Babatunde George Ojo, popularly known as Sri George, is the chief executive officer and founder of Sri Global Ventures, which comprises Sri World Informational and Transformational Entertainment. He is an entrepreneur, law attraction expert, psychologist, physiotherapist, relationship counsellor, inspirational writer and transformational speaker. Over the years, his works have positively affected several millions of people around the world. As a vibrant young man, his main goals and objectives are to help both young and adult Nigerians to realise their God given potentials in order to use them to better their lives and contribute positively to the development of the nation. His philosophy and teachings are centred on positive image psychology and mind power as he continues to inspire change and transform the lives of people. MARY NNAH brings excerpts:
What new things are you working on presently?
What we are doing now at Sri Global Ventures (SGV) is developing products that are very useful to people. We are trying to get products that are very affordable that the common people can buy because we need money. The latest development is that entrepreneurship has been supporting us. And we have been doing more of entrepreneurship, kind of e-commercial. We have a website now, sgv.com.ng, it is basically a place where you can buy shirts, caps, books, tape recordings and all sorts of things for personal development as well as vision boards to help people organise their minds. We’ve travelled also to different countries to meet with people and have our personal as well as collective experience. We have been doing radio programmes and going to schools, trying to change the orientation. There have been challenges because the political instability is affecting it but then so far, so good, all has been well.
What has the impact of your ventures been like?
The impact has gone a long way but then we have been struggling with it. It is like wrestling with a giant. Somehow we would say the entertainment industry has been a distraction because the kind of philosophy and ideologies they promote on TV, radio and all other means these days are fighting ours. There is a conflict. We are saying people should be responsible and successful. We are not saying people should not enjoy soap opera and music, we are saying that these things have a direct impact on people’s minds. The job I do is very tough in the sense that I want you to have a mind of your but the society doesn’t want you to have a mind of your own. So it’s been a battle. We do all we do and we have to spend a lot of money to do them without getting funding from institutions simply because it is not entertainment.
Despite this challenge, in what ways have you been able to re-direct people’s vision, especially the youths in terms of entrepreneurship?
First, you cannot do entrepreneurship without discovering who you are. In other words, entrepreneurship entails self-discovery. You have to know who you are and you have to understand human psychology. Once you are clear about what you really want to create, you enter the next phase of the entrepreneurial journey of self-discovery: recognising the habits, traits, and beliefs that stand between you and your success. And you have to learn. So entrepreneurship is not something that you can easily learn but like I said, the challenge has always been that some people are promoting get-rich-quick syndrome in this country. Some people are making success look like it is an overnight journey.
How exactly are you bringing entertainment into this whole scheme?
Formerly, we coined it as inspirational entertainment because we felt like the entertainment industry had a very direct penetration into the subconscious mind of people, which is still part of our plan to work with celebrities and people who are in the entertainment business so that we can gain acceptability. Nigerians love entertainment, if you don’t do entertainment and refreshment, you would be in trouble. So, we feel like we can use entertainment as a great tool to affect the minds of the people so that they can at least consciously accept it because entertainers are seen as demigods.
What is your take on the Nigeria entertainment industry?
I think we are a work in progress. We must not forget that this industry was started by individuals without any support from government. So individuals’ effort is what is running Nollywood. There is no proper system against piracy. The music industry is trying but the need to work on content. They are polluting the consciousness of the public with the kind of contents they have. It is too superficial and it is dangerous. It has a direct influence on the society. Being a celebrity has to do with you using hypnotism. You hypnotise people. You don’t compel people to do certain thing but you find out that people would just start behaving the way you do everywhere they go. For example, Naira Marley’s Soapy dance is believed to be encouraging masturbation and all that but he might come out and say his philosophy about it is different from what every other person thinks. You know, everybody is a good lawyer of themselves. But then the truth is that we need to work on the content.
You are into a lot of things. How best can one describe you?
I am a man of variety but not a man who is jack of all trades but master of none. I think all is in order. Being an inspirational speaker and writer, or a transformational speaker is the same as being a psychologist. So, it is something that I can handle. The reason why I am enjoying entrepreneurship is simply because I understand human psychology, which gives me an edge.
What is your advice to the average Nigerian who desires to go into entrepreneurship?
My best advice to every Nigerian is that whether you like it or not, the world has changed. This is no longer the industrial age when you have to build structures to show who you are. Do you the biggest companies in world do not build structures for their businesses? Apple is the first trillion dollar company, apart from Apple, Amazon just became a trillion dollar company and Amazon is more or less like a logistic company, taking something from A to B, they do not own any product, they don’t produce anything but they dominate technology and gas. So, the world has changed. If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, use technology and understand human psychology. If you get caught up in so many of all these expertise, business school and bla bla, you might lose it. The best thing you should know about the business is the people who are going to patronise you; understand human psychology and you would be unstoppable.
Another thing is that if you want to succeed in any part of the world, don’t chase money, but instead try to create something that would attract money. Try to be the best in what you do and do it so well that when people who claim to be your competitors see you, they would know that yes, you are good.
What has reading done for you?
Reading has taken me to many places beyond geographical locations. Reading has taken me to Mars and to the moon. Reading has made me come to the realisation that there in nothing impossible because the people who consume their contents are people who have demonstrated by results not people who just talk. I am talking about the likes of Napoleon Hills, Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. These people were practical. They write and also demonstrated what they write.
Aside this, in term of business, reading has made me excel. In my personal life, it has made me have sympathy and compassion for humanity. It has also changed my perception about certain things in life. The only reason why I am able to do the things I do today is because I have read somewhere that I can do them and I have seen people who demonstrated them. And reading alone is not going to change everything, you need mentorship.
Are you working on any book at the moment?
I am working on a book for secondary school students at the moment. The whole idea is to help them organise their minds so that before they get out of secondary school, they can materialise some of their desires. You can still be in school and be billionaire as a kid. So, we have got to teach people how to make money while in the school. So, we need to teach people how to think. We need to encourage creativity. We need to make people to believe in themselves. All these are not taught in schools.
How was your growing up?
I grew up in more or less in a spiritual organisation. My parents are spiritual practitioners; they practise Eastern philosophy, that is what we term to be Hinduism. They are vegetarians, likewise me; I don’t eat meat or eggs. They were creative people, especially my father. My mother is into Adire making and tailoring while my father carves and draws anything, he is a kind of self-taught artist. And in terms of creativity, I would say my parent’s influence made me more of a perfectionist. When I look at things, I try to create them differently. I don’t believe in competition, competition is foolish for me, collaboration is the real deal.
What is your vision?
My vision is to transform people’s mind, the educational system especially and parenting in Africa. Parenting in Africa should be changed from just seeing a child as an investment to seeing a child as child and a little version of you that has everything that you have, may be undeveloped yet but can be developed; to seeing a child as one that comes through you but not owned by you and that you are just a caretaker. And allow them to use their imagination.
My goal is to help people help themselves. My goal is to help change the educational system. My goal is to help change parenting in Africa. My goal is to help change religious conditioning in Africa, Nigeria especially. We should encourage open-mindedness because it encourages faith and inspires you. When you have an open mind, you can learn more.