Passionate about change and innovation, the Managing Partner Ciuci Consulting, Chukwuka Monye, in this interview with Azuka Ogujiuba talks about his childhood and his youth-driven innovative firm
• Our Company is Peopled by Youngsters who Want to Compete
• Cooking? My Wife Dares not Try Me!
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a local boy from Delta State, who grew up in Lagos. I have journeyed around the world to expose myself to different cultures, ideologies and ways of doing things. I like to create and build new things as well as transform and lead things that are different and cutting-edge. My mother once said one of the ways to get me to do something is to tell me that I couldn’t do it, that’s when I would be motivated to do it.
I attended Maryland Convent Private School, and Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos. I did a short stint at Ogun State University before I went to Warner University, Florida, United States of America where I studied Business Management. I attended University of Oxford for my two postgraduate degrees in Strategy and Innovation, and a Master’s in Business Administration.
I’m happily married with two wonderful girls; amazing girls with remarkable personalities; one acts like her mother and the other, like me. So, I’m a happy man.
Growing up, my parents embraced and loved education, although I would say my mum wanted me to be a well-balanced individual. For example, all the kids had to learn how to cook before going to boarding school which really paid off when I travelled. So, even now if my wife should try me, I can give her a run for her money in the area of cooking.
Are there specific events in your life that had a part to play in the person you’ve become?
There have been a few, but I’ll mention two. One was getting my scholarship to study abroad. The entire process was divine because I didn’t feel like I was the most intelligent kid, but the way things unfolded including how I got my visa and how the school completed my scholarship to ensure I didn’t owe anything was amazing. It made me realise that when you’re destined for something good there is nothing under the sun that can stop you. The second event was when I lost my dad a few years ago. It made me realise that the things that we struggle for all don’t mean anything; we need to live a life of purpose.
You are passionate about innovation and change. Tell us about some of your projects.
We’ve done over 200 projects at Ciuci Consulting, the company I founded 10 years ago. I always tell people that one of the things I find most innovative is not even what we’ve done for clients but what we did internally in the company, which is how we were able to develop capacity locally.
Many people complain about human capacity in Nigeria and it was one of the things I wanted to tackle head-on within the organisation. We were able to develop an analyst training programme that we have been running for 10 years. It has been largely successful. As a matter of fact, some of my friends from different industries tell me that Ciuci Consulting is the best place to poach people from. It is just a testament to the quality of people Ciuci has. For me, it’s one of the great things I think we’ve been able to achieve.
We have also worked with a lot of companies and have helped them develop some innovative products and strategies such as Bestman Games with the launch of City of Lagos Monopoly Game; Iya Foods in the US; House of Tara; DBH Solutions and Massey Street Children’s Hospital.
As the Managing Partner of Ciuci Consulting, what mode of operation have you brought into consulting that’s different from what all others have to offer?
I can say that we have an amazing culture; the type that encourages young folks. Ciuci is made up of largely millennial kids that think outside the box and are ready to compete with their peers anywhere in the world. We have been able to successfully create an environment that fosters an innovative spirit, tenacity, integrity, youthfulness and a learning atmosphere that encourages everyone to think as leaders.
What was your best subject in secondary school?
I don’t know if I had a preference because all subjects had to be passed irrespective of whether I liked them or not, but I enjoyed Mathematics and Commerce.
Would you describe yourself as a nerd while in school?
(Laughs) No. I don’t think so but some say I was because of my accomplishments. I think I was far from being a nerd. I was very playful.
How do you unwind and let off steam?
I like to dance, most especially salsa. I also like to play basketball and listen to music.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, all expense paid, where would it be?
I’m at a stage where I want to explore Nigeria and Africa more. So a trip round sub-Saharan Africa will do. But starting with Nigeria.
What are your hobbies?
Singing, playing the drums and basketball.
How would you describe your fashion?
Easy, stylish and sometimes casual.
If you could be elected as the next president of Nigeria, what would you do differently from what the present leadership is doing?
Be more deliberate about empowering more entrepreneurs.
QUOTE: I was the most intelligent kid, but the way things unfolded including how I got my visa and how the school completed my scholarship to ensure I didn’t owe anything was amazing. It made me realise that when you’re destined for something good there is nothing under the sun that can stop you. The second event was when I lost my dad a few years ago. It made me realise that the things that we struggle for all don’t mean anything; we need to live a life of purpose