BFP: What do you do?
PA: I wear two hats. I started Diro Systems, a young IT Services business with operations in the UK and Nigeria in 2008, which I still run. I am also a member of the organising team at TEDxEuston, a TEDx programme run in London every year that focuses on Africa.
BFP: What is the best part about your job?
PA:With Diro Systems, I love the freedom I have to be as innovative in designing customer solutions as I like. Even though I was fortunate enough to enjoy a really rewarding and productive career for 11 years working for my previous organisation, there were times I felt restricted. It was not always possible to get the management board to back my ideas. With running my own business, comes the opportunity to get involved in developing solutions specifically for the African market starting with our operations in Lagos. This is one adventure I am really passionate about.
This brings me to TEDxEuston. I am passionate about Africa and of course Nigeria and being a part of the wonderful TEDxEuston team that will produce our 4thedition this year on the 1 December 2012 has been a truly remarkable journey. I have been able to work with the most amazing colleagues and made friends that I will have for life. I have always enjoyed volunteering from a very young age and this by far is the best team of volunteers I have ever come across.
BFP: What have been your greatest challenges?
PA: The biggest challenge I have faced with Diro Systems has been starting up a business right at the beginning of the financial meltdown. Growth has been trickier to navigate and it has meant a constant reassessment of priorities and strategy. But we have grown through these challenges and are really well placed to play a role in the post-recession boom that is sure to come.
At TEDxEuston the challenge has always been time but when you are enjoying something the way we all are, we have always found the time including writing up this interview at 3am in the morning!!
BFP: How have you overcome these challenges?/ What advice, would you give to others?/ What is the secret of your success
PA: The only way to overcome any challenge is hard work, sacrifice and belief in one’s self and one’s own abilities. With Diro Systems, we have simply worked harder for our clients and tried to give better and better value for their money. When your clients know that you are going that extra mile for them, it stands you out as great value all the time. We have also been more and more innovative in our approach and early adopters of cutting edge technology.
At TEDxEuston we have mostly challenges around logistics. With four colleagues out of 16 living in India, Belgium, South Africa and Nigeria it has meant making effective use of technology – Google Groups, Mobile Chat Services (Blackberry and WhatsApp), Teleconferences, Video Conferences and of course Social Media. Most years we have 2 or 3 face to face team meetings and 1 of these happens the week of the event!!
The only advice I can give anyone is to pursue your passion every day – make sure you are waking up to do work that really fires up your spirit. Because then you will always have the energy to handle the tough times. And keep good friends!!
BFP: If someone wants to do what you do, where should they start?
PA: START!! Really!! That is all I can say. As the Nike advert says, Just Do It (Already!!). I found that for a few years I dreamed about running my own business but I always put it off for all sorts of reasons that I now know it was just me limiting myself. The best way to get going is to start.
There is an amazing amount of resources for start-ups now compared to 10 years ago. Funding options have improved tremendously especially with the Crowd Funding possibilities that now exist. Have a good idea? It is only a good idea if you do something about it.
BFP: Finally; what do you hope to get out of being part of the BFP community?
PA: I got to know about BFP through my work with TEDxEuston when BFP came in to partner with us. Since then I have joined the community and honestly sometimes I wake up and log in to get inspired by the amazing conversations and stories on the platform. I get fired up by the number of similarly minded business people out there that do not see business as simply a way to improve our own lives but as an opportunity to win the fight against world poverty one square inch at a time.
I hope to not only keep getting inspired by others on here but to also do enough from my side to inspire others.
As we say at TEDxEuston, we do it together or we don’t do it at all!
Thank you to Patrick Anigbo for taking the time to do this interview.
Read previous Member of the Week interviews here.