Sun, 21 Apr 2024 Today's Paper

Moyo Ogunseinde Founder / Executive Director / Architect

2 March 2024 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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She embodies a multifaceted vision and creative prowess, symbolizing innovation, resilience, and artistic expression. Across architecture, design, sport, technology, and entrepreneurship, she enthrals Nigerian audiences with her distinctive blend of creativity and ingenuity. As the founder and CEO of her architectural firm, she spearheads ground-breaking projects that redefine Nigeria's design landscape. Moreover, serving as a Board Member on prestigious organizations like the Lagos State Gymnastic Association, she advocates for the empowerment of young female athletes. Her visionary leadership extends to the HoneyWell Group, where she contributes to strategic decision-making and fosters innovation. The HoneyWell Group in Nigeria is synonymous with innovation and excellence, spanning diverse sectors such as manufacturing, real estate, hospitality, and energy. With a legacy of delivering exceptional value, the group's renowned brands and subsidiaries uphold a steadfast commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Through strategic investments and forward-thinking leadership, the HoneyWell Group Nigeria drives economic growth and development.

Moyo Ogunseinde's bold vision and unwavering commitment to innovation inspire us to embrace creativity, challenge convention, and forge new paths in pursuit of our passions.

Can you share with us in summary your personal journey, from classroom to boardroom?

I hail from Ibadan, Nigeria, and commenced my academic pursuit at UCL (UK), where I earned a Bachelor's degree in Architecture, Planning, Building, and Environmental Studies in 2000, followed by a Master's degree in Architecture. My professional voyage kicked off as a commercial architect in the UK, leading design initiatives across diverse sectors like education, health, transportation, affordable housing, and utilities. The turning point in my journey arrived when I returned to Nigeria to oversee the construction of the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel. This experience ignited my passion for stakeholder engagement, relationship-building, and project coordination, prompting me to transition into roles such as Project Director, Board Member, and Executive Advisor. Throughout this trajectory from academia to corporate leadership, I've remained committed to excellence, continuous learning, and driving positive change in both my professional and personal spheres.

Can you share with us in summary your professional journey, from Architecture to Hospitality?

My professional journey initially centred around architecture, where I developed expertise in design and planning during my education at UCL. As a commercial architect in the UK, I specialized in infrastructure projects across education, health, transportation, and housing sectors. However, a pivotal moment arose when I took on the task of overseeing the construction of the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel in Nigeria. This marked a shift from architecture to hospitality, propelling me into roles such as Project Director, Board Member, and Executive Advisor within the hospitality industry. Leveraging my architectural background, I bring a unique perspective to hospitality, blending design prowess with a focus on delivering exceptional guest experiences.

My transition from architecture to hospitality underscores a commitment to continuous growth, innovation, and meaningful impact in the industries I serve.

Could you discuss the board positions you currently hold, and the responsibilities associated with them?

1. Chairperson, Lagos State Gymnastic Association:

As the Chairperson of the Lagos State Gymnastic Association, my responsibilities include providing strategic direction and leadership to the association. This involves overseeing the development of gymnastics programs, promoting participation in the sport, organizing events and competitions, and fostering partnerships with relevant stakeholders to support the growth of gymnastics in Lagos State.

2. Board Member, HoneyWell Group (Family Board):

As a Board Member of the HoneyWell Group's family board, my role involves contributing to the governance and strategic decision-making processes of the group. This includes reviewing and approving business plans, budgets, and major investments, as well as providing guidance and oversight on key issues affecting the group's businesses and operations.

3. Board Member, Lagos State Sports Trust Fund:

As a Board Member of the Lagos State Sports Trust Fund, I participate in the management and allocation of funds generated for sports activities, programs, and events in Lagos State. This entails ensuring transparent and accountable use of funds, evaluating funding requests, and monitoring the impact of investments in sports development across the state.

4. Advisory Board Member, MEA Future Leaders Challenge:

In my role as an advisory board member for the MEA Future Leaders Challenge, I contribute to the selection process of students from the Middle East and Africa region who collaborate to address industry challenges in hospitality and tourism.

This involves reviewing project proposals, providing guidance and mentorship to participating students, and helping to shape the direction of the challenge to ensure its relevance and effectiveness in building rewarding careers in the hospitality and tourism sector

As a woman in business in Nigeria, what challenges have you faced, and how did you overcome them?

As a woman in business in Nigeria, I've encountered challenges typical of the Nigerian business landscape, including political instability, insecurity, economic fluctuations, and unfavourable policies. While it's difficult to prepare for these uncertainties directly, I've adopted a mindset of learning and adaptation. Embracing the highs and lows of each experience, I glean lessons from every hurdle and implement solutions to fortify against future uncertainties. This resilience and proactive approach have been crucial in navigating the dynamic business environment and sustaining growth despite the challenges.

Can you share some notable successes or achievements that you are particularly proud of in your professional journey?

