THE BEST WAY TO RAISE FUNDS IS TO FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER – DAPPA TAMUNO OPUBO, CO-FOUNDER OPINOW MEDIA
Mr. Dappa Tamuno Opubo is one of the creative minds behind the leading Virtual Tour Company, Opinow Media. He is also a seasoned Renewable Energy Engineer.
One of his greatest assests is the ability to adapt to fundamental global and technological changes, and this has set him ahead in his industry.
He walks us through the process of starting up his company with his friend and gives us invaluable advice on how to reach for greatness.
DA: What inspired Opinow media?
Dappa Tamuno Opubo: Opinow started out as a web design agency that focused on giving corporate clients a fast and efficient digital presence. We prioritized user experience for customers that we got a feature on techpoint. Later a client who used to live in London approached Opinow and requested a website with a 360 virtual tour for his art gallery in the upscale part of Lagos. That was our first introduction into virtual reality. We took on the challenge as the need to deliver an excellent service led us to the part of building the first virtual tour for an Art Gallery in Nigeria.
DA: When you got the idea, what steps did you take to start up?
Dappa Tamuno Opubo: We were running Opinow Media as aweb design agency before the idea came. What we did was topivot the company to start offering immersive virtual tours for other businesses like real estate companies, Hotels, Parks, hospitals etc. We discovered the application of virtual reality to other businesses with a vast underserved.
DA: How were you able to raise funds to start-up and how much did you raise?
Dappa Tamuno Opubo: Up till date Opinow Media has been 100% self-funded. We discovered that the best way to raise funds for your business is to focus on the customer. They are the ones with the need, money and the ability to give market validation. We have been reinvesting our revenues back into the company and have since garnered enough momentum to reach out to over 100+ clients across various sectors. Although we are open to getting investment so we can scale our operations further and serve other sectors. You see, the opportunities in the sector is so huge.
DA: At what point did you get a co-founder ad what indices led you to choose him as a co-founder, not just a partner or employee?
Dappa Tamuno Opubo: Right from the start I was actively looking out for a cofounder who would complement my skills. My first confounder was a classmate from the university who came around for a job interview. We talked and when hediscovered what Opinow Media was building, he teamed up with me. Later, when I moved to Abuja, he also recommended his classmate who was a good fit. That was how we became 3-man cofounder.
DA: What opportunities are available in the virtual reality industry, and how can people plunge into them?
Dappa Tamuno Opubo: The opportunities are plentiful in the virtual tour space because lots of businesses are looking for more efficient and cost-effective ways to serve their customers. The advent of this technology has opened up fields such as virtual reality medical kits. An avenue to offer virtual reality services to the health sector, for patients and doctors. There are opportunities for hands on training using virtual reality for varied industry application including such sectors like the oil servicing field. Immersive gaming, movies and adventures are gathering more momentum. This presents an opportunity to serve these clients. Though the Virtual tour industry is relatively new, almost every industry can find its application and use it to reach more customers while instilling confidence in them.
DA: When starting up your business, what were the major challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Dappa Tamuno Opubo: The major challenge faced while starting out was getting the right business philosophy. You see, no matter how good a business seems, without a good business model, a good team, a good execution strategy, it all falls flat. I had to actively read business books such as lean start up by eric reis, the art of the start by guy Kawasaki, ultimate sales machine by Chet Holmes, Fanatical prospecting by Jeb Blount, with inspiration from the books written about steve jobs and Elon Musk.and many more. Books prove to be the easiest way to learn a vast wealth of knowledge. Also, I got a few mentors that helped our business. Currently we also are part of a business academy to help us scale while continually learning.
DA: What can start-up entrepreneurs do to bring their ideas into reality?
Dappa Tamuno Opubo: Bootstrapping is one thing start-up entrepreneurs should do more often. Irrespective of how grandiose the start-up idea may be, entrepreneurs should always bootstrap their ideas and work their way up from there. Waiting for an investor with just business plans and no track record is not enough these days.
DA: What is your advice to young entrepreneurs?
Dappa Tamuno Opubo: I have a simple advice for young entrepreneurs: Always use the build-measure-learn loopa) When building your product or service, get it to the market or in front of your customer fast. They’ll help you to refine your offering.b) Take feedback from them while taking note of such things as measuring the size of the market, their customer pain points and paying capacity.c) Continue to improve, continue learning, continue to be remarkable.
DA: How can we reach you?
Dappa Tamuno Opubo: You can reach me on my Personal line 07035208624, or 08149194768
Through the website www.opinow.com