By Chioma Iruke, The Sight News
In a society where it is believed that one can only be successful at age 40 and above in specialised ﬁelds such; as engineering or real estate sectors, comes a young Nigerian,Henrich Akomolafe who at age 26 has covered Africa’s foremost magazine, Forbes ‘under 30 business list’ of young Africans, whom they [Forbes] believe can influence the African economy.
Although, also making that list, were ten Nigerians, of whom the Co-founder and Managing Director: Akotex Nigeria Limited Henrich Akomolafe was enlisted as Forbes describes him as ‘resilient’. The achievement of Akomolafe within three years can be described as magnificent. No wonder it’s easy to see why Henrich Akomolafe’s business is on the rise.
Despite been successful, Akomolafe has always attributed his success to being focused. Talking about the secret to his growth he says, “My watchword has always been ‘Focus’ – “Focus! Always keep focused to win. The power of focusing can be seen in light. With a magnifying glass the rays of the sun can set the paper on ﬁre. But when light is focused even more as a laser beam it can cut through steel.
“Nothing is as potent as a focused life! I believe I have the necessary qualifications to be considered for the award of Emerging Business Leader of the year (under 40). I would love the opportunity to bring my skills on board thereby taking the Nigerian business level to further heights!”
Co-finding one of Nigeria’s leading elevator manufacturing companies for high-rise buildings in Nigeria alongside his dad, Akomolafe served as one of the board of directors when he was only eight years old.
Drawing experience from his father’s entrepreneurship spirit, Akomolafe ventured into elevator manufacturing as he changed his career in computer engineering to elevator manufacturing to better understand the business features and functionality.
In 2016, he took over the business as Managing Director and took it up several notches.
“Armed with a better knowledge of the product and a dogged zeal to get the company back on its feet, I was determined to succeed,”he says.
He negotiated deals with manufacturers in Spain, marketed the business and met with investors.
In less than three years, Akomolafe succeeded and is one of the youngest in the industry.
Akotex bagged national projects with the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and others. The staff grew from 20 to 80 employees, all under the age of 40.
Akomolafe then founded BNR Engineering, a real estate and construction company that provides flexible payment plans and options such as digital currency. He plans to uplift the continent as he continues to innovate.
Speaking further on his achievements, Akomolafe describes himself as “a self-starter who is a master of multitasking with a serial entrepreneurial experience in Engineering, Real Estate, Construction, and Information Technology.”
Born October 1, 1992, Akomolafe began his primary education in a rural area in Kano state. At 8 years old, he was introduced into the business world by co-founding a company with his Father .
He had his secondary education in Abuja and Ekiti. A graduate of Computer Engineering from the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics in 2015, he obtained a Master’s degree in Information Technology Strategic Management from Barcelona School of Management, BSM – Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Spain in 2016.
Akomolafe goes further to tell us that he “acquired both engineering and commercial experience in 2016 from MP Ascensores Sevilla, Spain where I served as an intern. Since 2016, I have continued to work in the engineering elevator industry where I stand as the youngest with my age of 26.”
Just like every other successful billionaire, the 26-year-old businessman began his career in the elevator industry at a time when Nigeria slipped into recession and I assumed position as the Managing Director of Akotex Nigeria Limited in 2016. His company Akotex Nigeria Limited is concerned with the delivery of Engineering services (Elevator and Escalator).
In a bid to build up a successful business despite the raging recession, ‘I set about to attain goals that would launch my business into the international world and raise it to global standards. Putting to use three business strategies, the company has generated remarkable profit within years in business and also established new business lines such as BNR a Real Estate and Construction Company.
Akomolafe concluded by saying thus, “I believe so much in giving young people opportunities to prove themselves, in every endeavour. Elevator and escalator products are just emerging in the Nigerian market. Without a current manufacturing company in Nigeria, higher institutions and colleges are left to be indifferent to the subject matter.” Hence the young Nigerian who may be interested in this ﬁeld is helpless with ineptitude in this area making it even more difficult to employ available manpower.
However, unlike many companies who would request years of work experience, “I am keen to take young graduates in related ﬁelds that have a passion for learning and are working towards being the best at what they do. As the Manager of a company which deals with specialised products requiring technical know-how, I make allowance for the novice through trainings with on-ﬁeld specialists.”
Within this short period, Akomolafe has been able to secure contracts with the Federal Government of Nigeria cutting across different sectors such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, the Federal Airport Authority, FAAN, and the Ministry of Foreign Aﬀairs, MFA. Likewise at the state level, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Imo State University (IMSU), University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Kwara State University, and others through intervention projects from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN , and Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND.
Despite being known for his corporate looks, Akomolafe says outside work, he delights in meeting people and in establishing good business relationships in social gatherings.
He says he enjoys good company with friends, and has a great liking for travelling. Sometimes, “I love to take a great vacation. I still have driven interest in renewable energy which is yet to materialize.