Niyi John Olajide is the Founder of Cavista, a renowned global software engineering solution firm and Axxess Global Partner, the leading global home healthcare technology company. But beyond that, he has interests in frontier sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and the Knowledge Economy, in addition to massive investments in the civic sector.
Arguably the single largest private investor in his hometown of Ekiti State, the US-based entrepreneur leads the strategic vision and direction of the Dallas, Texas-based company, which has locations around the world, including Lagos, Nigeria. He is passionate about improving the quality of healthcare services delivered to patients in their homes by empowering healthcare organisations with state-of-the-art software solutions. But beyond his numerous philanthropic gestures, Chiemelie Ezeobi writes that the serial entrepreneur is passionate about spearheading tangible change in Nigeria and the continent at large
"I'm very passionate about economic development; about leveraging business and economic investments to improve the lives of everyone and create opportunities for a lot of people."
Those were the words of serial entrepreneur, Niyi John Olajide, Founder of Cavista, a renowned global software engineering solution firm and Axxess Global Partner, the leading global home healthcare technology company.
Born and bred in Ajegunle, one of the underserved communities in Lagos State, Olajide's meteoric rise was a dint of hardwork, sheer guts and some would say, the God factor.
Noting that his parents were from a humble background as his father worked his way up and eventually became a distributor for Unilever Brothers before they climbed the economic ladder that saw them move from Ajegunle to Ogba.
After his nursery and primary school, he proceeded to attend Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Abeokuta and then went to university in the United States.
Quickly clarifying that they were not swimming in money then, he added that he worked harder to pay his way through school.
Passion for Nigeria, Africa
If there is one thing Olajide is passionate about, it's harnessing the inherent opportunities in Nigeria and Africa at large. Reiterating this, he said: "I am
passionate about Africa's future and about Nigeria. And it's not just the words. I hope all my actions demonstrate that passion".
Already, Olajide serves on the board of the Corporate Council on Africa, which promotes U.S. business and investment in Africa, as well as on the board of the Presidential Precinct in the United States, which engages and inspires emerging leaders in Africa and around the world to address challenges in their countries.
If there is one thing that has brought Olajide home and has kept him focused, it's creating jobs. "I am in Nigeria for three reasons- Number one is to create jobs for people. Number two is to create more jobs for people. You can guess the third one already. Jobs, jobs jobs," he said to the awe of all.
Harnessing Human Capital
Acknowledging the treasure that is human capital, he said: "Nigeria is blessed with human capital, and I believe the most important resource any society has is the people.
"We need people and we can harness their creative abilities to make things work. That's what I believe."
Excellence in Delivery
Known for excellence, he further opines that "Fundamentally, I believe there's nothing wrong with us and we can deliver excellence just as we can achieve excellence."
High Premium for Women
One thing that stood out during the three hours spent at Cavista was the high premium placed on women. From the entrance to the open office space to the numerous pies he has his hands in, the presence of women cut across executive positions, engineering, tech, agriculture and even tourism.
To run Cavista, two out of the three executive positions are occupied by women- Taiwo Oke, Director of Operations, Cavista and Olabisi Olotu, Senior Operations Manager. To do this job, they team up with the Vice President/Country Director, Cavista Nigeria, Mr. Dele Odufuye, while
Oyindamola Fashogbon, another female holds the forth as Associate Manager, Brand Marketing and Communications.
On why he is passionate about women, he said they haven't been allowed to participate in contributing to the society, adding that "I personally believe the world would have been a lot better if we did not leave half our women behind.
With two daughters that he aspires to teach that anything is possible, he opined that no one had a choice in determining what their gender is and so shouldn't be penalised for it.
Birth of Axxess
For Axxess, which plays a major role in shaping the billion dollar home health industry in the USA and the globe, it has so far processed over $30 billion in claims for over 3 million patients served by over 9,000 organisations around the globe. With a massive presence in North America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa, they boast of more than 1,200 employees from over 45 countries.
But while in college, nothing gave him the clue that he would be involved in the technology of healthcare. Regaling THISDAY of his foray into this field he said while he was in college, he had an aunt that worked for a local healthcare organisation.
One time in 2001, he went to visit her and noticed there were lots of people working at different workstations at different desks. This prompted him to ask questions about their paper works and computer network? When he revealed that there was a tech lacuna, the aunt took him to her boss who expressed interest after hearing the
benefits of a computer network.
This computer network was supposed to help them improve their business, track their revenues, streamline their operations, decrease cost of doing business and help them be more successful as a business and healthcare business. Over all, it would help improve their patients outcomes.
