OYE AKIDEINDE SPEARHEADING GREAT INNOVATIONS
‘I have over 17 years of experience across several sectors like consumer goods, e-Business, financial, media and digital. I’m currently the GM, Operations – Mobile Apps & Digital Music (Boomplay) for TECNO Mobile Limited and also the co-founder of 360nobs Limited, a company which owns the 360nobs.com platform. I’m always on the lookout for opportunities and ideas to implement which can impact Africa’s growth positively’ – Oye Akideinde
The pursuit of immediate fulfillment/respect may be attributed to the reasons why a country like Nigeria have in numbers young people who are constantly on the path for shortcut to success. This epidemic is also visible on social media where you notice the large number of profiles reading social media outlets but the content on their pages scream ‘bandwagon!’ Generating innovative contents that will be beneficial to today and tomorrow’s generation seems to be a mindset for only a few thoroughbreds. Great minds like Oye Akideinde have separated themselves from the crowd to look outside the box in order to project and come up with innovative ideas that have continued to benefit generations to come. This column of this magazine is geared to celebrate special individuals that have created ideas that are
beneficial to the demand and supply of ideas, goods and services for several individuals in the huge market space. Oye Akideinde, Co-founder of 360nobs.com and the General Manager, Operations – Mobile Apps & Boomplay at Tecno Mobile, is the Market leader whose story we will be sharing in this edition.
Kindly introduce yourself?
Oye Akideinde is your everyday fun guy who loves God, his family, his circle of friends, music, movies, and comics. A lot of people call me Oye A.K.D. I am the last of four children – Lolade (boy), Akin (boy), Bimpe (girl) and I (boy). My dad is a civil engineer and mum is an educationist. Both my parents are happily retired. I have a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos (Greatest Akokaites!) and an MSc in Business Information Systems from the University of Hertfordshire, UK. I have over 17 years of experience across several sectors like consumer goods, eBusiness, financial, media and digital. I’m currently the GM, Operations – Mobile Apps & Digital Music (Boomplay) for TECNO Mobile Limited and also the co-founder of 360nobs Limited, a company which owns the 360nobs.com platform.
I’m always on the lookout for opportunities and ideas to implement which can impact Africa’s growth positively. I love being involved in global workshops to contribute to discussions on various trends in Africa. Everyone and everything around me influences me. I really love learning. I am a collector at heart – I collect things from Comic books to
Original DVDs to mp3s. I love Manchester United, been a fan since 1989.
Describe your journey into co-founding 360nobs.com?
I had always been in love with music right from when I was a toddler – I was always found singing and dancing. Once I became 10, I started songwriting. My secondary school classmates may remember me as rapping in front of the class most times (CMC in da house! LOL). While studying for my Masters in the UK, I had tried my hands professionally on rapping and songwriting. It was then I realized that even if I didn’t end up being the next Jay-Z or Babyface, I would still love to be a part of the Entertainment Industry in Africa, working behind the scenes and contributing to its success. I started writing reviews on albums. My first review was on M.I’s “Talk About It” album
June 2009. It got picked up by Tribune Newspaper and was published. Around this time, my very good friend Noble Igwe who was handling management and PR for a couple of artistes like Banky W and Waje saw the review and asked me to write a couple of album reviews for his
clients. This I did with ease. A month after, Noble shared with me his idea of creating an all-in-one hotspot for everything lifestyle and entertainment and how he would love for me to develop the website. Unfortunately I couldn’t develop it for him, as I was neck deep implementing a Chip and PIN MasterCard Project for FCMB, the bank I worked at the time. He told him he understood and that he would reach out to me for album reviews for the site. During the process, I
constantly gave him tips and ideas to make the website stand out on its own. He then reached out to me to help review the website when it was nearly done and I liked it instantly (Shout Out to PlastiQQ who developed the website). After a couple of tweaks, he said he would want us to run it together along with another of my close childhood friends – Antonia Soares who was with him during the development phase. The 3 of us became partners and 360nobs.com was born on April 1, 2010. It is today one of Africa’s biggest lifestyle & entertainment websites catering to millions of unique visitors monthly. 360nobs.com is owned by 360NoBS Limited. 360 NoBS stands for Everything! No Bull Sh*t! (360 = Everything; No BS = No Bull Sh*t) and serves both sides of the Entertainment community – Content Creators and Content Consumers. But the name 360NoBS was chosen also for a few other reasons. At the time (and even to present day), Noble was the most social person out of the 3 of us, and a responsible party animal. His nickname was Nobs so after much deliberation on other names, we decide to run with it to attract eyeballs and attention from all those who knew or had heard of him. The word Nobs also means someone of Noble character like me (LOL). The abbreviation NOBS also stands for our names – Noble, Oye, Bimbo Soares. I was basically in charge of Music, IT, HR and Admin back then (please remember we were only 3 to start with. LOL). Now that there’s a strong team in place, I focus mostly on Business Development, IT and B2B Strategies. All the partners are still very hands-on in the operations of 360NoBS.
