values to our firm and partners, as well as leveraging and extending our valuable capabilities and resources,” he further explains. His firm has earned the trust of customers and also delivers critical services. The entrepreneur says he plans to establish an elevator factory in the country in the long run and expands the real estate arm through provision of affordable housing for younger Nigerians. On his advice to other entrepreneurs, Bankole says, “My advice is to make good use of the opportunity to influence your community, beginning from your work space. And of course, be focused.”

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