Nigeria has the population to drive economy – Entrepreneur.

Animashaun Olufisayo, C.E.O ILE AYO Closed Corporation South Africa is one of the prominent Nigerians abroad making great waves in his chosen career, he is exclusively in to Real Estate, Cosmetic and Education Business, but takes Real Estate as his priority.

In this interview with Idowu Ayodele, he reviews his journey in to the Business World, what it entails to run a Real Estate Business and his next level in Business Operation.


Can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Animashaun Olufisayo from Ijebu, Ogun State. Born on 16th September, 1974 to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Animashaun, I am the first born of four.

What exactly do you do for a living?
Basically, I work for the government in South Africa, at the National Department of Education. Like every human being, I am also in to Real Estate business (properties).

How can you describe your personality?
I am a lone ranger so to say, I like to keep to myself, also like to be very simple and friendly.

What can you say attracted or induced you in to Real Estate Business?
Adventure, anxiety and the fear of tomorrow. It is a business I know through my upbringing that you will never go wrong doing it.

Your journey into the business world?

I could remember vividly that after my youth service in Ananmbra, Nnewi where I was engaged in teaching services in one of the schools, then, my late uncle, Engineer Ijaduola, who is also my mentor called me and asked why shouldn’t I go in to business, instead of remaining as a teacher in Anambra State?

I left Anambra for Lagos where my Uncle told me to go and think about what I can do, though, I thought of so many businesses, but at the end of the day, I ended up in to buying and selling of vegetable oil, so I started buying from the smaller dealers, from there, I started importing the vegetable oil, until, when the former President Olusegun Obasanjo banned the importation of vegetable oil.

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This leads me to South Africa where I was helping my Uncle to manage his business. He is a manufacturer of cosmetics and allied products. It was from him, I actually picked up one or two things –trading and money management and that was how everything exploded in to something big.

Apart from capital, competitors, what other challenges do you face as an entrepreneur?

Money management. If you really want to go into business, the first thing to learn is money management and personal discipline. I got to realize from my uncle then, most business plan as good on paper, when it comes to implementation , the best business plan may fail, so as an individual, you need to learn money management, then personal discipline, if you can have these two, then the sky is a limit, because money management is the ability to keep the money, prevent people from stealing it and defrauding you and ensuring that each #1.00k becomes #3.00k.

While personal discipline is ensuring that you do not live beyond your income and there are certain things you need to avoid, until you get to the top.

What does it take to set up a Real Estate Business?

That is a very big question! To different people, it means so many things. You know we live in two different parts of the world, here in South Africa we have access to credit facilities which we called mortgage or bonds, but it is always good to have your initial capital. We buy houses including auction properties from the government; you fix them and later rent them out, so by the time you get your third properties, you are going to realize that, the properties would start buying themselves, it will definitely provide the initial deposit, which you can now use to procure other properties.

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Do you ever think of diversifying into other Business (s)?                                        I am a jack of all trade and buying and selling has been my calling, but in as much I have the passion to go into other businesses, the fair of the unknown is always there, because, I would not like to go to a terrain that I am not familiar with, but I ensures that my risk is a calculated one with enlightenment, so when it fails, I will not fall out.

Furthermore, I am thinking of coming down to Nigeria very soon to go into commercial Agriculture, so that I can also be an employer of labour. When I come to Nigeria, produce the food and sell in the open market, the prices of the foods will be reduced because of the demand, when it comes to consumables, I mean food, you can never go wrong, it is profitable business.

But, I realized that, while I was doing business in Nigeria, the government failed to provide enabling environment to operate. Immediately, you start the business, the government, including local governments would start passing different bills that would frustrates the proprietor and its business.

I think if the government can provide enabling environment, this will go a long way in assisting investors, hence develop the economy speedily.

How would you compare Nigerian Economy with South African’s economy?

It depends on the aspect you are comparing; a good economy to a manufacturer is an economy that has numbers, purchasing power and that is why you see many business coming in to Nigeria, simply because, we have the population that drives economy, you can imagine yourself as a manufacturer in Nigeria, all you need to break-even is just two hundred (200) loyal customers, what I am saying is that Nigeria has the purchasing power to support business, but the infrastructures are not in existence, so the cost of operating business in Nigeria is seemingly high.

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Here in South Africa, the infrastructures are available-electricity, good roads water and many other. you don’t need to pay for the electricity you do not used, even if you move your cargo from point “A” to “B”, the police man is not interested in what you are carrying, all what he wants to see is your invoice, is your vehicle specified to carry the goods, corruption is minimal here in South Africa.

What I am saying is that, the business environment is friendly here in South Africa, but the population to drive business is in Nigeria.

Looking back from where you are coming from, can you identify yourself as an achiever?

My Uncle of blessed memory told me something that “A day a business man sees himself that he has arrived, that is the beginning of his down fall’’. To me I have not arrived, in fact, what have I achieved?

There are millions of people who are younger than I and are controlling billions, to be modest; I am still struggling to become an achiever.

My achievements are in progress, but, looking from where I was coming from, God has been so merciful and wonderful to me.

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