Ideas are meaningless without actions and measurable results.
Femi Oloruntoba is a seasoned business development and strategic marketing leader with global experience in delivering revenue growth and customer experiences through customer engagement, strategy development, and execution, new and reoccurring sales generation within the medical and safety device, wholesale, construction sectors with high energy, analytics, and pragmatism.
Currently, he is a Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer at Esta Link Inc where he leads the commercial growth and user engagement strategy of the Esta platform in North America. Before Esta, the Nigerian born Canadian worked with global companies in varying technical and leadership capacities in driving revenue growth and a high-performance team across the organization. He has a strong passion for entrepreneurship, international trade and frequently speaks at Ontario Colleges to graduate school business students on emerging business challenges and career development.
He holds an Executive MBA from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and another at Queen’s University (Kingston, ON). He is an alumnus of the International Business Management graduate program at Centennial College (Toronto) and a Bachelor’s (Hons) in Chemistry (Nigeria). He is on the advisory team for the undergraduate and graduate certificate program at Centennial College and a Director at the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council. He enjoys traveling, public speaking and spending time with friends and family.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
The idea of Esta Link became more apparent to us when one of our three founders bought a house for the first time. The excitement of owning a home, however infectious, can come with small tweaks to bring one’s home to it’s desired esthetic condition. In this case, it was a leaking roof that needed immediate attention. The convention for most homeowners is to get on the web to search for roofing service contractors or use web services like Yelp, Craiglist e.t.c, call them up for quotes and make a decision on which bid to close. The revolving challenge we saw was that of finding trusted contractors, getting callbacks from rated contractors and when they did, the proposal was either too high or are booked out six months or more.
What we wanted to do was to take a picture or video of the damaged roof and get a quick estimate from nearby contractors, and that was how Esta was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day begins with the review and impact of our user growth strategy and timelines. Next, are digital engagements and acquisition of users, customer meetings and job site visits with professional contractors.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Ideas are meaningless without actions and measurable results. For me, the excitement of a startup is the ability to take an idea at zero valuation and make it more valuable. In the end, bringing ideas to life depends on three factors. 1. Unwavering conviction(s) in the mission of Esta 2. Plan execution and openness to experiment new business models; 3. Building the right team that shares the same vision
What’s one trend that excites you?
The possibilities and the disruptive nature of the shared economy continue to excite me. For example, in the home improvement industry, a licensed trade engineer or designer can now make add on pay by taking home projects at his convenience on top of his full-time job. While there are winners and losers as this transformation emerges, it is now a given that the world has changed, and we have to change with it.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Plain and simple, it’s learning FAST from my failures and removing any emotional attachments. Doing this gives me the clarity of heart and head to try new ideas.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid of failures; embrace it! Also, I would say start your entrepreneurial journey much earlier.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That I originally studied Chemistry Sciences at the university for seven years.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
My recommendation to any entrepreneur in a similar journey is to have the willingness and humility to listen and learn from people that are different from you. There are no other valuable sounding boards than the different geniuses of your team.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Drive customer engagement in our chosen market!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The one failure I had was thinking too small in my vision ten years ago. Fast forward today, I have traveled the world and looked beyond my current province, worked and managed cross-functional teams, and built a P&L from the ground up. With these experiences, I look at the world differently.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The beauty and grooming tech market has expanded the past seven years — one isolated opportunity are consumers with black or afro hair that are underserved. There is an opportunity to create a hair care or on-demand beauty business to a unicorn.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
That was a Violin I purchased out in Vancouver. I love the soothing effect of classical music especially when you listen to the breakdown of all the instrument that makes the symphony. I found either playing the violin or listening to instrumental classics comforting when I need to relax.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I like to be informed on the current global and local news, so it is essential that I have a single platform to aggregate information into one newsfeed. I use the Feedly app to do this and to ensure I have the right information to make the best decisions.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I will recommend Fast Forward by Elspeth Murray. Her book lays a practical foundation for entrepreneurs and general managers in driving change.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote comes through the wisdom of my mum, Christiana Joke Oloruntoba. She would say, “You are what you believe.” For me, the quotes drive me to stay positive, believe I can do anything if I can imagine the reality.
- That failure is a constant in the pathway to success.
- That the entrepreneurial journey can be a lonely one but, I am what I believe I can be.
- That Esta’s mission to provide the fastest, most transparent tool to those who need it is achievable.