May 24, 2016 – Tonto Dikeh’s Millionaire Husband Olakunle Churchill Grants First Interview, Talks About Businesses In Abuja, Ghana & Lagos
The name Olakunle Churchill will either sound familiar to you or rings a bell! Whichever way he is a young man who charted his own destiny from a very tender age. The Abeokuta born philanthropist who is a man with an exceptional personality and an Entrepreneur per excellence recently made headlines when he was honoured as an Ambassador and his company, Big Churchill Heaven Limited was awarded the software and security solution Provider Company of The Year at the colourful 2015 Nigeria Goodwill Ambassador event.
With his recent break into the A’list of IT Entrepreneurs in Abuja and setting up of a new office, the young IT giant who is taking the industry by storm has built a name for himself with regards to his international networks and foreign affiliates
Mr Churchill is the Chairman of Big Church Group with subsidiaries; Big Churchill Haven Limited and Big Church Entertainment. While Big Churchill Haven Limited is an IT & Solution Total Security Company and Real Estate, which operates in over ten industries across three different countries worldwide, Big Church Entertainment is an entertainment outfit with offices in Ghana, Lagos and in Abuja.
The soft Spoken young man whose simplicity and humility portrays what the golden image of the world should be in a recent interview with FBI Africa Magazine speaks on his plans and passion. Enjoy.
YOU ARE LOTS OF THINGS TO SO MANY PEOPLE; WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOU THAT WE DON’T KNOW?
Well, you can say that but to clear the doubt, I am Amb. Olakunle Churchill, from Ogun state. I believe in what I want to do irrespective of the obstacles. The expression of truth and simplicity is my overwhelming hallmark in dealing with people. Take note, I would not know how people see me because this comes from different perspectives.
HOW HAS YOUR GROWING UP INFLUENCED WHO YOU ARE TODAY?
It was indeed an interesting growing up years, fortunate enough; I was close to affluence but did not let that get into me. I am from a well-appointed background that chooses to flow in the same frame of reference with those older than I am. There is a saying that he who washes his hands well can eat with elders, as such I positioned myself to make friends that can influence me positively.
WAS THERE ANY EXPERIENCE WHILE GROWING UP THAT POINTED YOU TO YOUR PRESENT DIRECTION?
In truth, I cannot particularly say I had any experience that influenced my present day person, but my passion for computers, Computer programming or related functions interest was addictive. Also my lifestyle with regards to leveraging on those older than me that I hang out with. As a focused kid, I had always known what I wanted.
WHAT WAS THE SPECIFIC THING IN YOUR MIND IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF BIG CHURCH GROUP
Basically, the need for efficient security services and the computer age today where everything has gone digital; the quest to achieve feasible results in the sector necessitated the establishment of Big Church Group, which also undertakes real estates and general contracts services.
YOUR COMPANY’S VISION IS A VERY INTERESTING ONE AND I QUOTE; “TO BE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AFRICA HOLDING COMPANY, LEADING IN EVERY SECTOR WE OPERATE IN”WHAT DO YOU INTEND TO DO DIFFERENTLY FROM YOUR COMPETITORS TO ACHIEVE THAT?
Most organizations believe the way to achieve success is to emulate the most successful company in their sector. As such they begin to drift away from their difference in search of the business that competitors already have in hand. Pepsi dropped its “new generation” focus for an “everybody” focus. Burger King goes after the little kids that belong to McDonald’s. Cadillac tried twice to sell small Cadillac to the younger set. Just stick to your ideology! What these companies fail to realize is this: ‘ Once contrary, always contrary’
AS AN ENTREPRENEUR WHO HAS CONQUERED THE GHANA MARKET AND CURRENTLY TAKING OVER THE NIGERIAN MARKET HOW DO YOU RATE THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT IN THESE TWO COUNTRIES?
Don’t you think using the word conquer makes it sound big? Well, we have made reasonable progress and recorded impressive successes in the Ghana market. We don’t seem to have much rivals or competitors. We also partner with Micro Partners Ghana Limited and Safeless Price Ghana Limited, all these are still IT related companies, but Nigerian market is quite saturated. The business environment in Nigeria is more lucrative because it’s larger with many clients. This of course makes us to step up our game and delivery services. My team and I always go for what we are set out to do. In truth, persistent and commitment is our hallmark for delivery.
AS ONE OF LEADING COUNTRIES IN AFRICA AND PIONEER IN SO MANY AREAS, HOW COME WE STILL CAN’T GET IT RIGHT AFTER 55 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
Well, even when a lot of people will consider corruption and poor leadership as the major setback, I still feel that our inability to effectively make use of our own resources is our greatest undoing.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST DECISION YOU HAVE HAD TO MAKE IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS?
