A dedicated IT professional and project manager, Omotola starts, introducing himself, like the gentleman he is and telling us that SterlingPRO was founded “to provide innovative technology solutions.” He adds that it was “set up in 2009 to provide decentralised document management solution to Fidelity Bank.”
In case you didn’t know, Omotola Okunfolami is a managing partner at SterlingPRO business applications limited – a technology Solutions Company. “We produce/invent innovative solutions, we’ve been at the forefront of creating uncommon solutions, because it is the way to go and it was on that basis we were set up.”
There’s something you don’t know yet. Read on.
“There was this idea that we worked on, and it became an idea that we do differently, so we took a deep dive and came up with a solution. That was how we started SterlingPRO. Fortunately for us we got a bank that was interested in the solution and it became a big thing from there.”
From humble beginnings to doing it differently, to aiming for the skies… What is that idea still doing ONLY in your head?
Values And Philosophies
How important are values? To be honest, you can say values are indispensable, because our values inform our thoughts, words and actions. Our values are important because they help us grow and develop.
On the other end, your philosophy of business could be an unwritten attitude or a specifically-written philosophy that defines how your team will act and interact with each other and the general public. Omotola tells not to have worries as SterlingPRO is “customer obsessed.” Interesting. He adds, “that’s one of the things I tell my team, the customer is key, whatever you do. We don’t joke with our customers, we put a lot of time into R&D to come up with new solutions. We primarily operate around the EFT space. We have a couple of the solutions that have been deployed not just in Nigeria but all over the world, we are the pioneers of this.”
Added to this is operational excellence and a passion for innovation – you know, like how it all started.
Recent Innovative Solutions
This sounded simple to Omotola: “ATM Biometric cardless cash withdrawal.”
Pushing The Nigerian Story
He was excited about this question, combining the fact that SterlingPRO is “a fully owned Nigerian entity” and the company has begun to engage more with the Nigerian culture and to change its workspace. He adds, “It’s always been there that we want to become a global entity and to become a global entity, you don’t want to be lost, you want to identify loudly as Nigerian, while trying to achieve our global aspirations.”
Brand Tones And Youth Inclinations
“SterlingPRO is a subtle tech brand, passionate about the delivery of topnotch
technical products and services. We are not afraid to challenge the status quo whilst
assisting businesses achieve success and improved productivity by harnessing the wealth of opportunities in information technology, particularly software and e-business solutions. We take our product seriously, delivering solutions that organisations need to positively impact business outcomes, from developing an IT strategy to solutions for optimising the IT infrastructure and applications; And we help clients put a premium on the improvements that will have the most impact. SterlingPRO believes that empowering the youth is very key to current and future successes, which is why we focus more on youth employment in our in-house recruitment process.
“We recently started a coding club where we bring teenagers in and, we get a few of our programmers to mentor them, teaching them how to code. We think it’s what should be happening right now, we are able to catch them young and get them to embrace the idea of coding. When they are in their early 20s, they are already grounded developers and they can impact on others so that Nigeria can be a major player in the tech global ecosystem.”
Well, added to the fact the SterlingPRO started a coding club for teenagers, Omotola says there are plans “to engage a couple of entities, we feel like it’s the right thing to do. We would do as much we can to give back to the community. It would start in a couple of months, and we would engage them for years to come.”
Future of Fintech in Nigeria – And SterlingPRO
“We see Nigeria playing big on simplified technologies in the banking industry and the world at large, competing with technologies in the U.S and other parts of Africa, cutting across the rural areas where we have some semi-illiterate citizens; making it very easy and conducive for them to blend in today’s changes without any challenges.
“We also see ourselves as a part of this change, with one of our newly innovated products: ATM Biometric cardless cash withdrawal solution where customers don’t need to bother about not moving around with their debit cards, as this solution enables all account holders perform transactions on the ATMS using their fingerprint as one of the primary authentication for these transactions.
“I think the tech space has become really big in Nigeria. We’ve got a population of close to 200 million and that’s a viable market. We have lots of innovations which are looking to push within the next quarter and this would position us as one of the leading tech companies in Nigeria, in Africa and globally eventually.”
Learn from this. You need it.
“SterlingPRO, in the next five years, wants to be a global brand. One of the top global brands and I believe we have the capacity to do this. Like I said earlier, we have a few solutions which are novel, things that don’t exist anywhere in the world. One of the things we do is to do a lot of research, we have the capacity to play globally. And then what we’ve done over the last year, set up shop in South Africa, we are looking to go to the U.S., set up shop there as well and compete globally. We feel we have the manpower. If you have a good brand and you believe in it then give it visibility.
“I think it’s becoming common knowledge now that the tech industry would eat up virtually anything. If you find a young person who has a knack or desire or passion for tech, you’ll get hired quickly.”
Omoleye is a Content Developer, Editor/Strategist, research writer, journalist and social media manager