Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria are unable to survive the first five years in business because they do not have the necessary legal support to thrive in one of the fastest-growing African economies. This scenario spurred Joshua Daranijo and a group of colleagues to set up Allen & Brooks – an integrated firm of legal practitioners and business consulting experts.
Founded amid the pandemic, Daranijo says they rode on the wave of chaos brought on by the coronavirus.
For the first six months, Allen & Brooks was run remotely, proving that you don’t have to be in a brick-and-mortar space to work effectively. They successfully gained their first set of clientele working completely virtually till after the first quarter of 2021.
“We did not see the need to have physical meetings with clients and we had to prove to them that they could still get the best of services. Now we have even resorted to a hybrid system where we have some time in the office and most of the other times working from home or wherever we are in the world because we were able to successfully convince our clients. They have seen that deliverables can still be delivered with the best quality, even though you haven't met me more than once or twice,” he said.
Daranijo talks of how Allen & Brooks was keen to claim a market share among start ups, SMEs and conglomerates which were already among their clients. He also addressed the need for businesses to embrace technological integration.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that if you are in any business and you haven't figured out how to integrate technology, you have not succeeded. So we are making sure that in every business we are involved with, we help with advice on technological integration. We are not just lawyers, we are business savvy lawyers, and what that comes with is the understanding that we must find a way to make sure, no matter your business model, that we can eliminate waste, increase productivity and, most importantly, make it easier to do business.”
He elaborated on the roles the firm could play in the various sectors including fintech, proptech, regulatory relations and government compliance, and offered an interesting take on why the burgeoning entertainment industry in Nigeria would benefit from their legal offerings.
Daranijo also shared profound advice he would give to his younger self, using the analogy of running a marathon and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which Tom finds insightful and relatable.
The dialogue wraps up with Daranijo highlighting the traits and skills required for other young Nigerians to be successful in business.
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