In my professional journey, I've achieved several notable successes that I take pride in. Among them, establishing Upbeat Centre stands out as a significant milestone. Upbeat Centre is the first-of-its-kind fitness and recreation centre in Nigeria, offering state-of-the-art facilities and services to promote health and wellness in the community. Another achievement that reflects my commitment to innovation is the successful implementation of Upbeat Fest. This event, the first of its kind in Nigeria, creates a festive wonderland featuring funfair games, live band performances, and a Santa Grotto, among other attractions. It's a testament to my dedication to bringing unique and enjoyable experiences to people in Nigeria. These achievements highlight my passion for creativity, entrepreneurship, and making a positive impact in my community. They represent moments of success that motivate me to continue striving for excellence in all endeavours.

How would you describe your leadership style, especially in the context of the industries you've been involved in?

In the industries I've been involved in, I would characterize my leadership style as adaptive, forward-thinking, and collaborative. Tailoring my approach to the specific needs and dynamics of architecture, hospitality, and sports, I prioritize open communication, teamwork, and empowerment in fast-paced and innovative environments. I believe in fostering a culture of creativity, where diverse perspectives are valued and encouraged to flourish. Additionally, I emphasize strategic thinking and decisiveness to navigate through complex challenges and seize emerging opportunities effectively. Overall, my leadership philosophy aims to drive innovation, foster growth, and achieve sustainable success in dynamic industries by embracing change, collaboration, and a forward-looking mindset.

How do you stay innovative and adapt to evolving business landscapes?

To stay innovative and adapt to evolving business landscapes, I prioritize cultivating a culture of continuous learning and curiosity within myself and my team. This involves staying informed about industry trends, emerging technologies, and market developments through ongoing research, networking, and professional development opportunities. I also encourage experimentation and welcome new ideas, fostering an environment where creativity can thrive. By remaining agile and open-minded, I'm able to swiftly pivot strategies, embrace change, and capitalize on new opportunities as they arise. This ensures that my business stays relevant and competitive in dynamic markets, allowing us to navigate shifts in the landscape effectively and maintain our position at the forefront of innovation.

What advice would you give to young professionals, especially women, looking to succeed in business and leadership roles?

My advice to young professionals, especially women, aiming to succeed in business and leadership roles is to prioritize personal growth and expertise in their field. While gender bias may exist in some industries, it's crucial not to let it deter you. Instead, focus on continuous improvement and becoming indispensable in your area of expertise. By consistently demonstrating exceptional skills and knowledge, you can overcome gender bias and advance in your career.

Additionally, seek out mentorship and support networks, advocate for yourself, and embrace opportunities to showcase your talents and leadership abilities. Remember that your capabilities and achievements speak louder than any barriers imposed by gender stereotypes. Stay determined, resilient, and confident in pursuing your goals, and success will follow.

Are there lessons from your own journey that you believe could benefit those starting their careers?

From my journey, I've learned several lessons that I believe could benefit those starting their careers:

1. Embrace Learning: Be open to new experiences, seek out opportunities to learn and grow, and never stop investing in your personal and professional development. Continuous learning is key to staying relevant and adaptable in a rapidly changing world.

2. Find Your Passion: Pursue work that aligns with your interests and passions. When you love what you do, you'll be more motivated, fulfilled, and likely to excel in your career. Don't be afraid to explore different paths and make changes if needed to find what truly inspires you.

3. Take Risks: Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take calculated risks. Sometimes, the greatest rewards come from taking chances and embracing uncertainty. Trust in your abilities and have the courage to pursue your goals, even if it means facing challenges along the way.

Overall, stay curious, stay hungry, and never stop striving for excellence in everything you do. By embracing these lessons and staying committed to your growth and development, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the ups and downs of your career journey and achieve success in the long run.

How do you want to be remembered one day?

I aspire to be remembered as a visionary leader who left a positive impact on both individuals and the industries, I've been a part of. My hope is to leave behind a legacy characterized by integrity, innovation, and empowerment, inspiring others to reach their full potential and make meaningful contributions to their communities. Through mentorship and entrepreneurial endeavours, I aim to be remembered as someone who truly made a difference in the lives of others.

What would you like to achieve next? 

In the near future, I am enthusiastic about two main goals that I have set my sights on. Firstly, I am eager to engage in mentorship for young female athletes in Nigeria, guiding and empowering them within the sports industry. Secondly, I am excited about establishing my own travel and hospitality company. This venture will cater to travellers within Africa, aiming to showcase the continent's beauty while offering unforgettable experiences worldwide. My passion lies in enriching lives through exceptional travel experiences, leaving lasting impressions as individuals explore new destinations and cultures. Additionally, I am looking forward to launching a real estate and hospitality fund.

This initiative aims to further enhance travel opportunities by creating welcoming spaces for people to visit and enjoy. Through this fund, I aspire to develop hotel and travel products that provide unparalleled experiences, enriching lives through extraordinary travel and lifestyle adventures.

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