Young Entrepreneurs Abroad – Startup Story Of Ojay’s Travels
Nigerian-based travel and tourism company – Ojay’s Travels – connects people from different cultural backgrounds to meet and socialise together through the art of wanderlust.
Founder – Hans Omang and Akwon Otu.
Launch Date – 2012
Country – Abuja, Nigeria
Success Story – The founders also own another business ‘O-jay Suites & Hotels‘, and both companies were awarded the ‘African Union Agenda 2063 Recognition Award‘ for their outstanding commitment in promoting Pan-Africanism and the vision of African Renaissance.
Tell Us More About Ojay’s (Response by Hans)
Ojay’s is a full-service travel and tourism services company that specialises in a wide spectrum of travel support, including airline ticketing for individuals, corporate and government institutions.
Leveraging the value chain of the travel industry and its processes, we provide travel advice, visa procurement assistance, hotel booking assistance, and international & local logistics support.
We also curate bespoke travel packages and organise outdoor tours and activities.
Most recently, we have started exploring more high-end niches such as luxury air transfer via helicopters and private jet hire.
What Sparked The Idea
Our business ideas were birthed out of a need we discovered was recurrent in the country – the need for customer-focused service delivery.
By personalising each sale cycle we meet each different client at their varying points of need, making their experiences better and ensuring more value for their money.
An airline ticket or a hotel room can be easily sold to anyone, but most often we find that customers have the most basic request that no one was fulfilling.
Simple things such as flight reminders, check-in, boarding and luggage assistance, seating and meal preference – all go a long way in improving customer experience.
Why The Interest In The Nigerian ‘Travel & Hospitality Sector’
We have always been people-focused. Travel and Hospitality is sort of a conduit through which people of different backgrounds can meet on level grounds, interact and ultimately grow as social beings.
The sector is also greatly untapped and under-resourced in Nigeria.
Customers seek effective resolution of their everyday problems and young people involved in the sector produce the most innovative ideas for customers, which is vital for long-term growth.
What Sets You Apart From Other Key Players In The Sector
There are quite a number of noteworthy travel agencies and hospitality platforms in Nigeria – some are pioneers and deserve accolades for their contribution to the development of the sector.
However, we prefer a perspective where each company is assessed based on their own unique strategic business model and organisational vision.
We try to stay competitive by providing flexible solutions in terms of credit and payments, true 24/7 support, last-minute upgrades and amendments, and logistics support.
People want to know that they can rely on you even in the most challenging situations, and once you can deliver, then you have your edge.
The Initial Startup Stage – What Support Did You Receive
At inception we did what any wise startup would do – we studied the market and identified individuals or brands that can mentor or guide us through the early stages.
Both our companies were self-funded from the beginning and still are to date.
This allows us the creative freedom to invest both capital and human energies in areas we believe will yield the best results.
Attraction To Entrepreneurship
I recently had a chat with a friend about the number of young people today in Nigeria who have their own startups.
Most of them did not intend to be business owners while studying for their University degrees but found, after graduation, that they would rather take their fate into their own hands instead of waiting for employment.
Entrepreneurship was thrust on them and they run their businesses out of pure economic need.
Our attraction stemmed from the reverse of this situation – we see ideas as the fuel needed to propel not only ourselves to that dream life but to, along the way, carry with us like-minds who share the vision.
We want to build a figurative army of forward-thinkers who fulfill their own goals as we build our ideas together.
The Next Chapter For Ojay’s Travels
The end goal is to build an internationally trusted brand that will be self-sufficient and renowned for integrity, excellence, and professionalism.