…insights from entrepreneurs in the food industry in Nigeria

Ep 75- It is going to be 12 Rounds of boxing, Pace yourself- Tola Awosika MD 355 Group




One of his favorite saying is  “12 rounds of boxing” It is not necessarily how great the fighter is, how many belts he  has won, it is the ability and discipline to get back up when knocked down. He sees business as a 12 rounds bout and his goal is the last man standing.

Tola is an extraordinary entrepreneur with multiple successful businesses in different industries. From Pharmaceutical, to Defense Security, to Hospitality with Restaurants and a Hotel. He is driven, he is resourceful and he is a leader. This is a must listen to podcast


His name is Tola Awosika. He is the MD/CEO of 355 group , An 8yr old company that is majorly invested in the Hospitality Industry with Restaurants, Hotel and other lifestyle businesses like Gyms.

Tola is also the CEO of a Security company  with focuses on Corporate Guards, Event Securities and also works with the Nigerian Defence Sector in providing solutions for National Security

The Entrepreneurial Journey

In 2007  Tola started his first business in London which was birth out of the curiosity around ladies taking off their shoes and walking home bare footed from night clubs due to their uncomfortable shoes.

They came up with the idea of disposable shoes called “Butterfly Twist” which are foldable ballerinas that when twisted could fit into a cigarette box. He partnered with his cousin and friend to develop a shoe vending machine system, so ladies can buy their shoes for as low as £5 outside clubs.

The business was phenomenally successful that right before his move back to Nigeria they sold 60% stake to Ted Baker for £8 million in a combination of Equity Investment and Share holder’s pay-out. Ted baker used their distribution network to push it to 137 countries around the world.

Business Views

He sees boxing as a really interesting sport that can be related to business as he loves to refer to it as 12 rounds of boxing. It is not necessarily how great the fighter is, how many belts he won but 12 rounds of boxing is 12 rounds of discipline, focus, tolerance, of constantly thinking of what to do and what the person in front of you is going to do. One need to have an eye on one’s business and competition.

355 Group infohttps://355group.com/

Recommended book:

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter.

Take away points

1. The journey of an entrepreneur doesn’t start with the business he has built but with the mind-set.
2. Passion is not enough to keep you in business. You must be able to identify your market and fill in the gap.
3. Build a strong team and delegate task, Your team have to take ownership

Time Stamps

[00:01:03] Intro

[00:02:08] Guest background.
[00:05:10] Knowing what sector to invest in.
[00:13:37] Experience that shaped you.
[00:20:26] 40 years from now.
[00:22:35] Fear
[00:25:01] Daily routine
[00:25:47] 12 rounds of boxing.
[00:29:50] System that has help you stay in the game.
[00:36:00] Skill to look out for in a core group or team.
[00:45:13] KPI. ( key performance indicators)
[00:48:45] Partnership.
[00:57:10] Outro.

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