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Meet Road Aider’s CEO, Temi Okesanya

Temi Okesanya

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I'm Temi, often referred to as Teflon by close friends and my academic background is actually in petroleum engineering.

Prior to joining Road Aider, my professional journey unfolded in the Oil and Gas industry. I navigated through various roles, including product engineering, product management, technical sales & marketing, and product development. This diverse experience not only honed my skills but also provided me with a robust network, which I leverage to contribute to the growth of Road Aider.

In addition to my work in the corporate realm, I initiated the Whiteboard Project. This endeavour is close to my heart as it focuses on raising donations for international public schools and supplying them with essential educational materials. 

We read a lot about startup companies with great ideas that get funding and become overnight successes. Tech is idealised and romanticised in the minds of many people. A lot of it is true, but what would readers be surprised to learn about real life as a tech founder?

These stories make for compelling headlines but the reality of life as a tech founder is quite different.

Contrary to the glamorous depictions in Forbes and other tech publications, there is no such thing as an overnight success. The journey of a tech founder is defined by relentless grit, unwavering persistence, and a commitment to hard work. These qualities, integral to the entrepreneurial experience, often remain obscured until the success story emerges following a notable exit.

The road to what may appear as "overnight success" is paved with years of dedication and effort. Understanding that this journey is a marathon rather than a sprint is crucial. 

You haven’t always been in tech; you’re originally a petroleum engineer. A completely different industry. What has that transition been like? 

It has been a transformative experience. While my roots may be in a non-tech field, I have come to realise that the skill sets essential for success in technology can be cultivated in different capacities and across industries. As a non-technical founder, my proficiency lies in fundamental skills such as sales, marketing, and growth strategies—competencies that transcend industry boundaries and have proven to be equally applicable and effective in the tech space. This adaptability has been a key factor in my successful transition.

You are originally from Nigeria and now live and work in Canada. What are your hopes for tech in Africa; places like Lagos and Cape Town that have seen growth in the past few years? 

I hold a strong belief in the promising future of the tech industry in Africa which, in my view is an untapped reservoir of potential. It's encouraging to witness the increasing attention from venture capital firms recognising the vast opportunities the continent presents.

The emergence of unicorns in Africa signifies just the beginning, and with the infusion of more funds into the tech space, I anticipate a proliferation of success stories. My optimistic outlook is rooted in the potential for transformative growth, both in terms of socioeconomic development and economic diversification for African countries, particularly those traditionally reliant on industries such as Oil & Gas.

As the tech ecosystem continues to flourish, I envision a scenario where it becomes a catalyst for job creation, contributing significantly to employment opportunities across the continent. The growth of the tech sector not only promises innovation and entrepreneurship but also offers a pathway to address economic challenges and foster sustainable development. This, in turn, paints a hopeful picture for the future of Africa's tech landscape and its potential to positively impact the lives of many.

What do you think it takes to make that happen?

To foster the growth of the tech industry in Africa, a combination of factors is essential. This includes increased investment from venture capital firms, supportive government policies, a focus on nurturing local talent through education and training programs, and the cultivation of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. Collaboration between public and private sectors, along with initiatives to address infrastructure challenges, will play a crucial role. Additionally, fostering a culture of innovation and risk-taking, coupled with the leveraging of technology for social impact, can contribute to the transformative growth of the tech sector in Africa.

What does the future look like for Road Aider in the next five years?

In the upcoming five years, Road Aider’s technology will become synonymous with trusted quality roadside assistance on a national scale in Canada. Our goal is to establish a strong identity as the go-to provider for top-quality roadside assistance, seamlessly integrated with substantial savings for our valued members. This vision reflects our commitment to not only delivering exceptional service but also ensuring tangible benefits that enhance the overall experience for our growing community of members.

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