In all holiness, I have made some tough decisions lately because I hardly discuss my issues with people. But the one I did recently in relation to my work is to relocate to Abuja. Before now, I had limited business partners in Abuja unlike in Ghana, Lagos or Europe but I still went ahead to open an office in FCT.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST SATISFYING MOMENT IN BUSINESS
There are several impressive business moments, especially when my services satisfy my clients. I have job satisfaction if with little effort I can achieve big result.
WHAT DO YOU TELL YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE TOTALLY LOST FAITH IN GOVERNMENT AS THERE IS A LOT OF HOPELESSNESS GENERATED BY UNEMPLOYMENT
Regardless of what anyone says, everyone is naturally endowed with special talent or gifts necessary to make anyone successful. To avoid wallowing in the hopelessness of unemployment, he should start from areas of his strength, doing what he is passionate about and makes him productively happy. If he prioritizes his daily activities and create more time for his business idea, unemployment will be a thing of the past. Self-employment or entrepreneurship is the answer to this menace.
THE BEHAVIOURAL PATTERN OF TODAY’S YOUTH IS NOT THE SAME WITH WHAT WE HAD IN THE 70s, WHAT MUST HAVE GONE WRONG?
Well, I will attribute it to both family background and the zeal in our contemporary youths to make it big too fast without business orientation or proper guidance.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RECENT VISIT TO ONDO STATE
I recently visited Ondo State, my mother’s home State for charity projects and was received by Governor Olusegun Mimiko. Humanitarian service is a major heart of BIG CHURCH GROUP. In partnership with my wife’s Foundation, Tonto Dikeh Foundation, we aim to identify the most crucial needs of humanity and support them in humanitarian efforts that transform lives of people around the world. The Ondo project started on the 9th of March and was wrapped up on the 11th of March. The project captured the following visits amidst other activities:
Day1: Scholarship to students of the Mimshach school
Day1: Financial Donations to Christ Orphanage Homes
Day2: Financial Donations to Mother and children at the Mother and Child hospital
Day2: Financial Donations and visit to Grace Orphanage Homes in the Ondo State Children Home
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY ABOUT PHILANTHROPY?
My philosophy about philanthropy is to see an Africa that is free from poverty. This can only be achieved if we, as business people, take the front role in empowering our people.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE AWAY WHEN THEY THINK ABOUT YOU AFTER COMING IN CONTACT WITH YOU?
It’s obvious different people have different impression about me from a close and long distance but I am an expression of simplicity and humility. I am practically hungry to learn or know more because a philosopher once said and I quote “there is no graduate in learning”.
YOU ARE A KNOWN FASHIONISTA; CAN YOU IN A SENTENCE DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
A dressing or appearance that reflects your true personality and ability to appear on what you are comfortable with but must look good.
WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING YOUR WIFE HAS SAID TO YOU SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN MARRIED?
Hmmmm, this one is very personal sha, but I remember her telling the world on social media that I am her hero and a blessing to her existence…. “blushing”..*winks*
WHAT THREE PIECES OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS WHO WANT TO BE AS SUCCESSFUL AS YOU ARE?
Interesting, but I will not number it. This is a holistic advice; First of all, know what you really want to do; know what you have passion for, and pen down all your dreams and aspiration and pursue it. Do not sit at home for years waiting for white-collar jobs. You can start something no matter how small. Strive to be the best in whatever you set your mind to do. Always be ready for challenges because nothing good comes easy. And above all, put God first in everything you do, and He will direct your steps.
IF YOU WERE IN THE POSITION OF POWER WHAT WILL YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
Hmmmm, well, I will ensure an enabling and attractive marketing environment for entrepreneurs and youths. In line with my business, will set up programmes that can empower the youths because they are the bedrock of any nation.
WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU CURRENTLY INVOLVE IN AND WHAT PROJECT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM CHURCHILL IN 2016
Besides the fact that my company- Big Church Group has these subsidiaries; Big Churchill Haven Limited, Big Church Consult, Big Church Green Agriculture and Mining and Big Church Entertainment, While Big Churchill Haven Limited is an IT solution/ Total Security ( Software Management) company, saddled with the responsibility of managing business communication, total security solutions, real estate management, printing & publishing and ICT ( software/ hardware) programming, Big Church Entertainment on the other hand, is an entertainment outfit with offices in Ghana, Lagos, Switzerland, UK and Abuja. Also added to my list of companies is King Andrea Realtors.
We are already at an advanced stage of planning for the world IT And Security solution summit and exhibition in Geneva in September. We are also going to do the Nigerian version of the project. At moment also, we are partnering and sponsoring some projects and events in Abuja and beyond.
Though my team was also at the the terror prong states including Borno and Benue to donate cash and food items to the IDP camps. The homeless and displaced people in Yola benefited from our benevolence and generous disposition. Agatu community that was recently rampaged by Fulani herdsmen and community clashes played hosts to our charity team where several home materials like Mosquito nets, forms, beds, food stuffs, tolleteries etc were presented to the camp. They also had cash donation for the welfare of the kids whose deplorable health sight was heartbreaking