My name is Harold Okwa, I am 29 Years Old and the Co Founder of Jetseta. I came into Nigeria in 2009 and thought of going back to the UK after NYSC but decided against that
My first major hustle was selling Ankara fabrics, brocade and lace. Then you would see me with a big carton of clothes, going to friends and family to patronise me. My customer base grew and I found myself selling fabrics to governor’s wives and other top Nigerians. At some point, I got a job with OandO and was moved to Abuja so I stopped retailing Ankara. After a while, I felt like there was some kind of joy and fulfilment I got while I was my boss that I didn’t get from being an employee. So I took a risk, threw in the towel and started real estate. A lot of people wondered how I could leave a well-paying Oil and gas job to go hustle in real estate. But we started anyway, myself and two NYSC staff, we started small at a small shop in a plaza in Gwarinpa.
In 5 years, the company had grown so much we could move offices to Wuse II in Abuja. I started to ask myself, what else can I do? One day as I sat down with a client, he complained that people were not leasing his Jet because of recession. There and then, it occurred to me that I could put together a business model that would see both owners and users benefit.
I met up with another guy who already worked in Aviation, ran the idea by him and asked him to partner with me. This was how Jetseta was born. We started knocking on people’s doors to tell them about Jetseta, eventually somebody bought into the vision and gave us two jets to manage. This became our breakthrough, we could tell other people that we already had two planes off this person, this made it easier to get other people on board. By the time we got so many aircraft to manage, we had been building an app, which became an avenue to get more customers. Hence, the Jetseta app was launched
There are two sides to the Jetseta App: If you have an aircraft, you can monitor and manage the use of your aircraft. The other part is for the end-user/passenger. This is for the customers who can use the Jetseta App to schedule when and how they want to fly any of the private aircrafton our platform. This started to get some traction so we introduced three products. (1) Charter the plane (2) Get Discounted flights (3) We know this is a premium market, but we decided to democratise it by introducing the single seats, Pay per seat. This way you don’t need to charter a whole plane to fly private. This ticket has sold from $150-$500 depending on peak periods.
Now, we’re looking at expansion, in the next two weeks we’ll open an office in Lagos. For scope and accessibility, we will also be expanding regionally. Hopefully, we’ll continue to grow from there.
What we saw was a gap in the aviation business so we dived in to take advantage. However, Doing business in Nigeria is quite difficult, but I am a Christian and I believe in the word of God that says “the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent takes it by force”. You have to be ambitious enough to fight for what is yours or what you feel is yours. If you eventually cross those hurdles of difficulties, you’ll get your desired results
I wake up in the mornings, look in the mirror and decide “I will not give up”. So during the day when people tell me things cannot be done, this keeps playing in my head…”I will never give up”. For this reason, I persist and that thing that they said could not be done, I eventually get done. There is also the God factor, this is one of my secrets, I commit things to God and he comes through for me
If I try everything and I don’t get it, I know God is saying “NO” or “Not now”- Harold OkwaTWEET THIS QOUTE