The Rags-to-Riches Story of Sijibomi Ogundele
No doubt, the story of Sijibomi Ogundele, Nigeria’s youngest billionaire and luxury real estate Czar, is inspiring.His rise from obscurity to fame is a story that would make a good motivational compilation. Ogundele was not only born poor, he was born without any hope of survival. But while growing up, his determination to survive stood him out of his mates.
While many of his peers had no ideas of what the future held for them, he had already perfected ways to literally re-write his story.
Earlier in life, he had helped his petty trader mother in Africa’s most populous market, Oke-Arin, where he was nurtured by enterprising Igbo traders, an experience that must have ignited his passion for business. He would later be a souvenirs hawker in France.
Growing up in the slum of Agege, as a little 8-year-old, Sijibomi’s first introduction to entrepreneurship was when he started a bike business popularly called‘Okada’ business, from his little savings.
He drew his inspiration from his mother’s entrepreneurial spirit and grew his Okada business from 1 to 6 motorcycles, a testament to his strong, resolute and resilient business mind.
When Ogundele was building his company five years ago, not many gave him the chance of survival; many sneered at him while some scorned and discouraged him.
But with a dream to revolutionize the Nigerian Luxury real estate space and an ambition taller than the Burj Khalifa, one can only wonder how he has steered his company to survive the brutal economic recessions within the last six years, growing stronger, bigger and better, to the consternation of the pessimists and naysayers.
Today, at 39, he is already a force to be reckoned with in the real estate sector in Nigeria. He has been able to make a lasting statement with his innovativeness in the industry. Ogundele’s sole objective is to redefine luxury in the Nigerian real estate industry and is gradually achieving his dreams.
He has built his company, Sujimoto Group, into a Luxury Construction behemoth, focused on building extraordinary edifices in premium neighborhoods of Ikoyi and Banana Island.
With annual revenue of approximately $30 million and many other pending projects, Sujimoto group is said to be worth over $400 Million.
His looks may be modest, but his ambition belies his modesty- that was after an encounter with the King of Dubai who pushed his ambitious project – LorenzoBySujimoto, from 15 Storey building to a 30-storey building, reminding him that; “To be second is to be last! If people in their 30’s are building 5000 units annually in Asia, 75 units shouldn’t scare you.”
According to Ogundele; “I believe in Nigeria. My passion comes from my patriotism. I believe that the Nigeria that produced the MKOs, the Dantatas, and the Ojukwus, also has something great in store for me.” A stone’s throw from the Giuliano, Sujimoto is building what has been dubbed the tallest residential building in Banana Island – the LucreziaBySujimoto.
A revolutionary building, never before seen in Nigeria or Africa! The first building with Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) façade, Full Home Automation, private IMAX Cinema for the residents, standard crèche, Indoor Virtual Golf with over 2,500 courses worldwide to play on, swimming pool in the sky and other exciting features.
Sitting on the 12th floor is the best penthouse in Africa. A project that sets an enviable standard for luxury residential apartments in Nigeria with a delivery deadline of December 2021.
Speaking on the Lucrezia, Ogundele made a startling revelation, saying , “We are building the best condominium not only in Nigeria but also in Africa. The Lucrezia Penthouse comes with a private elevator, private cinema, private golf, private gym, and a private pool! The Lucrezia is very special to us because Sujimoto is divesting from Residential Projects with 80% of our real estate interest into Commercial Projects.”
The affordable luxury project -Leonardo-comes in 2, 3, and 4 bedroom Units and it is a great investment offer. It is as currently selling for N250million, but will go for N450million once the project is launched later in the year.
According to Ogundele, the present pricing still beats the best apartments in Bourdillon and Eko Atlantic.
He also noted that the current price offer will expire by the end of the month.
In addition to the company’s expansion plan, Ogundele made it known that Sujimoto is building a world-class Plaza, first of its kind, in Ikoyi and Abuja, with a 2021 and 2022 projection for completion.
This 6-in-1 Plaza by Sujimoto is a contemporary one-stop-shop retail and hospitality center, featuring innovative state-of-the-art equipment, rooftop lounge, and bar, premium restaurants, world-class gym, retail shops other premium features.
Upon completion, each project should be valued at approximately N47 Billion, with a combined rental income of about N11billion annually.