MY GREATEST MOTIVATION CAME FROM DETERMINATION TO BUILD SOMETHING UNIQUE – O’Range Consult Boss, Tywo Akintoye
Taiwo ‘Tywo’ Akintoye is a Business Management consultant who started his career about 15 years ago, when he got his Bachelors’ Degree in Economics from the University of Ado-Ekiti, now Ekiti State University. He is an indigene of Ibadan in Oyo State; he is a member of the once popular music group Twin-X which he formed alongside his twin brother. With a background in entertainment and brand marketing, he has over the years metamorphosed into a management consultant with strong bias for startups and youth development. He has an MBA in Marketing Management with an Executive Masters’ in Project Management. He had Professional Project Management training from the International Institute of Technology and Applications, (IITA) Georgia USA and later consulted for the same organization. He has since over twelve years been managing projects within the Tourism, ICT/TelecomEntertainment, FMCG and Health sectors across Africa and the USA. He’s a Certified British Project Professional (BPP) and a global member of the Project Management Institute (PMI). He was the West-Africa Consultant for ExteemConcept Incorporated, a training and management consulting firm based in USA. He is currently the principal partner for O’range Development Consult, a Nigeria based firm with presence in Chicago, and Indianapolis USA
You recently returned to Nigeria
Yes, I was in the United States for professional reasons. Actually, the US has been very prominent in most of my career pursuits over the last twelve to eleven years and I’ve been able to build partnerships and affiliations with decent organizations over there in various fields especially ICT and Management Consulting. Though my last trip was prolonged due to circumstances I could not control, but I’m home now, and all the same it was a good opportunity to make an assessment of what we’re doing now in relation to the objectives we set for ourselves about a year ago.
Tell us about O’range Consult
O’range Development Consult is a company driven by Impact, Development and Learning, and I am one of the founders of the company. We are usually interested in projects that have meaningful impacts on our environment, while paying attention to all forms of development, be it personal, professional, business andthe socio-economic development of the country at large. Of course, you need to keep learning in order to develop and you need to be creative to make meaningful impact. So, O’range Development Consult has two arms namely O’range Academy and O’range Impact.
O’range Academy is a platform we have created to focus on resource development through training and management consulting. It was birthed as a special purpose vehicle with an aim of carrying out all our training initiatives and we have a strong bias for African youths. O’range impact on the other hand is where we’re able to express our creative skills in marketing and business development. Here we are constantly excited by the commercial impact of our concepts and strategies on our client organizations.
You’re currently working on a sport project, can you tell us about it?
Yeah, it is a Tennis competition in Osun state. Our client on this project is“Charleans in Diaspora Incorporated”, the Diaspora based alumni association of St’ Charles High School Osogbo, which was actually a boys only school known as St’Charles Grammar School before it was converted to a mixed gender school by the last administration of the state. Like I said about having impact, the project is primarily developed to create an avenue for young people to discover themselves in other areas outside their main academics. It is a tennis competition for both boys and girls in secondary schools within Osun state and it is planned to kick off very soon in Osogbo Nigeria. Charleans in Diaspora Incorporated as they are known have an objective of touching the lives of students while we at O’range Impact being the marketing company and project managers are also driven by the opportunity to help add value to the lives of those kids.
Why Tennis of all sports?
Tennis has always been universally regarded as “gentlemen’s sport” alongside other sports like golf. It is dead quiet during play, and players are expected to act with a certain air of grace. Though tennis spectators sit in silence during match play and are allowed to make noise mainly between points, it is always a ballroom filled with grace and poise. It’s not the most popular sport in Nigeria but it’s getting more followership, with greater potentials to becomewidespread if young people are exposed to its rules and concepts early enough and the needed infrastructures are provided in our schools.It is one of the highest paying sports in the world which promises a possible career path for the kids with genuine talents. It’s not very expensive to learn, yet sophisticated in nature.
We all understand that football is Nigeria’s most followed sport, but it shouldn’t be so at the detriment of other great ones like tennis. Football like the entertainment industry currently creates many informal jobs in Nigeria and we are sure that more of such jobs can be created if other sports are well promoted too. Actually, the Diaspora Charleans Tennis Invitational will feature all racquet related sports like Badminton, Table tennis and of course the conventional “lawn” tennis, but we intend to have a modest start in this year’s maiden edition while putting an eye on the bigger picture we hope to paint in subsequent editions, so for now we’ll feature only table tennis.