360NoBS is about everything that touches people’s lives every day from Entertainment news, to Fashion to Games to Music to Movies to Articles to Opinions to Event Pictures. Our visitors (whether new or returning) always have something to choose from our wide bouquet of categories that should keep attracting them back to the site. It’s also a platform that supports artistes, writers, game developers, photographers and fashion designers (established, next-rated and new) for free; where they put up their materials for publicity and honest opinion from our visitors.
Tell us about some other projects you have worked on and the
challenges you have faced?
I will talk about a few of them. In 2010, I left the bank to take a risk to go join an exciting
start-up called CCM (Compliance & Content Monitoring) as the Chief Information Officer. It was an innovative, technology driven and independent media monitoring company, which tracked all the TVs and Radio stations in Nigeria, providing rich data and competitive analysis
for advertisers, agencies, regulators, producers, labels, and artistes. It was meant to revolutionize the media industry. The challenge faced was that it was ahead of its time due to the poor infrastructure in the country. Internet was still at a premium and we had to power up base stations wherever we deployed our logging servers. The operating costs just kept climbing through the roof. In the end, I had to leave it in 2011 to re-engineer the processes at
360nobs.com. So glad that they survived the economic crunch and it looks like they are here to stay. In 2012, Noble and I started a social media and online driven delivery service called 360Delivery Limited. Boasting of over 15 motorcycles and 2 cars in only its first 6 months, 360Delivery fast became Lagos’ leading pick-up-and-delivery company that offered quick and secure delivery services. In the same 2012, a law was passed by the Government that restricted motorcycles below 200cc from plying 475 roads and highways. It was a difficult pill to swallow, as we had to sell off all our bikes for next to nothing in our bid to comply with the new laws of Lagos state. We got new bikes that were 350cc and were about 3-4 times the costs of the original bikes we started with. These new bikes kept breaking down and the mechanics did more harm than fixing it. It was one of the most difficult challenges I had ever faced. Quite recently, I have been involved in like 4 different start-up businesses that are still in project phase due to sharp rise in exchange rates against the dollar. It’s become a waiting game to see when the dollar will eventually stabilize so that these start-ups may launch.
In summary, I faced a lot of the challenges most entrepreneurs and start-ups face from capital & funding to service providers to Government policies to economic factors. A lot of these challenges can be overcome with the right planning and strategies while some just catch you unawares.
Let’s talk about your job as the GM, Operations – Mobile Apps &
Boomplay for TECNO, what does your innovations and roles bring to the entertainment industry and Nigeria?
I joined TECNO as the General Manager, Operations – Mobile Apps & Boomplay on April 1, 2015. My love for music and my mixed set of vast skills acquired along the way got me here to this point and I can’t stop thanking God for blessing me with creative talents that I keep using to innovate and implement my ideas. Boomplay is a groundbreaking innovative idea – to act as a middleman between artistes and customers, just as record stores used to. The innovation behind it is the ways we implemented the idea to fit into the African entertainment sector. The main objective of Boomplay is to deliver the best African and International songs, videos and other entertaining content to music lovers while also building the most sustainable digital music ecosystem for artistes, labels, content creators and providers.
