Unlike in the past where entrepreneurship was predominantly viewed as a preserve of men, there are some women in the world who have redefined themselves as successful entrepreneurs.
Mrs Tolulope Onalaja isn’t just entrepreneur,but she has also built a beautiful home and successful business empire with her husband against all odds.
Married to the Chief Executive Officer of RevolutionPlus Property, Tolulope Onalaja was born in Lagos and grew up in Lagos. She had her primary school education in our lady of Apostles private school, Yaba, Lagos.
She had her Secondary School Education in Methodist girls high school and finished in1996. She proceeded to the University of Ibadan and graduated with a B.Ed in Counselling Psychology.
She also holds a post graduate diploma in Management and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Calabar in 2010. She is an alumni of the Enterprise Development Center (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University, where she had a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management (CEM 40 Class).
She has over 18years work experience cut across the real estates and facility Management sector. She resigned as the chief operating officer of a renowned facility Management Company in Nigeria (IFS/Draiklinas) to join her husband’s foremost Real Estate Company (RevolutionPlus Property) in Nigeria as the Executive Director in 2016.
She has won several awards in the real estate sector within the period she joined her husband’s company and the most recent of all is the award of the Real Estate Couple of the year 2018 from the 4th City People real estate awards in July 2018.
She recently got an award as the most enterprising woman in real estate 2018 and 2019 respectively from Beta media Ltd organizers of the Real Estates Excellence award .
A current member of Rotary club of Ogudu GRA, a past President of Rotary club of Lagos west , a Major donor to the Rotary foundation haven given over 10,000 USD to the foundation.
She’s also the Co-founder of Chris Bamidele Onalaja foundation which empowers widows yearly and set up a full fledged private school Toldel Nur and pry school in ikorodu fully free to educate the less privileged children whose parents cannot afford a private school in that axis.
Also giving scholarships to various children up to university level.
Her hobbies are reading and traveling. She is blessed with two adorable and lovely children, Oluwadamilola and Oluwabusolami Onalaja.
RevolutionPlus property development company has strong presence across the Residential sectors. The company is not just building estate, but delivering unique master-planned lifestyle options. The company has given a new definition to real estate landscape.
RevolutionPlus estate offers the most valuable and well-planned estate with design that span and equates global designs. The company pre-empt consumers’ needs for a better life innovation and evolution.
With flagship developments like Flourish Royal garden Phase 1-Ibeju Lekki, Flourish Royal garden Phase 2-Ibeju Lekki, Royal Haven Garden 1 Akodo-Ise-Lekki, Royal Haven Garden 2- Okun-ise-Lekki, Royal Garden Idasho, Ibeju-lekki, Dallas Court,Ise Town, Ibeju
lekki,Brooklyncourt Okun-Imedu, Ibeju- lekki,Brooklyn court 2, Okun Olofin, Ibeju lekki,Royal Garden Simawa,Royal Haven Garden,Agbowa-Ikorodu and Royal Haven Garden Mowe-Ofada,
all these estates are epitome of lifestyle, Its philosophy is to create seamless urban living that commemorate with work, leisure and retail within the estates.RevolutionPlus provides bespoke real estate investment solutions and unparalleled yields for all her customers.
Please Tell us what we don’t know about revolutionPlus?
Revolution plus is a company operated with transparency, as you can see the level of access to the directors of the company.
What career path did you planned to take when you were in school?
I study psychology as my first degree, I did post graduate diploma in management (PGDM ) , I did MBA as well. I had no plan to go into real estate business until I met my husband. I have always been a facility management person. My husband is very passionate about real estate business. He have been into real estate business for close to 20years.
What event in your career path brought you to your current position as Executive Director?
We started revolution plus in 2014, my husband left his Banking job broke but with passion and vision for real estate business, I joined the business and assisted him with funding because I share his vision. The first person God used to help us was my uncle whom I approached for help.
I told him my husband wants to go into real estate business and he invested N 3million, that was how we started, we started in a very small office, I had to release my private car to the company for inspection sites. I manage the company’s operational functions of all our branches while he manages our sites. The job is easy for me because of my previous experience in a facility management company as top management staff.
