Nigeria’s Top 10 CEOs of the year, 2019 – Bamidele Onalaja
Managing Director/CEO, Revolution Plus Property Development Company Ltd.
Mr. Bamidele Onalaja, Managing Director/CEO, Revolution Plus Property Development Company Ltd, made a smooth cross over from mortgage banking into real estate development. He had built up many years of experience while he worked in a real estate firm and mortgage banks – which opened his eyes to the opportunities in the industry.
He holds a BSc. degree
in economics and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in
marketing from Lagos State University. He obtained advanced diploma
in project management from University of Lagos and is a member of the Project Management Institute in the United States of America.
Onalaja worked in an estate development company and three different mortgage banks before stepping out to set up his own company. Through his work experiences in projects and business development and in creation of short- and long-term mortgages, he positioned himself for the opportunities he had discovered in real estate business. He had a defined purpose of deploying a multi-channel approach to deliver affordable housing facilities that bring people’s dreams into reality.
The vision was born though without the money to drive it and he registered the firm without capital. He tried to share the vision with banks, which gave him cold reminders that what they bank is cash and not dreams.
Friends also would not share the dream that banks had turned down. One man from his wife’s family eventually believed and that was Onalaja breakthrough in real estate. From one milestone to another, he has had his dream come true.
By the third year of his company’s operations in 2017, he said, “I can tell you authoritatively that, we have moved from zero to hero, from nothing to something big. Our turnover has skyrocketed far beyond my imagination. We are hitting billion naira now in turnover”.
His vision is to provide affordable housing for people for the mass market. His company offers plots of land for payment by installments for as low as 25 thousand naira monthly. With an offer as low as that, Onalaja believes that any disciplined person has a great opportunity to become a land owner with Revolution Plus.
The company also offers plots of land at a price range that cuts across the various income levels in society. From just 6 products at takeoff, it has grown extensively since then. Its focus is providing affordable properties to Nigerians and Revolution Plus has grown big doing that.
From his take off point at Mowe in Ogun State, the company presently has more than 20 projects spread across the country. The dreamer has enabled ordinary people own their own homes in a number of locations within and outside Lagos. He is still dreaming big; rolling out new projects, creating alongside the necessary infrastructures that give people descent residential and business environments.
The company undertakes the acquisition of suitable parcels of land for development into residential estates and puts in place general infrastructures such as roads, drainages, fence, water and electricity. It allocates plots of land to those who have completed payments for them for development. Onalaja makes bold to say that he is not a land seller but a developer that will stand with the client through the construction works.
His company has up to 25 different estates under its yet expanding portfolio. He is one of the biggest players in Ibeju-Lekki, which is referred to as ‘new Lagos’ – in reference to government’s development plan and massive investments pouring in there.
The company is also one of the top real estate players in Lagos, Ogun State and Abuja. It has built estates in two strategic locations in Ogun State. It has two estate development projects in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and one estate development in Ibadan.
Onalaja points to integrity in a largely dishonest society as the key factor that has made his business stand out. “We are not one of those firms that collect money and disappear”, he said. By delivering on promise, he has impressed many client’s resident outside Nigeria to whom he represents an oasis of integrity in a society bereft of trust and honesty. His purpose is to make everyone who comes to him happy, he said.
He also attributes the success of the business to a team of hardworking men and women he has in place. He has a marketing force of more than 500 people, motivated to sell his company’s products daily “and they are very happy doing their jobs”, he said. He has also put in place administrative structures and a work flow that ensures the company runs well with or without him around.
The business faces a lot of competition from many other real estate developers and Onalaja has so far faced the competition by establishing an edge through customer-oriented approaches. He has established a reputation of effectiveness in delivering affordable landand delivering it promptly. Also, he organizes extensive training of staff and consultants on customer service through which he has created a culture of friendliness in the marketplace.
“I resolve issues with anybody who has a grouse with any of my staff or with me immediately. I will make sure you leave happily”, he said. The culture of customer orientation has paid off for him, having turned customers into fans that drive a kind of network product selling for his company.
Onalaja is named one of the top 10 CEOs of the year, 2019 byThe Top 10 Magazine in recognition of his contributions in bridging the housing delivery gap in Nigeria.