What are the Prizes? Any prize money?
Since games will be played in two categories; the male game and the female game, both the male and female champions will go home with cash prizes of fifty thousand naira each, while the first runners up will win thirty thousand naira and the second runners up will take home twenty thousand naira each. These are cash prizes that will be accompanied by various consolation prizes from potential partners and sponsors. Besides the prizes, we want to ensure national stakeholders and a few international practitioners are able to attend the event and see the possibility of fishing for raw talents they can promote.
Do you have the state government support?
Absolutely, I can assure you that we have acquired the support of the Honorable commissioner for Youths and Sports, Honorable Yemi Lawal, his ministry is with us on this project.
Actually in the course of this project we discovered the dearth of modern and sufficient sport facilities in the state of Osun, so we see our project also as an opportunity to reach out and influence the stakeholders in that state to move towards backing government effort just as the Diaspora Charleans are going to provide some infrastructures which will be used for this competition and then presented for the future use of the youths in the state.
Though we acknowledge that Nigeria is a place where our sport sector is almost hundred percent controlled by the government and we can see it in the ownership of our football clubs. As it is here in Osun too, we depend on government establishments for some of the resources required to execute this project and already we are in talks with the relevant agencies, we hope they buy into the vision of the Diaspora Charleans.
Are there other sponsors for this tournament or room for partnerships?
Yes we have a few and we’re still looking for more. Though Charleans in Diaspora are the main sponsors and project owners, our marketing efforts have yielded some key collaboration, especially product sponsorship frommanufacturing companieswhose brands are mostly targeted at the teen market. We should have a beautiful event, a brand friendly one. This is the going to be the maiden edition of the event and one of our objectives is to launch out in a marketable way that attracts more stakeholder patronage in the future. Right now, it’s already creating a big buzz among the invited schoolsin Osogbo, the media have been amazingly supportive tooand we hope to consolidate our 2019 success during the next editions.
You were a major player in the entertainment industry and your music group Twin-X was popular some years back, what impact has it got on your current practice?
The creative push from being a musician is huge.Well, I already combined music with formal education anyway and I had a stint with a small advertising company in Yaba Lagos some years back, but I remember one of my first attempts at successfully writing a copy was in 2005 when Twin-X did a PR/Advertising campaign for the re-launch of O’dua Telecoms (O’Net), a pan south-west Nigerian telecom company. It was a music driven concept which to me was kind of a soft-landing coming from an informal sector into that corporate environment and I never looked back since then. Though my venture into training and management consulting started by demand during my advanced academic pursuits, I can say it was partly stimulated through my experience meeting various young people who have admired the exploits of Twin-X, who see us as inspiration and wanted to be guided.
The exposure from being a recording artiste might have helped my career too,but I must say that early life fame as sweet as it could be is also capable of rendering someone useless in the latter part of his life, I saw it happen to many people and I drew a lesson from that. So I think my greatest motivation came from my determination to build something unique, giving myself an alternative life outside music, such that I can take care of my family even when the hit tracks don’t reign anymore. That’s why I have tried my hands in many things, though sometimes when you explore the way I did, you’re misinterpreted as being unfocussed, but to me it’s a learning process. I am still a musician, a natural one at that, but there’s simply more to me.
When should we be expecting your next project?
Honestly we’re not even in the mood to finish one project before starting another. The O’range Academy online training LMS is currently being developed towards launching our variouscourses which are targeted at young people in Africa, while our E-government training and development programs are currently being introduced to governmental institutions across the country. We also just created a CSR project of our own; it is a training program through which we intend to help high school studentsto acquire knowledge and exposure for early career planning.
At O’range Impact,as we continue to pitch new ideasto clientshere in Lagos, we ensure we keep an eye on our ongoing projects. We are already working on our new venture into health tourism and brands are finding our projects attractive. A lot is going on right now and I’m optimistic 2020 will be a very good year for us.