How many Branches do you have?
Currently, we have five branches, two in Lagos, Ikeja and lekki phase 1. We also have a branch in Abuja and a regional office in Ibadan. We have office in Dallas USA that caters for Nigerians in Diaspora.
What are you doing to stay ahead?
In business you can not say you know it all, it is not by strategy because a lot of people out there have good strategies , for me it’s the God factor that got us to this level. Beyond our effort, it is only the grace of God that can take you this far. Often time, we pray and receive great ideas from God on how to run this business and this ideas brings great fortune to us.
This company is based on God ideas and we will not depart from this. My husband and i are so passionate about what we do in revolutionPlus. Our staff work together as a team, they are very committed to the revolutionPlus brand. We relate to our staff as colleagues. Our business runs smoothly even in our absence because of the quality of staff we have.
Where do you see RevolutionPlus In the next five years
We are actually five years and we have five branches by the first quarter of next year we will be opening our Port Harcourt branch. We have prayed about it. We don’t go to places where God doesn’t want us to go.
Will you Consider politics in future?
I have always been in politics right from my secondary and University school days. I was general secretary in my hall of residence when I was in University of Ibadan. The only politics I didn’t play in school was the SUG politics. I wasn’t interested because I was already in my final year. I am also a past president of rotary club. I have passion for leading people and I believe I have leadership qualities. I use to see politics as a very dirty game because of the do or die mentality.
I believe if God choose any of us, He will be the one to guide us. I told my husband that sometimes you need power and influence to change things in the society. I am encouraging my husband to join politics because we can’t keep complaining. My husband is very passionate in addressing the issue of housing deficit in Nigeria and the role government and private institution needs to play in bridging the gap.
I advised him that he can not achieve the dream through revolutionPlus alone as he is limited by government laws. I told him that I am no longer afraid of politics, I won’t hold him back from participating in politics, I will give him my full support. The God that chooses him to do it will equally protect him. I see myself as a future first lady because I have all it takes.
Who is your role model?
My role model is Jesus.
What advice will you give your younger self?
I will tell my younger self to be hard working and focused. I mentor a lot of youths. The youths of this days wants shortcut to success. They want to be Dangote but they are not ready to pay the price. Hard work and integrity pays. My husband started this business out of passion, he didn’t go into it to get rich. When you are focused and hardworking money will surely come your way.
What does the future hold for you?
The bible says the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. It can only get better and bigger in the future.
How are you handling Omo-onile issues?
You can’t do without omo onile. They are associated with this business , you can’t run away from the fact. My husband will tell you, he can’t do this business without them, They are very important to this business. My husband knows how to manage them very well. Sometimes you need the good , the bad, and the ugly to succeed. Omo onile fights and defend us even in our absence. They are very instrumental to our business.
Real Estate Investors are usually subjected to multiple taxes.Some of the taxes levied against them includes development levy, income tax, building plan approval levy, property tax, land use tax.What is your opinion about this?
In October this year, my husband was opportune to be a guest speaker at the Lagos state real estate stake holder’s conference. He discussed the issue of taxation in real estate and its negative effects for developers. The taxes are too much, you pay state and federal. As a director of this business my personal income taxes are in millions.
Most times they assume you are a high network individual therefore, you are to pay more. The taxes are not encouraging businesses ,tax should be based on turnover. There should be tax holiday for new businesses that are less than two years.
I remember when our company was slammed with 70million naira tax, I had to meet with the controller general to resolve the issue. Government should seek ways to help businesses. I travel a lot and I have seen what other countries are doing with their taxes. In this country the case is different. Over there, you are happy paying taxes because you can see the benefits. I pay millions of naira as personal income tax yet I provide light and water for myself.
Recently, our industrial borehole in lekki broke down, each landlord contributed one million naira each to fix it. Government should look into this tax issues so that businesses can thrive when business thrive the economy will grow and the level of unemployment in the country will reduce.
How do you relax?
I go to the movies most Fridays after close of work.
Where is your best holiday spot?
Dallas. We have a branch in Dallas. At times I visit Dubai and UK for holidays, But I visit Dallas often because of our branch over there
Thank you for your time
Its my pleasure