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Meet the Women

Ojoma

Lagos, Nigeria

Profession
Architecture
Business
ArkNature Consulting
Country
Nigeria
partner school
Pan-Atlantic University
Suddenly it hit me — it wasn't enough to be at the top of the game professionally, I had to have business intelligence to achieve the vision we had in mind.

Business Overview

ArkNature Consulting is a design consultancy firm with its core practices in architecture, construction, interiors and branding.

Challenges

I started ArkNature in 2007 with the idea of convening 'high performance' work groups to bring about a wealth of ideas resulting in unique architecture. Being new in a market brimming with already established names meant we had to prove ourselves in a short amount of time while keeping the company growing — there was no time to catch one's breath.

My responsibilities at ArkNature include client base build-up, design brief generation and analysis, negotiation, staff recruitment, training and office management, among others. From the beginning, our major challenges were building a strong client base and ensuring our clients paid for services rendered.

I began searching for an opportunity to enroll in a business and management education program to help me improve the way I ran my company. In 2009, I was accepted into the 10,000 Women program and was excited to learn how to grow the company — to increase both client base and market share and to refine my managerial and leadership skills.

Results

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program was phenomenal, it gave me the ability to bring my vision for an effective business model to life and subsequently grow ArkNature. Since graduating in 2009, we have grown from two to four employees, have had a major increase in the number of projects under management, and have more than doubled our revenue.

After graduating from the program, I earned a contract with a major restaurant chain in Nigeria. The chain contracted ArkNature to remodel an executive floor of their headquarters. The remodeling was a success and we continue to work together. Our relationship with them has provided us access to even more contracts.

We have also retained our employees and continue to give them opportunities to grow. My passion to develop my employees' careers so that they can surmount all barriers and positively impact society has grown with every interaction I have with them.

Future Goals

I currently have plans for three major offices in Nigeria. In addition to my current office in Lagos, I plan to open a new office in the Niger Delta region in 2012, followed by an office Abuja. This expansion will enable us take our cause further, building a stronger ArkNature and contributing to a better Nigeria.

I have become increasingly interested in "Green Architecture" — an architectural approach that recognizes the importance of sustainability in energy, water, materials and site conservation. This has led to the development of an additional group, GreenPro International.

I also desire to move in the direction of parks development and continue to raise awareness on climate change.