Leadership qualities and characteristics are necessary when leading a group of people to ensure that the work produced meets the standards your company or your esteemed clients expect. The most successful leaders in the workforce today have likely stumbled along the way or doubted themselves at times; the difference between making it to the top is that they have all learned from experiences and the knowledge they have gained. Standing out with exceptional traits and significant expertise is Dupe Olusola.
Prior to her current role as Managing Director and CEO, Transcorp Hotels Plc, she was Group Marketing Director at UBA, where she led Marketing Strategy for the company across its 20 locations in Africa, New York, France and the UK.
Over the course of her leadership journey, she has encountered several challenges that have shaped her into becoming a top executive and a respected voice in the industry. She considers herself lucky to have worked with a lot of people who are committed to equity.
In an interview with Insights Success, Dupe shares valuable facts highlighting her professional tenue and the journey so far in the niche.
Below are the highlights from the interview:
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at Transcorp Hotels PLC. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?
I obtained a master’s degree (MSc) in Development Economics from the University of Kent in 1997, after which I worked in different roles with Bloomberg and Northern Trust in the United Kingdom before moving back to Nigeria. In Nigeria, I worked at SecTrust (now Afrinvest) and later with Africa’s leading Private Equity Firm SME Manager/African Capital Alliance before joining the United Bank for Africa (UBA), where I led the Investor Relations department.
I joined Transcorp as Director of Resources in January 2010. I also served as Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria-based agricultural company Teragro Commodities Limited, the agribusiness subsidiary of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (now Transnational Corporation Plc). I was appointed to the position in 2014. While CEO of Teragro, I successfully positioned the company as the country’s leading juice concentrate producer. I also promoted and showcased with the world’s leading beverage producer to tell the local sourcing story, among other successes recorded.
Tell us something more about your company and its mission and vision; how does your company thrive towards enabling advancements in the dynamic hospitality sector?
Transcorp Hotels Plc is Africa’s leading hospitality company, listed on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX). Our mission is to redefine hospitality in Africa through innovation and exceptional services, creating value for our customers and other stakeholders. Our vision is to be Africa’s leading hospitality brand.
We own Africa’s leading business hotel, Transcorp Hilton Abuja. Traditionally a business hotel, Transcorp Hilton Abuja has grown to cater for even more segments, such as leisure, due to some innovative strategies introduced at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the hotel leads the way in catering to the fast-growing Bleisure segment in the West African sub-region. We are also the proud owners of Aura by Transcorp Hotels, a fast-growing digital platform for booking hotels, apartments, and experiences. We launched Aura by Transcorp Hotels in 2021 as part of our asset-light strategy.
Through the platform, we are expanding to places it would have otherwise taken us several years to reach. Today, we have over 5,000 rooms and counting in ownership and management across different hotels and apartments across Nigeria. With Aura by Transcorp Hotels, we are leveraging the power of technology to fast-track growth.
Also, we work closely with different stakeholders and introduce innovative offers to continue to improve demand, even as we expand our business. We are delivering a world-class event centre at Transcorp Hilton Abuja in 2024. We are also working on a new five-star hotel in the heart of Lagos, Africa’s big apple.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.
Our core values are Excellence, Execution and Enterprise. These three Es are the key pillars of our organisational culture. Our core values have certainly helped us build and maintain a culture of integrity and innovation at Transcorp Hotels Plc., which are some of the important reasons for our continuous growth.
Our values drive us towards a common sense of purpose to create long-lasting value for our stakeholders. These values deeply rooted in our employees are the bedrock of our business beliefs, practices, culture and philosophies that have been tested and proven to bring out the best in us.
We set ourselves apart with our entrepreneurial and innovative mindset, willing to always go the ‘extra mile’ to exceed our customers’ expectations. We are committed to seeing things through to completion in a timely, effective and efficient manner to deliver exceptional results.
Also, we are driven by the desire to consistently deliver memorable experiences to our customers. Our core values are weft in our day-to-day lives, our standards of practice, team onboarding, and induction.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?
Aura by Transcorp Hotels is one major way we are leveraging technology. A product of our asset-light strategy, Aura by Transcorp Hotels, has helped us fast-track growth, with our room inventory growing by more than 400%.
Technology has also helped us improve personalisation, using tools such as CRM and CEM, which use big data to create highly customized one-to-one interactions with our guests at scale. This way, we are able to draw on data to utilise insights into our guests’ past habits, enabling us to tailor offers and promotions and automatically provide the services they want.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for Transcorp Hotels PLC?
At Transcorp Hotels Plc, our vision is to be a leading hospitality company in Africa, and I want to see us continue to grow to different parts of the continent and the world over. Our philosophy is deeply rooted in Africapitalism. We have a strong sense of purpose to improve lives and transform the continent through our business operations as we continue to build the Africa of our dreams. Through Transcorp Hotels, we are redefining hospitality in Africa.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the hospitality sector?
Don’t take no for an answer; continue to push boundaries and break the glass ceilings. Be open to opportunities that come your way, and do not let the fear of failing to keep you from taking a chance on things. Do it afraid; it is better than not doing it at all.
Also, you are not an island; there is a limit to what you can do alone. Network and collaborate with like-minded people and foster strategic partnerships for optimal growth.