Interview: Meet Olubanjo Morenikeji (Mr Lee), The CEO of SMARTBRAINS Consultation & Co
Hello SABTrends, I believe you are having and enjoying your day. It is my aim to help young folks to achieve their goals. You learn from the experience of others to kick-start your own journey.
It has been a while since I bring you another top fish for an educative and informative interview. Our Preview interviews were; Top bloggers in Nigeria, Entrepreneur, Online marketer and social marketer in the person of Mazino Oyolo Kigho.
Promise Excel the founder of MaverickExcel was also interviewed on this blog. This interview was also fantastic. We have also introduced to you a brain box, intelligent, top blogger, Tunde Sanusi Popularly known as Tuham the owner of NetSocialBlog.
However, our last interview on this blog was with Balogun Muhammad the brain behind the Sound Health Doctor Blog. The interview with this Young Doctor was powerful.
Another big deal today, I introduce to you an amazing writer, Smart brains, content writer, author and a young man who has the heart to illuminate the world with genuine information. This young lad is into News Agency, Consultancy, Tutorials and others. I believe SABTrends will learn from him because as a student of Prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, he still manages to cover and manage this large audience.
You know SABTrends will always bring you what you will learn and gain from. I brought the man today for you to tell the secret of this agency and he copes with the stressful academics and also still succeed as a journalist. He is a young man with a passion which many youths in Nigeria should emulate.
Don’t let me talk too much, my guest is on the seat already. Over to you sir. Let’s meet the Smart Brains of the day.
Good day sir, Please kindly introduce yourself to our community. (Education, State of origin, family background, business, project or whatever you would like us to know about you)
ANSWER: I am Olubanjo Morenikeji Emmanuel, a part 3 student of Botany, studying at the Prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. I hail from Osun state (Ile-Ife to be precise ), though I live in Lagos where I finished my primary and secondary school (Towergate private school, Ipaja, Lagos ). I am from a happy family though the First son of my dad (Mr Olufemi Olubanjo) & the only child of my mum (Mrs Florence Olubanjo ) I have step sisters and brothers (Tope, Victor & Glory ). I love creativity & always believe I can do my best in changing the world with the little way I can.
My hobbies are dancing, surfing the net & gisting. In everything I do, I also put God first as I believe with him nothing is impossible
2. Tell us about your startup, SMARTBRAINS.
ANSWER: I started SMARTBRAINS started the year 2013 with the passion in mind to impact the people. SMARTBRAINS first started then having only one segment (EDU CONSULT ) with the aim to help the student with ease in admission processing majorly in OAU (As it was my major Niche because I school there ). Then, from 2013 till date there
have been positive increase and change in the organization, first with the name changing from SMARTBRAINS EDU CONSULT to SMARTBRAINS CONSULTATION & CO (which now consist of various segments such as Edu consult, News agency, Blog segment, SMARTBRAINS TV, Advert & publicity segment etc ).
In a bid to impact the world in general and help the students (Majorly those in tertiary institutions or seeking Admission) SMARTBRAINS CONSULTATION & CO now have representatives/cover about 40 different institutions in Nigeria (e.g LAUTECH SMARTBRAINS, FUOYE SMARTBRAINS etc while OAU Chapter remains the headquarter ). We believe we are still crawling and have more things to cover as we try to balance all the students’ needs with our various segments
3. How long have you been into it?
ANSWER: I have been into the running of SMARTBRAINS since when it was started which was August 13th, 2013.
4. How did you get the idea for the Platform? What inspired it? What’s up with the nickname “SMARTBRAINS”. How did it come about?
ANSWER: SMARTBRAINS idea came one night (2013) at home while I was talking with one of my cousins, Mr Damilola Eneobong (Who is now A graduate of Petrochemical Engineering , Covenant University ). We were talking about how to start up something of impacting and be different from others, so I looked into the tertiary institution sector and I noticed some students lack information about various things such as admission processing, happenings on their campuses, etc I also noticed as students some believed in just reading with no addition thing which in turn later affect some in the labour market, with that we looked for ways in balancing all things even as students such as promoting reading (Edu consult), keeping student informed (News Agency), Helping students achieve their dreams e.g a student good at things can start up and then earn something even as a student (Advert & publicity segment), then lastly as students we should not forget totally about our social life as some even want to be an artist etc (SMARTBRAINS TV). Looking into all these, I believe only a SMARTBRAIN can, so that brought about the name but one has to take it a step at a time (Making we launch the segments one after the other till date & we still progressing).
5. Why did you start this News Agency Platform? Money? Passion? Hobby?
ANSWER: I started the news agency as something of passion i.e in a bid to feed the world & students information as I believe information is power
6. What does your News platform offer?
ANSWER: SMARTBRAINS NEWS AGENCY offers general news on the blog & promote campus journalism i.e feeding students in a school with happenings which some don’t get to know themselves e.g in OAU you can’t get campus gist on OAU website which some fresher’s or aspirants don’t know. So in our little way, we keep the students informed & updated about happenings in their school & around the world in general.
