Tomide Orji, a business development expert, is the Principal Consultant at PatFort Limited, which helps startups and other businesses grow from start to stability, while growing profits into six figures monthly. PELUMI BOLAWA writes on her transition from a medical doctor to owning one of the largest business consultancies in Nigeria
“The destiny of a child is written on their palm” is an African adage. In the journey of life, business inclusive, the notion that everyone will lead is removed from reality. While some lead, others are expected to follow. The table, sometimes, turn, especially when the leaders, by choice, derail. But those who are destined to get it right till the end are not swayed while pursuing their passion with the right attitude.
Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Tomide Orji discovered her passion early in life, as she had wanted to study Law in the university but opted for Media Studies.
A bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the Esep Le Berger University, Benin Republic, a master’s degree in Media Studies at the Edexcel University, Benin Republic and a diploma in Fashion and Apparel Design Illustration at 1212 Fashion Institute, Tomide Orji was prepared for exploits.
During her second year in the university, she ventured into fashion designing, following the early start principle. She strongly holds that starting early gives one a lot of time to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and teach people.
She said, “In almost a decade, I have seen the good and ugly side of business.
“When I chose to study Mass communications, I wasn’t too sure of what I wanted to do. I had always wanted to become a doctor.”
But her dad wanted her to be a lawyer.
This entrepreneur is not cool with just doing well in business; she wanted more. This pushed her into establishing her own consultancy firm, where she mentors business owners and starters.
In six years, Orji trained over 3,000 entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and starters on entrepreneurship, offered them business development services, secretarial services (trademark, copyright and registration of business inclusive) and advisory services.
Due to her expertise in media communication, she runs a weekly podcast where she gives inspiration nuggets to move businesses from start to stability.
She is the creative director of TCM Fashion Dynasty. TCM has 2404 by Tomide and Fabrik City as subsidiaries.
In the last three to four years, the communications expert faced lots of challenges. Clients with big dreams but do not want to be committed to such dreams came. Government policies and other challenges joined.
Tomide Orji believes that the Almighty God loves and is interested in entrepreneurship because it breaks the circle of poverty. “My biggest motivation is to alleviate poverty by employing thousands of people,” she added.
With high level of optimism, she says, “The independence you enjoy as a business owner, especially when your business is thriving, is another motivation for me.”
To give back to the society, she co-founded Maama Africa Educational Foundation in 2018 with her husband, Dare Michaels.
Words for starters
“Even if it seems like nothing is working out, starters should find a better way to make it work. Learn a skill. People with skills get paid more than those who do not.
“Your certificate is not the same thing as sabificate (skill),” she says.
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