Briefly introduce yourself
I am from Inisa, Osun State. I had my secondary education at Iganmode Grammar School, Ogun State. I graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife where I had my first degree in Dental Surgery.
Did you always want to study medicine?
Yes. It’s always been my dream course . However, the decision was to a great extent influenced by peer pressure.
What makes your firm unique?
Solakat Print House is a fast growing and innovative print and brand company. We do printing, branding and publishing of magazines, brochures, leather diaries, greeting cards, notepads, letterheads, business cards, posters, journals and so on.
We want to redefine the Nigerian printing industry through an unwavering display of integrity and outstanding customer service. We want our customers to be able to get the quality they want and get their orders right on time.
The company also recently launched an e-commerce platform to enable users from all over Nigeria to order for high quality print and brand products seamlessly at the most competitive prices on the web and have the product delivered to them anywhere in Nigeria.
You are a trained dentist; why are you into printing and branding?
I have a passion for what I am doing currently. I have always loved entrepreneurship. My journey into the printing business started during my second year on campus. I wanted to make some print materials for a non-profit organisation that I was a part of.
However, I couldn’t get a reliable print company around. So, I got it done myself using some knowledge I had in the past. Soon, others started asking me to do the same stuff for them and before long, it became a business that has now grown into a multi-million naira company.
What was being a medical student like and how were you able to combine it with business?
Medical school can be very demanding. It can be so exacting and time consuming that you don’t have time for other things. First, I knew I had the capacity to handle it as it was easy for me to cover a good number of academic materials within a relatively short period of time.
Also, I mastered the art of time management. I kept my focus and didn’t get involved in any social distraction on campus. Not only did I finish among the top five in my class, I did not fail any course all through. I even went ahead to hold several leadership positions before becoming the president of a non-profit organisation I was a part of.
What is your assessment of the health sector in Nigeria and what are the suggestions you will give for the improvement of the sector?
The health sector is not performing to the best of its capacity. We can do more than we’re presently doing. Given the right facilities and the right work environment, we would get better results. The government needs to invest in the Nigerian health sector. There should be no need to fly out of the country for quality health care. We have the brains. All that is needed is good infrastructure and some technical exposure.That is why Nigerians do very well outside the country. Also, the issue of prejudice among doctors should be addressed. Senior medical personnel should know that junior ones also have very bright ideas and should be allowed to air them.
In the same vein, professional exams should be politicised. Playing politics with such exams and failing candidates deliberately is very disheartening, unnecessary and frustrating. From our part, we need to engage more in community health awareness.
Largely, the Nigerian community is not well informed about basic and cogent health issues. The presence of traditional medicine even makes the situation worse as a lot of the practitioners pass the wrong information to the public and make wrong prescriptions. Unfortunately, they have strong grass roots influence and are more accessible and cheaper. There is a need for checks and balances from the government. A lot of mortalities result from earlier use of alternative medicine, which lead to late presentation and even worsens the condition.
I must commend the efforts of the Nigerian Health Insurance Scheme for making health care accessible and affordable. However, more still needs to be done to get it to the grass roots where it is needed the most.
What is your advice to young Nigerians who are looking for employment?
For unemployed youths, I will advise them to start something. I started my printing and branding business with no savings. I used the money my first client paid in advance to execute my first job and then started building up capital. All you need to start a business is what you have: your brain; your network (relationships); and your faith. Just start! Stop writing beautiful ideas endlessly. Go out and start something. Then, be focused and stay with it. Nobody builds an empire by hopping from one business to the other. Challenges will come but they will become stepping stones if you dare to stay with it.