7. We know how difficult it is to get traffic to a site. What are the strategies you use to generate traffic to your site?
ANSWER: SURE, it is not easy but with consistency and good content with the technical research you can build the page views of your site. I do what I believe in.
8. What were your challenges starting SMARTBRAINS?
ANSWER: My major challenges then starting were fund and getting a trustworthy team to work with but with time and God’s intervention, I could overcome that.
9. What is unique about your News Agency?
ANSWER: Hmmm, I can say in my agency the unique things are publishing of real & factual information (as we don’t post just to pull the crowd and lead the people the bad way, we post to feed the people the real info they need to get) also my news agency cover lot of media platform (I.e in OAU chapter, we cover more than 100 WhatsApp groups, with each having minimum of 100 OAU students & 120 Facebook pages having about 20k Members amidst of other media platform.
10. Do you have people working for you or you do it alone?
ANSWER: Though I started alone in a bid to impact people the more I have a great team I work with. Some might call themselves staff but I call them my family.
11. What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to start his own
ANSWER: My pieces of advice in three statements are;
1. Setting your goals right
2. Putting God in all plans you have
3. Believing in oneself & be ready to face
12. What sacrifices have you had to make to be where you are right now?
ANSWER: Sure, one needs to make some sacrifices to keep moving forward, as it’s not easy for me as a student to balancing things, putting in mind my primary assignment is my education I still have to make some sacrifices of missing some classes sometimes. Reading overnight in a bid to cover up, using some of my personal pocket money to finance some of the organization’s projects to keep going etc.
13. How do you combine school and Reporting? What are the challenges you encounter as a student Pressman?
ANSWER: As a student journalist, our job is to inform the people with no string attached, so
there are some times I have to miss some lectures to cover the event; as in SMARTBRAINS we publish things as they are, or standing for more than 3 hours sourcing for factual information which might be stressful at times. Again, as a press personality some people look at you anyhow, so one need to be able to deal with such things to keep going
14. Has it affected your studies in any way?
ANSWER: As a student of OAU, majorly one can cover things done in class so with this I try
to balance things by reading more sometimes overnight and also making sure I attend all my practical classes. Also with the help of God, have been moving on in my academics so I won’t really say it affects my studies as I believe there shouldn’t be an excuse for failure.
15. Will you continue school if your News Platform was to generate, let’s say $5,000 every month?
ANSWER: Lolz. Sure, even though my agency or even the organization generate more, I will continue my education to the last stage as I believe it is the best legacy.
16. When will you say, “yes, SMARTBRAINS is successful”?
ANSWER: We aren’t successful yet as we have been achieving our aims on campuses. Though, I
will say we are fully successful when SMARTBRAINS covers all institutions in Nigeria and even in Africa then the World in general.
17. How did you get funding for your platform?
ANSWER: SMARTBRAINS generates its fund from its segments as some generate little revenues from their projects e.g the Edu consult gets a little money from tutorials even though we impact the students more by making the tutorial cheap & giving them the best tutor. Also, we get the source from outside (helping hands) or individual finance from my pocket.
18. What are your plans to take SMARTBRAINS to the next level?
ANSWER: My plans are numerous, as taking SMARTBRAINS to a next level which I planned won’t be an easy thing (e.g Having representatives in all institutions, full registration of the organization etc). With the help of God, SMARTBRAINS will get to its permanent site.
19. What have been some of your mistakes (personal or business) and what have you learned from them?
ANSWER: Wow, sure we learn every day. Even as a CEO I learn from my family (staff) as I
believe no one is an epitome of knowledge, e.g I believe in helping students so some of my recruits just get little auditioning in which some later misused it but now I take the audition process serious (i.e limiting people that will be accepted) which have been paying out well till date.
20. Did you really have any expectations (short term, long term, financially) when you started SMARTBRAINS? If yes, what were those expectations?
ANSWER: My short time expectation was to be a boss of my own which still link to my long term expectations which one is living fully on my brand (My organization) and also impacting people all over the world even in my absence.
21. Do you have any specific goals to be achieved for the rest of this year?
ANSWER: My goal this year is to increase and not reducing in brand no matter the challenges and also been successful in all our planned projects this year covering all
22. Do you normally set goals you want to achieve each year for your blog?
ANSWER: Sure, the first thing I do in anything is setting a goal & a target which I use as a guide. So for my blog, I set goals such as minimum daily page views I want to have etc
23. How would you rate your own News Platform on a scale of 1 to 10 and why would you rate it that way?
ANSWER: I will rate my agency 7/10 based on the fact that no one is perfect and we still are in short of some tools we need still we deliver with the limited tools we work with and also the journalists/reps of schools in my agency are wonderful.
24. How would you rate SABTrends’ Blog on a scale of 1 to 10 and why would you rate it that way?
ANSWER: I will rate SABTrends’ blog 8/10 as I love seeing creativity & impact. You guys
are wonderful and doing a good job, keep it up & God bless. Thanks for the interview sir, I really appreciate.
Thanks for the opportunity given to SABTrends to interview you.