A woman of substance and a business icon born in Edo State, Darlyn Okojie is an entrepreneur and an expert expansionist. She is also evolving as co-founder and COO of Memo Africa, responsible for the day-to-day running process while building a team to create a technology solution for people management.
Okojie co-founded Memo Africa with Ademola Koledoye and Chibueze Opeta to create memorable moments around the world.
According to Okojie, his past experience building a business spanning three countries, raising capital and ensuring word about the service reaches the right audience. His first company, Rugs and Floors Africa, currently operates in three countries, Nigeria, Ghana and Rwanda.
In this exclusive interview, Okojie talks about his entrepreneurial journey and his vision to make Memo Africa the go-to automated system for People Manager:
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On the future of Memo Africa and its journey”. Okojie said, “I spent the first part of my childhood until my youth in Benin City. I attended all levels of education up to university where I studied accounting at the University of Benin. My upbringing has made me extremely loyal to my city. After completing my higher education in 2014, I got my first job at Lamudi (popularly known as Jumia House) in 2015. During my stay in Lamudi, I worked as a key account manager in a online market business. A year later, I joined Cars45 to lead the company’s efforts in building and maintaining relationships with strategic partners. »
Speaking to News24/7.com, Okojie insisted that throughout her career, “I have been involved in various aspects of people management, even running carpets and floors from January 2020. At the moment, I am concentrating on building Memo Africa”.
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The accounting graduate from the University of Benin also noted that her father played a big role in her career and is a role model for her success. “A role model that has impact for me is my father. I didn’t realize he had this effect on my life as an entrepreneur until I looked back at everything I did. have been able to accomplish on a professional level. He has shown me that the only way to succeed is through hard work and dedication. His tenacity and energy to deliver is extraordinary. There have been countless times when I have wondered how he got the energy to get through even obstacles. A quote from a Shakespeare book, Macbeth, comes to mind whenever I think of my father. “I’m tied to a stake that I don’t can’t fly, but like a bear, I have to fight the cause.”
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“The life of an entrepreneur is pretty fast, there’s no time for breaks and no option to quit, just keep going. It reminds me of something my mom always says, “No one, nor dey live life back.” Good or bad, we have to keep moving forward in life or in business. I believe my motivation stems from the ability to keep going and building.
On how Memo Africa became one of the startups she co-founded that sparked her interest, Okojie reiterated that “Memo Africa was born out of various challenges that my co-founder and I faced throughout our professional life. From my first job to my current projects, I’ve seen how people managers deal with wellness issues in organizations and it inspired me to create a solution that makes their work transparent. We notice that people find it difficult to remember important dates when it comes to the lives of their employees and this is essential as it makes employees feel valued and appreciated. But dates like birthdays, onboarding and orientation processes, mailings, and many more dates are lost in the transition.
Memo Africa is a simple solution that people, managers can use to automate wellness packages to be delivered to remote and onsite teams across the world. We believe this technology solution will increase business productivity as team members will feel motivated and supported while freeing up time for personnel managers to focus on more critical issues.
On his challenges and successes after launching his business, Okojie felt that it would be best to start with the positive side of the business, success. At present, we have acquired clients from Nigeria and Ghana, and signed three companies into our system. We have achieved this while facing various economic challenges such as inflation, exchange rate and cross-border payment issues. I’ve also noticed that small business owners and other entrepreneurs face these challenges, which is why I recently started recording my journey on my Medium account.
Okojie said, “The future of business is technology! The world is changing to become digital and automated. It is important to ensure that no matter where people are working from, they are treated with the same respect and dignity as if they were working in a traditional office space. Memo Africa is the technological solution born to connect the people of an organization through our automated management system to celebrate them. Staying connected and creating memorable moments for your team is the best way to keep them motivated while working.
On where she thinks Memo Africa will be in the next 5 years in terms of market and expansion, “We have a broad vision for Memo Africa and we are ready to take steps to grow and grow the Tech StartUp. Currently, our most viable product, our website, is up and running. We plan to develop the Mobile App version to increase the accessibility and customization of the system. We hope to become the reference platform for the well-being of all in Africa and in the world. Our tentacles are ready to spread in many African countries. We are open to acquiring more customers, partners and investors.
“Aside from the rush of the unbroken cycle of business development, I am passionate about finding and implementing solutions to create value in people’s lives. You can find me locked away on Netflix relaxing after a busy day or exploring the different countries of the world,” she said.
Okojie has some advice for young entrepreneurs, according to her: “My number one advice to young women starting or building their business is that the key to success lies within you. Everything you need to succeed is within you, your thoughts and actions shape your future. As long as you can think it, you absolutely can do it. You must study and understand your potential, your strengths, your weaknesses and your limits. I believe that self-awareness is the most powerful tool to achieve anything in the world.
“I would also say that you shouldn’t believe that you can only grow and evolve on your own, it’s good to have mentors and role models. These people have come a long way. All you have to do is find someone who has successfully traversed the path you hope to go on. You would be surprised how many people are willing to guide you or refer you to the next life challenger”