Anuoluwapo Ademuyiwa: From pharmacist to accomplished entrepreneur
MBA graduate Anuoluwapo Ademuyiwa has never taken no for an answer, rather choosing to push the boundaries of business and his various roles therein.
Currently living on the mainland in Lagos, Nigeria, a place that he has called home for all of his life, Anuoluwapo Ademuyiwa, pharmacist, Award-Winning Nexford Ambassador, Marketing, Partnership & Community Manager – try fitting that on a business card – eyes his next business opportunity, whilst keeping his eyes firmly on the prize of a one-way ticket for himself and the family to Canada.
Talk to Anuoluwapo and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this laid-back guy is just cruising through life, but you’d be wrong. Beneath that calm and casual exterior lurks a highly accomplished businessperson that has his finger on the pulse and other fingers in so many pies. With over 10 years of experience in facilitating strategic partnerships, raising brand awareness, and building engaging communities with diverse users across the globe, Anuoluwapo has contributed to the growth of all organizations he’s worked with. Along the way, finding ways to study for and earn his MBA degree at Nexford University.
From humble beginnings
Never one to sit on his hands for too long, Anuoluwapo’s enterprising spirit started from an incredibly early age. As a child, he had a flair for creating things. Using the leftover wood from the construction of their house, he set about making tailor-made chairs for people in his neighborhood for 20 Naira a pop, whilst at the same time making artwork and planting tomatoes.
Anuoluwapo comments, “I just love the idea of seeing things grow and nurturing them. I also have this love for writing which forms part of my current role at Nexford. The more I laid my hands on various things and succeeded, the more I realized that I was not to be pigeonholed in one role. Life’s too short for that and I did not want my career to be one-dimensional.”
What caught his eye in school was science and so following in the footsteps of his brother, he joined the class and that was his springboard into an early career as a pharmacist. That said, it was always his second choice of career. Having sold stuff to friends of his father and witnessing the success of Nigerian entrepreneurs such as Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, co-founder of Flutterwave, he became interested in changing tack and going down that entrepreneurial road but feared failure. So, for then, pharmacist it was.
Eyes on the prize
Even though Anuoluwapo was succeeding in his job, he was never going to settle for cruising through life by punching the clock every day. He wanted more than that. Sure, he still harbored the desire to be an entrepreneur, but he had to take a cold hard look at what happened to his father. When he sadly passed away, his business died with him because of the lack of business structure and Anuoluwapo didn’t want to fall into that trap.
So, whilst he was doing his MSc, he was already considering doing an MBA to get that grounding in how to take a business from fledgling to world-beating by doing all the best-practice things necessary to ensure it would thrive rather than survive. He considered a few universities in Nigeria but decided to do his MBA through Nexford.
“Nexford really caught my eye on LinkedIn as it was online, affordable, and offered flexible learning that allowed me to study and earn at the same time. Cost was a major factor, as to do an MBA at another university it would have cost me seven million Naira, which would have equated to 10 years of my then salary because to get an international degree I would have had to also factor in the costs of travel and accommodation. My family is very reliant on my income, so I really could not afford to take a hiatus from work. Finally, Nexford offered an American education that would stand me in good stead for my future emigration plans.”
How bad do you want it?
To get ahead, Anuoluwapo was prepared to go back to square one and do a BBA and then use that as a springboard to get his MBA. He started with the MBA foundation courses and worked his way up from there.
What did not change whilst he was learning was his remarkably busy schedule, so Anuoluwapo had to be very disciplined about learning during his free time. During the time that he was doing his MBA, he would come home from work at 5.30, have an hour power nap, and then spend a few hours on WhatsApp catching up with his girlfriend. That meant he often started learning at 10pm and end at most times, 2am. Leaving him 4 hours for sleep before waking up to do it all over again.
Weekends did provide the time to have fun and unwind, but not too much, for as always, there was lots of learning to do. Anuoluwapo remarks, “I wasn’t partying, I wasn’t attending weddings and other social stuff. I was head down on Saturday and Sunday, usually completing two assignments on Saturday. But I was cool about that as before I wiped my eyes out, I was ticking off one course per month.”
When asked about all the positives that he took out of his studies, Anuoluwapo was quite pragmatic as always, citing several benefits.
