Everything You Need to Know About Our Business
In this interview with Today’s Leading Woman, TMC Founder & Principal Consultant, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, talks all about how she started this business, shares some business development stories and advice for the youth and women entrepreneurs.
Q. Can You Just Tell Us How this Journey from Being a Lawyer, Led to You Running Your Own Consulting Firm?
I started my career as a State Counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice and had very interesting postings while I was there. So at some point I started literally as an Assistant Legal Adviser in the Ministry of Defense, and that was tough: Being a “Greenhorn” and working in the Ministry of Defense, with all the forces – Air Force, Navy, and Army. But it was quite enlightening and I got quite a good Legal Education there working with the forces.
Then I was deployed after that to the International Law Department, Mercantile
& Industrial Law Department, Civil Litigation Department… and then at some point I decided, you know, at this point I was about 8 years in the civil service, and I thought I needed to improve myself, and that I had gotten as much as I could get out of the public service, and I should move into the private sector.
This was when I got a Chevening Scholarship from the British Council and I
did my Masters in International Business Law at The University of Exeter. On coming out, it coincided with the privatisation of the broadcasting industry, and so I got a job with the Minaj Media Group as Company Secretary/Legal Adviser. I spent about 8 years with Minaj but in that journey with Minaj as Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, about halfway through – I think 4 years into the job, I decided I wanted to learn more about broadcasting. I wanted to learn business administration, I wanted to learn about the business of broadcasting as opposed to the legal side.
This was when I went off to the Stanford Business School, and did a number of training courses there (Strategy, Organisation…) and as I finished, it coincided with when the government licensed only 2 broadcasting entities for satellite broadcast – AIT, and Minaj.
So at that point Minaj actually became a global player, and I went up to the Chairman and said that I really wanted to expand my horizons, learn the business even if from scratch, and I was sent out to the U.S. to start the business there. Now my 3 years in the U.S. starting off Minaj Inc, growing to become its COO, and then its CEO, I ended up as president of the company, got me very interested in growing Nigerian companies.
I saw the amount of leverage small companies have in America… government interventions, the banks are geared to finance and help you succeed, in fact the entire ecosystem there seems to be geared to help you succeed as a business man or woman, and I thought: “You know what? If Nigerians had 25% of the opportunity that exists in the U.S, they would do very, very, well.” Because despite our adversities here, people still struggle to make a success of their businesses, so I thought:
You know what? I’m coming back home, and I’m going to start my own firm, and I’m gonna try and help people succeed.