10 Questions with Kola Olugbodi
Posted by Ayodeji on September 22, 2010
A graduate of Demography & Social Statistics from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Kola Olugbodi, is a Pathfinder in the private security and investigation industry. He got his break envisioning and bringing to life Background Check International (BCI) while running Josh Cyrus Ventures, an HR company. That brought him to the attention of key industry players across different sectors in Nigeria. In March 2005, the stars aligned and he started BCI, pioneering a whole new frontier. BCI now serves companies such 1st Bank of Nigeria Plc, Citibank, Sterling Bank Plc, Standard Chartered bank, Guinness Nigeria Plc, GSK, Dana Airline among others.
Launched in August 2009, Jobberman is the fastest growing online-recruitment and career development company in Nigeria. Our portal, Jobberman.com, has become one of the top 100 most visited sites (Alexa.com) in Nigeria as we have focused relentlessly on matching suitably qualified professionals with the right job opportunities. Jobberman Blog is the home of real world advice on getting people ahead. The Blog is the premier Career Advice destination offering tools and resources with Articles, Guides, Tips, Strategies, & Stories to help readers Get Ahead.
Welcome to the program.
I think you are a strong Christian. Is it difficult working as a Christian in this business environment?
The challenges are there quite alright but you’ll be amazed to know that being a Christian gives you every enablement to overcome most of these business challenges. It actually takes that grace and the leading of God to know the exact steps and moves to make in the present turbulent state of the global economy.
So being a Christian so much enhances my business.
Did you ever think you had end up where you are?
My answer is a capital NO. Like people usually say-one thing led to the other. And this is one BIG lesson we should learn about life. Opportunities abound all around us 24/7, and you need the grace of discernment to sniff them out and go for them. For instance, we were originally into recruitment and outsourcing business. But many questions kept begging for answers each time we source for candidates for our clients-how much of the background of these candidates do we know? Can we vouch 100% to our clients that truly all is well with the candidates? Does the fact that applicants did very well at interview sessions and also presented impressive resumes guarantees that all their resumes and interview claims are correct?
This was one of the factors that gave birth to BCI. Now we have totally moved away from recruitment and outsourcing, and have made background check our core business because we found it to be the missing ingredient in most organizations’ recruitment process.
What do you like most about your job?
Having the rear privilege of pioneering the background screening industry in Nigeria is one of the things that thrill me most. Of course, being a trail blazer comes with its own challenges such as inventing from the scratch the business model, documentations, investigation processes; reporting styles and so on since there were no other companies in the country offering same services to emulate.
And least? Do you have any regrets?
As regards BCI? No regrets, because background screening, as pioneered by BCI, is now acceptable and has come to stay in the corporate world and the society at large.
I’m worried I hardly find people reading and I think the society takes sides on form over content. What are you reading?
For you to be a leader and to constantly stay in the position of leadership you don’t have any choice but to be a reader. I read a lot of business management and leadership books; principally, those authored by Brian Tracy, John Maxwell and Jack Welch.
Let’s go a little bit into what BCI does. Why do applicants falsify credentials?
One of our key services is Employment Background Checks which entail verifying the authenticity of claims and credentials of applicants or organizations current staffs.
Job seekers find the prevailing global unemployment competitive, and as a result, it’s a survival of the fittest situation out there. Because of this, some resort to distorting details or even lie about aspects that are important for gauging how well they would perform as employees. They falsify educational records; exaggerate work history experience and hide the true state of criminal records and convictions.
We, at a time, screened some 40 personnel of a client of ours of which 12 of these employees were discovered to have fake educational results! This is about 30% of the checked staff.
Employees that had committed some fraudulent or other nefarious activities in their former places of work would always definitely distort the information on their resumes in order hide their past situations and also to enhance their chances of getting employed again by other organizations.
You have done a lot of groundbreaking things with BCI. What is the smartest business idea you ever had?
Many term all that we’ve done so far as smart because they find our services novel. But to precisely answer your question, ability to make BCI attain a pre-eminent position in the global market is one thing that elates me.
Also BCI’s membership of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) which is based in USA, gives us a lot of boost and patronage from the International circle. Most foreign companies that normally have the challenges of verifying the educational qualifications, professional certifications, previous employment and criminal records of most Nigerians working with them now get these done through BCI.
I guess this and more must have earned us the 2009 Background Investigation Company of The Year Award of the Nigeria Institute for Industrial Security (NIIS).
How important is money?
Money is good to the point that it answers and meets your needs and that of others. Money can be a very good servant but a very bad and dangerous master.
Those who long to have money at all cost fall into diverse temptations and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. Such people will self-destruct in no time. Of course we’ve heard it severally that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have pierced themselves with many sorrows.
Having said this much, there are fundamental principles guiding money and how to have it without becoming a slave to it. It’s a lesson I love teaching youths and young Entrepreneurs.
How do you manage your role as a CEO, Husband and Father? Has your job made your personal life suffer?
The bible says that if a man is diligent with his business he shall be ranked among kings and not ordinary men. This is one of my aims in life, so I devote a large chunk of my week days to my business, but most my weekends are dedicated to my wife and children. I watch a lot of cartoons, Barney series and play lots of video games with them. I seriously owe them these.
I will be a man without wisdom if I gain lots of accolades business-wise but have a disastrous family life.
What do you want to be remembered for?
What gives me lots of joy in life is to see things go well with people around me. So I’ve devoted the totally of my life to the well being of others, and to helping them fulfil their God given purpose(s) in life.
I want to be remembered for positively impacting the lives of others for good and for God.