Idiare is a 2004 ViMP alumnus doing very well in the advertising industry. Read about how JA programs influenced his career journey.
- Tell us your JA Story: how, when, and where did you participate?
I was in the Venture in Management Program (ViMP) 2004 class. I applied via a purpose statement and my CV. I was quite glad when I got the email that I had been selected. We had ours at a Protea Hotel in Lekki at the time.
- What were the highlights of your ViMP experience?
One of the key highlights for me was the case study approach. That whole idea of interrogating a case from such a wide and diverse viewpoint was something I totally loved about being in the ViMP program. The quality of participants was something I appreciated a lot, my set had a very diverse set of participants and many of them have remained my friends till now.
- How did ViMP change your perception on life, entrepreneurship, etc?
I think I appreciated the opportunity of being exposed to entrepreneurs and other professionals I had been keeping tabs on. I kind of knew that life was for me so even as I progressed from role to role in the corporate world, I always felt I was preparing myself to become a full-time entrepreneur. Thankfully that’s what I am now, 16 years later.
- What are you doing now in your life?
I am the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Up in The Sky Ltd, an advertising agency in Lagos Nigeria. We have been keen on giving back to the society since we started and have created 7 short films on social issues for NGO’s and causes we believe in across issues like domestic violence, HIV AIDS, street children, Illiteracy and Mental Health/suicide.
Our for-profit work with blue chip clients has so far funded our commitment to adding value to non-profit causes. It is something I am very proud of, ViMP helped me see how this was something that should be done through examples of the corporate sponsors like FCMB, Accenture and Vic Lawrence & Associates back in the day.
- What motivates you? Who are your role models? What books/authors inspire you?
I really want to live a life of impact in my industry and be a worthy model to my sons. This is something very important to me.
I have been inspired by many people and they have modelled excellence a lot for me. Some of them are – Fela Durotoye, who was my first boss in the world of work, Akonte Ekine my first boss when I switched careers and Bayo Adekanmbi who really guided me in how to pursue excellence in marketing.
I recommend these books a lot – ‘’How will you measure your life’’ by Clayton Christensen, ‘’Mastery’’ by Robert Greene and ‘’Getting Naked’’ by Patrick Lencioni
- Volunteering is a big part of JA’s program. What are your memories of the person or people who delivered the program?
I recall Mo Abudu spoke to us on how she tackles business challenges and I found it truly inspirational. We also had Dr. Doyin Salami speak to us, Dima Oruene of IBFC Agusto, Ladi Balogun etc. We also had a fantastic program coordinator in Jimi Tewe. All these people left a strong impression on me on how to be focused and ambitious in going for what you want.
Their discipline and commitment to personal excellence was quite clear.
- How did the ViMP influence your career path and you in general?
After my ViMP experience, I changed careers from management consulting to the marketing communications industry. I kind of felt that this path would be a more engaging use of my talents and interests. Luckily, I was proven right. I worked at DDB -an advertising agency for 3 years and then at Etisalat Nigeria for 7 years before I left to start my own business.
ViMP helped me to become confident about my abilities and how to deploy everywhere I find myself.
- What advice would you give to young Nigerians?
Your commitment to personal development is what will differentiate you in the long run. No one trains you for the future you desire, you tend to have to do a lot of heavy lifting by yourself.
- What would you like to say about JA Nigeria?
I don’t think anyone else does this very important work the way that JAN does it -preparing young Nigerians for the world of work and entrepreneurship in a well-structured manner. I appreciate the impact of ViMP in my career and will continue recommending it to young people I feel have a desire to better themselves.