Boomplay is a legitimate digital music distribution store that also competes effectively against piracy. We created a music service that makes it so easy for people to buy music – right from their mobile phones. It is often said that, “Without distribution methods, it’s very possible that music wouldn’t get very far.” Suddenly, the African music industry, which had suffered a lot from offline and online piracy, has a place to earn revenues from the sales of digital music. Users no longer have to search for local music shops, Alaba, “music uploaders” and pirated blogs or torrents to buy that new album by 2Face Idibia or Sinach. They simply reach into their pocket and click on Boomplay on their TECNO or Android phones to buy or listen to any of their favourite songs. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I’ve been blown away by how quickly it has adopted by artistes and music consumers. It’s definitely a game-changer in the entertainment industry. Boomplay will bring fans closer to artistes and music they love with its user friendliness and share-ability, alongside other amazing features such as the ability for users to win coins to purchase
content. Boom Player comes pre-loaded on all TECNO android devices and is available on Google Play for all android users to experience and enjoy. The latest version integrates a lot of social elements into it. Be sure to follow me – oyeakd on Boomplay and check out some of my
If you were to advise students in the universities, what would you
like to share with them?
I would like to categorize my advice into 5 aspects, which are
intertwined all the way. My first advise starts with seeking advice itself – Listen to
everyone’s advice but the decision you take should be yours and yours alone. Listening to advice does not mean that you will necessarily follow blindly all that you are told. Whichever advice you take, how much of it you actually use – depends on you having the final say. It’s true when they say only people who don’t love or care about you can give you bad advice but students should ensure to reach out to people with more experiences and different opinions or views when seeking advice. These people can be friends, family members, entrepreneurs, lecturers, and mentors. Seeking advice before making your decision helps you do things the right way the first time. It is better to make the best decisions the first time than fixing problems that can arise from making a bad decision.
This ties into my 2nd advice – Depend on your network. If you haven’t created one yet, start creating! Meet new people; make new friends. When you ask for advice, you have to reach out and ask for help from your network you have created. You need to understand that no one gets through life alone. No one. Listen to everyone that matters, think through your options wisely and be strong enough to stand by the decisions you take from them, never blaming those who advised you.
Which leads to my 3rd advice – You will either succeed from the successes or learn from the failures. I can’t remember who said it but it’s one of my guidelines to life – “Success leads to the greatest failure, which is arrogance and pride. Failure can lead to the greatest success, which is humility and learning.” It’s better to have tried and failed than not to try at all. You end up living with an emptiness wondering what could have been if you had taken the chance. But take calculated risks – In the end, we are our choices.
Build yourself a great story. When you fail along the way, embrace it. Oprah Winfrey said it best “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” Great success is rarely built on success. It is often built on rebounding from failure,
frustration and stormy waters. Mistakes, failures, and disappointments are a necessary component of becoming wiser. We learn more from our failures than from our successes.
Which leads to my 4th advice – Never stop learning. Continuous learning even beyond the walls of the universities bring about innovation and boosts your imagination. Imagination is the centre of all invention and innovation. When you dream, learn on how to make it a reality. If you play it safe always, you stay within your own limitations. Be more! One of my former MDs and mentors – Larry Ettah – used to say “It’s only education that can breed success”. Being educated makes you free. It
gives you an understanding of how to think clearly and take the opportunities ahead of you. Follow your curiosity, and be ambitious about it.
Which leads to my 5th and final advice (at least for now) – Never take NO for an answer. Learning about yourself will help you when it’s time to fight – whether it’s for the job you applied for; for the people you love most; for a Nation you would like to see great again. This will help when you are faced with the supposedly “Mission Impossible.” You will be able to see the unexpected opportunities others can’t see and take them. You will be able to master time to an extent. Always remember procrastination is the thief of time. Your time is limited. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Perseverance is key. I advise you to walk the path where your passion is at its greatest so that you can drag yourself from bed everyday or work late into the night with the mindset of being in love with what you do. It is the difficult days — the ones that challenge you the most — that will determine who you are.
To summarize with everything happening in our great Nation, don’t give up on your dreams. Nigeria needs you. Be you. Be more. Never give up and trust in God always.
– Sesan Adeniji
Culled from Mystreetz Magazine