How This Former Agege Boy Built A Multi-Million Dollar Real Estate Business In His Early 30s
In a part of the world where the youths are termed lazy, where laudable economic achievements are rare, where capital is scarce, and where government assistance is almost non-existent, a young man driven by a passion to escape the average-income life and live the life of his dreams aspired to become a real estate mogul.
While most of his peers were partying, living the fast life, and carelessly spending all their income, this man was visiting the luxury areas of Lagos, Nigeria and getting to meet and be mentored by people who were already where he wanted to be.
This is the success story of Sijibomi Ogundele, a man who set out to achieve the impossible, and through sheer hard work and dedication, is gradually changing the landscape of the luxury real estate industry in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
Here’s how he did it:
Who Is Sijibomi Ogundele?
Sijibomi Ogundele is the founder and lead partner of the Sujimoto group of companies, a multinational conglomerate that deals in construction, real estate, and energy. Sijibomi Ogundel is also often referred to as the “Donald Trump of Nigeria” due to his avid interest in building luxury real estate apartments.
He is regarded as one of the youngest billionaires in Nigeria and has been recognized by Forbes Africa as a brave young entrepreneur.
The Early Years Of Sijibomi Ogundele
Sijibomi Ogundele was born on April 8, 1983, in Agege, Lagos, Nigeria; a largely non-affluent part of Lagos.
They lived in a street where only two houses had power generating sets, painting the picture of a person who wasn’t necessarily poor but grew up surrounded by poverty in a country where it is still difficult for most of the poor population to rise above their financial situations.
Instead of letting his lowly upbringing deter him, he uses it as motivation to succeed.
At the young age of 9, Sijibomi started visiting Ikoyi, a very affluent part of Lagos exclusively for the elite in Nigeria and started building up inspiration that he would someday get to live there.
He also learnt how business works from his mother who was a marketer for nestle, Nigeria, as he would often follow her to the market where he learnt different aspects of trading.
His Education & Early Beginnings
Sijibomi Ogundele was opportune to school in Anglica Ruskin University in the UK where he studied law. Sijibomi’s success was not just handed to him, he had to work his way up the ladder.
He started out his career in risk assessment in 2004, where he moved up to lending in SME’s and then set up Moto finance in Paris which later branched out into Accra, Dubai, Madrid, and New York City, achieving significant Industry Milestones, then later moving into the Nigerian real estate industry.
His Major Breakthrough
His first major breakthrough in real estate came when he was living in France, when he bought an apartment in Paris, remodelled it, and sold it for double the price to a friend from Qatar. This investment flip in such a short time reignited his interest in real estate and changed his life path forever.
His introduction into real estate in Nigeria was through a real estate dealer known as “Akin” who he met at a club in Ikoyi on one of his trips to Nigeria, He was asked to invest 50 million Naira into the project for a block of flats in the estate that is being developed, against the advice of his family members he decided to take the risk, which after some time, paid off and he was able to sell the house at 105 million making over one hundred per cent return on investment in that particular deal.
Having seen how lucrative the business was, he started considering starting a business of his own to take advantage of a new generation of Nigerian consumers who had started appreciating the value of luxury real estate and were willing to pay for it.
The Start of Sujimoto Construction
Sijibomi Ogundele founded Sujimoto in 2013, which he named after a Japanese university professor who he attributes a large part of his success to. He identifies the man as the individual who shifted his paradigm and helped him to become the man he is today.
Sujimoto was founded in partnership with the real estate mogul, Mr Yazeed Alrahji, the chairman of DAERM real estate investment company, Saudi Arabia. His vision was simple, “to redefine luxury living by exceeding all expectations”.
His first big project was Lincoln Avenue in Accra, Ghana, a set of 16 townhouses of 4-bedroom apartments, a project he carried out in partnership with Wonda World/Petronia. He then went ahead to construct the Medici terraces luxury apartments in Ikoyi, Lagos. The terraces are elegant and luxurious. They have 7 units of houses with high-quality materials and four-bedrooms each, a rooftop lounge, 24-hour security, art, gym and more.
His project dubbed “LorenzobySujimoto” has been described as the tallest residential building in Nigeria and Africa’s first fully automated residential apartments.
Some of the philosophies Sijibomi Ogundele Imbibed in his personal life and subsequently in his business are tenacity, never giving up, hard work, excellence and determination.
To Sum it Up
Sijibomi’s story is truly an inspiring one, it serves as proof that with vision, hard work and tenacity anybody can rise above the rat-race and achieve their true potentials. It also shows that there is truly no valid excuse for failure.
The road to success is not straight, it is crooked, there are ups and downs on it, and only those who learn to navigate these ups and downs can claim the prize at the end.