How Ayeni Ekundayo is digitalising marketing

Ayeni Ekundayo is the chief innovation officer of CareerXpress, a start-up business that renders training in digital marketing.

Ayeni was inspired to establish CareerXpress when he identified a business opportunity and the need for individuals to upscale their technological skills in digital marketing.

“Most skills acquired today by individuals are often no longer required, globally owing to technological disruptions,” he says.

“As a company, we resolved to get into training to arm people with skills that are in local and global demand,” he adds.

After taking up training from reputable institutions, the young entrepreneur leveraged his mathematical and computer skills to kick-start his business in 2013.

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He notes that CareerXpress has remained in business owing to its excellent service delivery to clients.

“Our main goal as an organization is to meet customers’ satisfaction and deliver excellent results. We mapped out the process to achieve a predictable outcome and provide excellent services for our clients.”

The business currently has 287 employees in Nigeria, Rwanda, and Ghana among others, and has trained thousands of individuals and businesses on digital marketing.

He says the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected his business as all its processes were already online, while he adds that it opened new opportunities for the business.

“The pandemic helped us to discover skills that are required to pitch for sales online,” he explains.

The business has resorted to virtual training for students to survive the difficult moment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, it multiplied its outreach 10 times to reach both existing and new clients. “I remembered the first week of lockdown we reached out to many people and we got over 300 requests for our service within the first week of lockdown,” he recalls.

He says the business plans to set up a global academy in the long run and help tackle issues of poverty in Africa’s biggest economy in the short run.

“Soon, we would like to set up a global academy. Currently, we are developing lots of online content – a learning platform for all, on how digital marketing works and how to position yourself as an ideal candidate in front of client jobs,” he says.

“To date, we have trained up to 1000 people and also give them opportunities to earn some income,” he further says.

Speaking on what his organisation is doing to support businesses in achieving increased productivity, he says CareerXpress does not just train people on digital marketing but also works with businesses as partners by helping them identify the right talents.

He notes that the batching system operated in the country’s educational sector makes the country’s workforce not to be adequately prepared for the future.

He urges the government to embrace new ideology to help prepare the youths for future work.

“Government must become young in mind, by embracing new ideology, allowing things to work. How many ministries in Nigeria can you contact and get a quick response or call them directly,” he says.

“The government must create the right policy support, provide waivers for innovation, create incubator and accelerator hubs to drive technological growth among others,” he states.

Similarly, he identified analytical skill, selling skill, creative skill, people’s management, and ability to take risks as the top five skill sets of the 21st century.

On his advice to other entrepreneurs he says “collaborate; let us do a lot of collaboration so that we can scale. Focus on the business growth, scale, and make it big and that is the way forward.”