IN NAIJA IT Solutions Ltd.:
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I started off with a Flash-drive hopping from one cafe to the next!
Domingo Ibironke is the Founder and now the Project Manager of INITS (formerly registered as IN NAIJA IT Solutions Ltd), an indigenous IT company that initially started off as an online business directory service in 2007.
Now having business operations in software development, web design, database management, network solutions, bulk SMS, hardware procurement and support, with other strings of services; with a resilient and non-deterring spirit, she started off the company just with her flash-drive, hopping from one cyber cafe to the next.
She would have successfully started off the company comfortably with about a million naira (N1m) lump sum, but there was nowhere such amount could be raised.
With sheer improvisation, she built the company over - now having a clientele list covering large business corporations and governmental agencies, running an annual turn-over rate in the 7-figure range.
She coordinates an 8-member staff strength as her human resource, she stated that the sky is just the starting point for an entrepreneur with Passion, Determination and Self Motivation...
What is your educational background, as well as family status?
I attended K.Kotun Memorial School (Pry 1-5) and University of Lagos (Unilag)
How long have you been in this business and what motivated you to start the business?
I started off officially in January 2007. I had a passion to bridge a gap in the Nigerian system in IT and business process as well as a drive to make money doing what I loved to do.
Why did you go establish IN NAIJA IT Solutions Ltd? What was the attraction?
IN NAIJA IT Solutions Ltd. started off as an online business directory service and has long evolved into an IT company (INITS) that provides web solutions, applications, designs, as well support.
Did you have any formal or informal training or familiarization with the business-type prior to starting?
Yes and No. Yes based on my course of study and my life long passion and character. No in terms of the technicalities involved.
How did you start? Was capital an issue? What initial challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
I started by going to the cyber cafe everyday with my flash drive... (lol) Capital threatened to be a challenge...and one that nearly made us give up. However, we were persistent and favoured. Once we were able to overcome it, it seemed quite easy after all.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing... I have truly enjoyed building and climbing my way from the bottom to where we are presently; and I am looking forward to climbing to the top.
What sacrifices have you had to make to survive and thrive in business as an entrepreneur?
I'll say this, I have been highly favoured in my path, and have chosen not to view the choices I have made as sacrifices. I have made decisions and have turned away from some options, all in all, there has not been too much 'drama'.
What critical skills or personal attributes would you say are needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Passion, Determination and Self Motivation and most importantly Trust in GOD
Do you have any mentor in business? Are mentors a necessity?
To be honest, I have people I admire. I have people I study, but NO, I don't have a mentor that I can think of. I observe different qualities from different people and move on. So I do not think mentorship is a necessity. It does help though, because not everyone has the ability to be self motivated and driven, so they may choose to seek for it elsewhere. However, I get a lot of inspiration from listening to music.
What would you say are the critical success factors that an entrepreneur needs to run a successful business?
I think you need to be calculating, positive minded, determined, thorough and favored because we all need a little bit of luck!
Given the present recession in the Global Economy, what are your major challenges in business?
None! Every company needs IT to succeed, so it really is not that bad for us.
How do you combine family and business?
Lol!(Laughs Out Loud) I am not married yet. Though I will be getting married later this year, however I will be getting married to my partner here at INITS (the co-owner) so I feel we will find a very good and even balanced home and business. He is a very hardworking man as well as understanding and GOD-fearing. I know we will be fine.
What is your advice to intending professional female entrepreneurs?
Pray, work hard, play hard, learn to sense an opportunity, learn to control your emotions and distance who you are from what your business is, never give up and pray some more. These things I learnt on the job.
Being a Scholar in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative, what key lessons seem to impact your business the most from the bulk of the modules you took on entrepreneurial management?
Taxation and Business Ethics.
Would you recommend that other Women Entrepreneurs enroll for the program?