One that springs to mind is the notion that he could do whatever he set his mind to. He realized that after completing his MBA, he was able to understand more of the principles of business than he ever thought possible. It was something that he used to be afraid of, but soon he was mastering law and accounting. He realized it wasn’t so difficult as the modules were so much easier than he thought possible. Plus, he always had supportive course professors who were always available to answer questions and explain things in intricate detail.
The idea of having to put into practice what he learned was something truly enlightening for this extremely ambitious man. He fondly remembers the first time he had to create a content calendar, which he has since used to good effect in his current role as the Content and Brand Ambassador at Nexford University. That gave him a solid structure as beforehand he just used to do things on the fly, but now he well and truly understands the importance of planning. Do the groundwork upfront and positive results will come.
That aspect of problem-solving that forms the basis of the curriculum at Nexford has stood Anuoluwapo in good stead as a Nexford Ambassador. In the role, he thrives on finding ways to help people succeed by helping them solve challenges that might have been hindering them before, and during their studies at Nexford. When learners had questions about what was required of them whilst learning at Nexford and what the outcomes could be, he was always available to answer them. After all, who better to provide advice on doing an MBA at Nexford than someone who has already gone through the process and succeeded.
“I get a lot of satisfaction from working at Nexford as a content writer and ambassador. It’s not just about the money and the commissions, it goes deeper than that. I get a thrill from knowing that someone I brought into Nexford to learn or develop a certain skill, could then use that to get promoted at work and increase their remuneration. I have had the great fortune to see that happen repeatedly.”
The skills to thrive
Using his skill sets earned whilst doing his MBA at Nexford, Anuoluwapo soon moved up the success ladder and through his lucrative business ventures, is now earning four times the annual salary that he did as a practicing pharmacist. That was just 10 months after applying all of the learnings that he got from doing his modern online degree at Nexford. As a family-oriented person, that was a massive bonus for him.
“I think that much of what has made me a success today was getting over my aversion to tech. I did a Technology and Operations Management course where we had to use business process modeling notation (BPMN). It was like an app we used to create flowcharts that tell you about the processes involved in a particular department of a business centered around, you know, how they source their products, or how they do certain things. I was impressed that I soon got the hang of it, and that helped me to realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of with tech because it can help businesses improve efficiencies and save time and costs by making certain complicated processes or unnecessarily lengthy processes shorter and less complicated.”
Due to that newfound confidence in tech, Anuoluwapo started learning and mastering Python, a programming language that lets users work quickly and integrate systems more effectively. By his own admission, he would never have had the confidence to take that on before doing his MBA at Nexford, but suddenly he could do virtually anything he put his mind to.
When asked if he was in the market for further studies at Nexford, Anuoluwapo had no hesitation in answering with a resounding ‘yes’. Because of his newfound love for tech, he is now considering doing something around artificial intelligence and robotics, centering on machine learning, blockchain, and other emerging technologies. He wants to master how this tech can help to reshape outcomes for industries like finance, healthcare, and education.
And what about staying put in Nigeria and continuing to build the Ademuyiwa empire? Well after a resounding ‘yes’ to the last question, this was a resounding ‘no’. Anuoluwapo wants to spread his wings and make a go of it in Canada, or North America. He is not anti the country that he holds dear to his heart, he just wants a better quality of life for himself and his family. He wants to see the world from a different perspective and has started the process for immigration to Canada and is now awaiting a response.
We are sure that he will be successful as he has proven on many occasions that success is just a matter of adjusting your mindset and believing in yourself. That success has been recognized by others as he has won awards post-graduation. The one that he holds dear to his heart is that which he received as the Exceptional Millennial of the Year (The Iconic Brand Awards 2021) when working for Nexford.
In closing, we asked Anuoluwapo who his major inspiration has been up until now. Without a moment’s hesitation, he said that it was his father who has had a major influence on his life.
“Sadly, my dad didn’t have adequate access to higher education and had to start from humble beginnings. At the age of 17 he opted to become a roadside mechanic, and his father offered to buy him a motorcycle. That is what he wanted to do and was all he could do until he applied to go to secondary school. He got a scholarship and became a more successful person. He succeeded against all odds, building more than three houses along the way, and I felt like if he can do that, I can do much more. There are no excuses. He was a good man and he taught me a lot.”
All of us wish this ambitious person every bit of success for what promises to be an exciting future ahead.
About the Author
Mark is a college graduate with Honours in Copywriting. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Nexford, creating engaging, thought-provoking, and action-oriented content.