Wa alaykum salam
Can you please introduce yourself to us?
MuhammadThanni Akanbi representing StudyToExcel educational services. A company that provides online educational services to students
Can you tell us about your background and how growing up was like to you?
Given birth to about 30 years ago with my triplet brothers in Mushin, in the family of Akanbi, grew up with my other triplet brothers in Ikotun Egbe Lagos State.
We went to Al-Faruq international school for primary education on scholarship, went to An-Najat on scholarship in Jss 1 and back to Al-Faruq in Jss 2 to continue secondary education. I graduated with my other brothers in 2004 from Al-faruq secondary school.
Went to Lautech and studied computer science for undergraduate program, proceeded to University of Ibadan for masters and finished in 2017
We started business with our other colleagues (a team of 10) in Lautech where we produced standard past questions for students, we also had tutorial classes for 100 and 200 level students, we were able to cater for our basic needs through this and bought a landed property
Additionally, my triplet brothers and I graduated as best students from Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Ejigbo (ss 3) in 2006
Growing up as triplets has been wonderful because of the strength we put together
My triplet brothers and I own Madrasa in Ikotun, Egbe; Called Learn-With-Ease Islamic Academy
And we also own a primary and secondary school; the primary is being managed by our immediate elder sister and the secondary is being managed by the triplets
While in university, we also owned Madrasa with three other friends and we were able to do waleematul Quran for about eighty (80) students same day
We also had a computer business in school then; a computer software development and Network Training center
We and three other friends own www.studytoexcel.com a site to benefit Nigerian students
Ma sha Allah
One can say, growing up has shape you and your brothers to become the men you are today…
You are right
It has really been full of activities up till today
And I can also say, being a Muslim has impact in the businesses choice you have made so far
You are right and has strengthened us when challenges came
Ma sha Allah
And what are the challenges that came your way and how did you handle them? Challenges in running your businesses
Many of them
- Fund has been a big challenge
- Running business with friends has also been a challenge
- Getting ideas to meet up with demands of the customers has also been a challenge
Let me break them down
When we started past question business with other friends in Lautech (a 10 man), the ten of us contributed all our school fees then to produce the first past questions, It was a big risk because we needed to produce the past questions, sell them to break even and make profit within a short time before school exam started to pay our school fees to avoid us being denied writing exam due to non-payment of school fees
After solving and typing the past questions for some months, the system got corrupted; we had to start from the scratch. It took us sleepless nights and days to type again
We marketed the past questions ourselves; from there we learnt marketing skills
What are your principles in life?
This is a big question, but we believe in the zeal of ‘we need to keep moving’
What is your business philosophy?
Whatever business we do, it should address a problem or challenge people are facing even if we want to make money out of it. That is why our area of focus has been on students
We started taking students home teaching since we were in Jss 2 or so or as early as Jss 1.
We currently have a science Academy addressing the challenges being faced by science students in senior school. Additionally, we own a tutorial class at the moment for science students only (WAEC and Jamb)
What advice do you have for Muslim students that are struggling financially in school?
They should think of a way out to get out of the financial challenges by engaging in any Halal petty business in school. My brother sold his phone to go for oracle database training when we were in Lautech. The first Oracle training we organized for students brought to us about half a million naira
Students should try to live a very simple life to cope financially in school
Skill acquisition is important to survive also in school, and students should dedicate some time every day while in school and practice what they which to become in the future
The time is really there for students to get it right in school
My brother sold groundnut while in school, I had friend who also sold same
Alhamdullliah for the journey so far
It is Allah
I know you and your brothers are married, how do you balance your businesses with marital life?
Yes it is tough a little but we carry them along in what we do. All of us live very close to where our businesses are to easy our movement.
What is/are your advice(s) for those who wish to become an entrepreneur or tow your path?
- They should acquire skills that can make the business run smooth; it saves them lots of cost
- They should seek consultations from experts. Not everybody is an expert, they have to be careful
- Don’t put money first or look for quick money. We started our Madrasa in Lagos with about ten (10) students. We now have about hundred (100) kids with patience
- Prayer is key
- Standardizing any service or products to be sold
- And they should focus more on skill acquisition.
- They should have the mind set of solving problem
Jazakhullahi kharain for time