Many people don’t know this, but I grew up in Nigeria, the third of three sons. My father was a high school principal, and my mother was a high school math teacher in an English-speaking school. But after 13 years in Nigeria, my family relocated back to Bhopal, India where I lived for three years. I still consider it to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, even after traveling to over numerous countries.
At just under 16, I left the safety of my parents to join my brother in Queens, NY for a future I couldn’t have imagined. In New York, I enrolled at Pace University and earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Aeronautical Engineering and Computer Science. Before starting my professional career as a programmer and analyst for a software firm in Manhattan, I sold the Wall Street Journal at a newspaper stand to traders – the same people I’d sell FinTech services to one day.
After five years working as a technology consultant for companies like Dun & Bradstreet and Merrill Lynch I saw there was a gap in the way companies were approaching IT services and room to improve the model by combining financial services expertise with technical depth and delivery – and so Synechron was born in 2001 with the help of two partners and friends who shared that vision.
With no funding and just our initial investment, we worked toward that vision. Yes, there were bumps along the way, as any entrepreneur will feel, but we remained passionate about our idea, contributed our own experience, and were committed to making difficult decisions thoughtfully but swiftly.
I had a traditional arranged marriage at the age of 24, and before the age of 30, I was blessed with two incredible daughters who have grown into inquisitive, talented young women. We decided to move to Dubai in 2008 to be closer to our extended family and given the growing international footprint of Synechron.
The last 16 years at Synechron have been a great experience where I’ve learned many lessons, most well and some not. And over these years, I have realized that success is not measured by wealth or material possessions. Success is the measure of respect, admiration and love from society that one earns through the pursuit of excellence (business, sports, music, etc.) -or- dedication to a cause that benefits humanity.
Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to be a truly global citizen, and to bring that perspective to my family, entrepreneurship, and the causes closest to me. And, as I have grown older, I’m passionate about the topics that really matter – health in emerging countries, skills-based education and life-long learning, and empowerment of women in all aspects of life. I look forward focusing on these issues as my next major contribution to the world.
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