Tolulope Oginni: From Bariga to Global Stage
By Rita Okoye
Tolulope Joshua Oginni, a true visionary and a distinguished figure in the world of business, has transcended boundaries on his remarkable journey from the heartland of Bariga, Lagos, to the global stage.
He holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Olabisi Onabanjo University and a Bachelor’s Degree in same course from the University of Lagos.
In 2019, he earned a coveted spot in the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 (Business Category).
Oginni, stands as a beacon of inspiration, a symbol of the power of transformation and the indomitable spirit of entrepreneurship.
His entrepreneurial endeavours include, the establishment of Transfurd Limited, TransCare Foundation, and TransTech Consulting USA, each leaving a lasting imprint on its communities.
In this interview, Allure delves into the depth of his humble beginnings, his entrepreneurial journey, his rise to business success , amongst other issues.
Can you share your journey from Bariga, Lagos, to becoming the CEO of Transfurd Limited and TransTech Consulting USA?
My journey started in Barriga, Lagos, where I resided while attending the University of Lagos. It was during my time in Barriga that I began to develop a vision for a career in agriculture. Despite the skepticism from friends who wondered why someone with academic success would venture into agriculture, I was determined to follow this path, guided by my faith.
My journey commenced in Benue state, where I initiated a rice farming project, but I faced a significant setback when I lost about 10 hectares of farmland to herdsmen.
After this setback, I had to start over and decided to relocate the farmland to Ogun State. And, from Ogun State, we moved to Badagry where I cultivate rice. Additionally, I ventured into cassava and maize farming in Ogun State. It was through my work in the agricultural sector that I received several awards and recognitions. My efforts were eventually noticed by Forbes, and I was included in their prestigious list. This recognition from Forbes led to an invitation to the United States.
Upon my arrival in the United States, I focused on understanding the local business environment, and identified a need to assist Nigerian Americans and African Americans in joining the U.S. government’s efforts against money laundering, terrorist financing, and counterterrorism. This led to the establishment of TransTech Consulting USA.
What challenges did you encounter when you started your business journey?
As a young entrepreneur with limited knowledge and resources, I faced various challenges when I started my business journey. One of the significant challenges was related to the issues with herdsmen, particularly in the agricultural sector. I struggled to gain control over these challenges, and there was limited support available. Despite the Nigerian government’s promotion of agriculture, I did not receive any substantial assistance or grants. I faced financial constraints and the economic challenges in Nigeria, making business operations more complex.
I believe that surviving in the Nigerian business environment, prepares entrepreneurs to face challenges anywhere. Overcoming these challenges required determination and resilience.
As the CEO of TransTech Consulting, what is the mission and vision driving your leadership in technology, education, and impact?
As the CEO of TransTech Consulting, my mission is to empower and support African Americans and Nigerian Americans in pursuing careers in information technology (IT) and related fields within the United States. I want to help individuals from these communities thrive in the IT sector, earn competitive salaries, and integrate fully into the country’s workforce.
My vision is to bridge the gap between these communities and the IT industry. I aim to provide educational resources, training, and opportunities for individuals to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the field. By doing so, I hope to enhance the representation of African Americans and Nigerian Americans in technology, education, and various impactful sectors.
Can you share with us what the recognition TransTech Consulting received in 2023, as the most impactful technology teaching institute in the United States by the Global Business Award is about?
In 2023, TransTech Consulting received a prestigious honour as the most impactful technology teaching institute in the United States. The recognition came as a result of our strong online presence and our dedication to celebrating the achievements of our students, and the impact of our programs. The Global Business Award, presented by Corporate Vision in the United Kingdom, acknowledged the significant contributions and track record of TransTech Consulting. This award signifies our commitment to empowering individuals through technology education, and our dedication to making a positive impact in the United States.
What lessons have you learned over the years in business?
I have learned several valuable lessons throughout my years in business, but I will highlight a few key takeaways. People tend to buy into you before they buy your products or services. Building trust, forming relationships, and showing genuine interest in others, can go a long way in establishing a strong foundation for your business.
Consistency is key in achieving success. Many entrepreneurs seek quick profits and growth, but it often takes time to establish a sustainable business. Stay consistent in your efforts, even during challenging times.
Investing in people and giving them a sense of belonging is essential. Prioritise relationships, whether it’s with customers, employees, or partners. A focus on people, rather than just profits, can lead to long-term success.
What does it mean to you to have been honoured as part of Forbes Africa 30 under 30 business category class of 2019?
Being recognized as part of Forbes Africa 30 under 30 in the business category in 2019, holds immense significance for me. It was a game-changing moment in my life. This recognition allowed me to overcome visa obstacles I faced in the United States, and opened up new opportunities.
For me, it was not just about personal achievement but also, a symbol of the potential and possibilities that lie within the African and Nigerian business landscape. It demonstrated that young entrepreneurs with vision and determination can make a significant impact on a global scale. The Forbes honour provided a platform to further my endeavors and reach new heights in the business world.
Can you elaborate on the professional dating app RYT that TransTech Consulting unveiled in 2023? What inspired its creation?
RYT, the professional dating app unveiled by TransTech Consulting in 2023, was inspired by a personal experience, and a desire to address the loneliness many people in the diaspora, including African Americans and Nigerian Americans, often feel. My journey to the United States began with the goal of building a family, alongside my business aspirations. However, despite my confidence in public speaking, I struggled with traditional approaches to dating and initiating romantic connections. I realized that I was not alone in this challenge, and many individuals in the diaspora faced similar feelings of isolation and loneliness.
My own experience with online dating led me to meet my wife and build a family. This success story, encouraged me to develop a dating app that could help others in the diaspora find meaningful relationships. RYT focuses on connecting professionals and individuals with similar backgrounds and interests. It aims to make the dating process more efficient and effective, providing a platform for those seeking relationships within the diaspora and beyond.
The app’s unique feature is its emphasis on professional connections, fostering meaningful relationships beyond superficial interactions. RYT represents a way to overcome loneliness and create meaningful connections for those looking to build families and meaningful relationships while navigating life in a new country.
Other features include; a danger zone alert button, strict profiling and onboarding stage of users, to avoid catfishing, or users chatting with robots. The app also matches users with individuals within their professions.
I look forward to making RYT Dating App, the number one dating App across the world.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs looking to make a global impact like you have?
My advice to young entrepreneurs aspiring to make a global impact is to be consistent. Success often requires time, effort, and consistency. Don’t be discouraged by initial challenges or slow progress. Stay committed to your goals and keep working towards them.
Building strong relationships and valuing people over profits can lead to long-term success. People will be more inclined to support your endeavors if they feel valued and connected.
Embrace Change: The business landscape is constantly evolving. Be open to change and adapt to new technologies and ideas.
What’s your style?
My style of dressing over the years has always been more of a minimalist style. I love to appear very simple. I probably don’t use heavy things on myself. Yes, they might be of good quality, but I try not to. I try to avoid heavy things.