NIGERIA - Real Estate & Construction
CEO, Landwey Investment
Olawale Ayilara is a passionate entrepreneur and business strategist with expertise in business development, innovation, and strategy and over 10 years’ experience growing businesses in Africa and handling transactions of over USD200 million. In December 2020, Ayilara was appointed Group CEO of Oxygen Holdings. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, Metropolitan School of Business and Management UK, and the Lagos Business School. He has received recognition from Forbes Africa 30 Under 30, Future Award, and Africa Property Investment Summit, among others.
Landwey has become one of the largest investment companies in Nigeria. We started off acquiring properties for sites and services, which means we purchase land that are portioned into different sizes that people can buy and we provide roads, water, and electricity. We have sold over 2,000 homes in Lagos state alone over the past two years. We are interested in innovation in the industries where we operate, and we want to be able to drive initiatives that are boosting the industry. We currently have the highest number (35,000) of registered real estate agents across Nigeria. We are dedicated to bringing value, and that drives growth. We are customer-centric, and we want to design and predict what they want before they even know it. Although we are not currently expanding into other parts of Nigeria, when we do expand, it will be through tech initiatives. We want to release these initiatives into the market that will help other players as well. We are looking at AI and virtual environments. We consider ourselves futuristic, and we want to see how AI will impact the real estate industry in the coming years and how we can continue to improve on sustainability in terms of building designs and the environment.
Many developers simply want to build; we, however, want to build something highly functional that can stand for 500 or 1,000 years, which means we pay attention to quality and designs. We do not compete on price and never have. We only compete on value, which sets us apart. When we say “new homes like no other,” we mean from the structure of the house to the design, where we have been able to factor in the client’s experience. We pay attention to every detail and the finishing. Anyone can build a structure; however, if the finishing is not up to standard, no one will care about it. We also consider how functional they are; people downplay functionality and live in homes that were not built with them in mind. We put all those things in place before clients even anticipate them. We are particular about client feedback; I send an email every month to every client to open up a direct chat with me. When you have over 2,000 clients and 99% of them reply with “Thank you, my home is fantastic!” It means we are doing something good.
The desire to improve the real estate sector through innovation drove the establishment of LandWey. We quickly expanded from site and service plots to residential developments and now to commercial developments. We are building ISIMI Lagos on over 130ha of land with a sustainable environment, 100% nature, and food produced on the farm onsite. Cars cannot be driven there, and people can only cycle or walk. There will also be a polo field, ranching, and a golf course. We still have to provide roads, electricity, and water to support that development. LandWey will always develop the infrastructure for all of its projects.
People want to live in affordable homes, but they do not want to live in affordable locations, mainly because it is far from where they work or local entertainment. It is also hard to talk about affordability when we look at the quality of materials we use or the broken mortgage system in Nigeria. We are in the upper middle-class market, simply because of the materials we use and the functionality of design in prime locations. We are focused on building a brand that stands out from the competition, which is why the client experience is so important for us; it is the best thing that has worked for the business.
NIGERIA - Energy & Mining
Group Managing Director, Eraskorp Nigeria Limited
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