Immediately, he set out to build a computer network for that organisation.
Giving the job done, he started getting referrals and with that, he paid his way through school. But beyond that, the opportunity opened his eyes to the tech lacuna in the healthcare industry and he went on to fill it. Backed by his business acumen nurtured way back in Nigeria, his entrepreneurial spirit sprung up and he helped his aunt set up a business.
First he researched what the licencing and regulatory standards for that type of business in the US was, in the state of Texas in particular. He proceeded to get her licence and everything else she needed. He was just 20 then and the business still exists and thrives.
With the success recorded, he began to get referrals, "but I realised that here's an industry that's underserved from a technology perspective. Overall, they need to help and I saw the ability to create technology". And so he did.
Giving a break down of what the job entails he said it made the healthcare industry benefit from cloud-based technology or web-based software in the clouds to help them be more efficient.
Noting that the old order of documentation was not effective he thought to create technology that provides excellent health care and gets information in real time. With this, it decreased cost of business and boosted efficiency.
While it took him six months to build the technology, the first version of this cloud based software took four years to get it done as it was a lot of work. With what he was making from consulting, he poured it into the technology platform.
But the first client ever they bagged lost patience after the test run failed to work.
He went back to the drawing board and fine-tuned it. Today, they are one of the leading provider of technology healthcare in the world and number one all over the United States.
To do this, Olajide believes in people first. This, with each addition comes a commitment to the highest ethical standard.
"We are not just in business to make money for the sake of money. Our businesses have been incredibly successful globally but we do that by maintaining the highest ethical standards."
Solving Complex Challenges through
Not done, he conceived and launched Cavista Technologies Nigeria partnering Axxess Global Technology. Apart from creating job opportunities at Cavista, he made history with the employment of about 300 tech engineers, becoming the highest number of specialised tech engineers employed in the history of Nigeria. More endearing was the fact that he partnered SheCode to get more female engineers in the process.
At Cavista, the focus is to train and develop young talents to solve complex challenges in the Nigerian technology space, while creating job opportunities for development and growth globally.
In this regard, Olajide has endowed the largest scholarship fund for the Engineering School for Computer Science students in the University of Texas. He is currently chairing the billion-dollar campaign fundraising campaign for the university.
Ekiti Knowledge Zone
Given that the state is known for its literacy, especially with the highest number of PhDs professors, Olajide saw the huge intellectual and human capital there, which at the time were yet to translate into economics success or prosperity for the state.
This lacuna gave birth to the Ekiti Knowledge Zone where they leverage what the people are best known for, upskill it and partner government to export that talent to the world.
Foray into Agriculture through Agbeyewa Farms
While most people know him as a tech mogul, he has since diversified into agriculture through Agbeyewa Farms in
a multi-million-dollar investment to support Agbeyewa Farms in Ekiti that seeks to promote food security and create tens of thousands of jobs on 50 acres of arable land.
Already, the farm has kicked off on a high note with some acres already cultivated with different food crops and he is bent on restoring the idea of Agbeloba – dignity and prosperity in farming.
His interests also include tourism development, and he holds the concession to revamp Ekiti State’s flagship tourism destination, Ikogosi Warm Springs in Ikogosi-Ekiti, Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti-State into a world-class golfing and vacation
Olajide believes strongly in community engagement and invests actively to ensure that the local communities benefit through educational, health, transportation, and other infrastructural schemes.
Love for Ekiti
Despite the towering heights his career has soared, Olajide is still deeply rooted in his community in Erinmope-Ekiti and the entire state at large. In fact, he is currently the single
largest private multi-billion
dollar investor in the state.
According to him, for Ekiti to prosper, achieve prosperity and actualise her dream of becoming a land of wealth and prosperity, the state must invest in the promotion of knowledge-based entrepreneurship such as sciences, engineering, medicine, technology, smart agriculture, entertainment and digital innovation.
Olajide has been recognised as the Outstanding Healthcare Executive of the Year and a Leader in Diversity, and Axxess is recognised nationally and internationally as a Best Place to Work.
His commitment to building a stronger community resulted in him being chosen by his peers to serve in 2020 as the youngest-ever chair of the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce’ board of directors and executive committee and he successfully led the Dallas business community through the COVID-19 pandemic.
He currently serves on the Board of the Dallas Citizens Council where he works with other leaders to provide guidance on the policy issues that will move the region forward.
In 2016, Olajide was recognised as the youngest-ever Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas at Dallas.