Cocktails & Dresses2016: Catching up with Ms. Olateru Oniru
As we inch closer to Cocktails & Dresses: The Largest Gathering of Made in Africa’s Best Event to hold this December, we take time out to have a pick on the host’s personal ambitions, her business goals and challenges in entrepreneurship.
You have managed to achieve a lot at a relatively young age, how do you think through your ideas to eventually actualizing it?
I tend to focus very strongly on results. Focusing as much energy as possible on what’s going to help us get the very best results. At Dressmeoutlet.com, we want to serve as role models for other African startups, we share knowledge, we collaborate and we compete less. This is the same culture that is being driven across our customer service, operations, marketing and recruitment efforts. We are a results-driven company – we work for results and strive to communicate excellence at all times.
What are your views on what a modern woman is?
I would say a modern woman is fun, full-of-life, giving, ambitious, hardworking and passionate. A modern woman combines so many responsibilities and succeeds in each one. We are lovers, mothers, caretakers, friends, employees, employers and more. In a great country like Nigeria with booming development opportunities yet many setbacks and challenges, modern women have to go above and beyond – we must make wise decisions and contribute within and outside of the home. We must be able to impact communities and contribute to developing our nation. We must be able to empower, train, support and develop others. We must work together, we must succeed together, we must generate opportunities and we must maximize our natural resources and human capabilities to move the nation and continent forward.
You did your higher studies outside of Nigeria as with a lot of successful Professionals in the country presently, will you say there is something people tap abroad that is not present in Nigeria?
I strongly believe doing my MBA abroad really helped my career growth and openness to global knowledge. What is most pertinent here is that our educational system in Africa needs to be developed to the best of international standards. At the end of the day, we all want what’s best. Same thing we are seeing in the fashion industry. We are competing with international companies as the world becomes increasingly global and thus as Dressmeoutlet.com, we have to ensure that all the products we retail are of excellent quality and nothing less. Once we start developing a culture of excellence and working hard to yield the very best results, we won’t have people like President-elect Donald Trump calling all Africans lazy. It’s a great thing that a lot of successful African’s in diasporas are coming back home to establish and grow businesses and yes, the ethics of excellence, hard work and sharing knowledge are part of the traits people tap abroad that needs to be developed here in Nigeria.
How has your background in finance helped you in your personal capacity as a business woman?
It helps to be able to guide the accounting and financial management teams at Dressmeoutlet.com in keeping us financially proficient.
Have you abandoned the side of you that is a financial guru?
I am very focused on Dressmeoutlet.com and on magnifying the Made in Africa Fashion, Beauty and Home industries. A lot of financial acumen is needed to magnify any industry. We are constantly reviewing growth projections, industry potentials, vertical possibilities and more – all requiring strong financial analytics.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a millennial especially as a woman?
I’m very big on focusing on results rather than challenges. Nonetheless, if I were to name one challenge, it probably would be ensuring that I make out time to exercise daily. I am very big on running but sometimes I find myself working way past midnight and realizing I hadn’t created time to work-out that day.
How did you feel when you heard you were named on the Forbes Under 30 Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa?
Delighted and very appreciative. Always great to have people recognize, support and patronize our ambitions at Dressmeoutlet.com. Much more ahead as we continue to work to give our customers the very best of fashion, beauty and home products from Africa to the world.