Andela’s Seni Sulyman Steps Down As Gokada Unveils Yacht

Andela’s Seni Sulyman Steps Down As Gokada Unveils Yacht

Seni Sulyman, Andela’s Vice President of Global Operations, has announced that he will be stepping down effective May 15, after four years with the company. He made the announcement on Thursday to the surprise of many who have expected him to carry on after helping to pull Andela through its many challenges last year.

Sulyman has overtime, acquired enormous wealth of experience working in different areas in the tech industry, but he always knows when it’s time to say goodbye.

“There is never a right time to say goodbye to a community I love from the bottom of my heart, and people I’ve built lifelong relationships with.

“After four tremendous years at Andela, I am transitioning out of my role as vice president of Global Operations and into the Alumni Network on May 15.

“I am immeasurably grateful for the privilege to have spent the last few years doing the hardest yet most fulfilling work of my career, with some of the most passionate and driven people I’ve met. My experience at Andela have permanently reinforced my sense of purpose and enhanced my belief in what’s possible when incredibly talented people from diverse cultures and contexts come together to pursue a bold mission” said Sulyman on Medium.

Andela was barely two years old when Sulyman joined them in 2016 as director of operations, and in less than a year, he became the country director of Nigeria. Andela witnessed tremendous growth under his leadership, growing by over 400%, and unveiling its ultramodern tech office in Lagos.

In just two years after he joined Andela, the company emerged number 1 Jobberman’s Best 100 places to work in Nigeria (2018), and was awarded by the US Secretary of States for Corporate Excellence.

Sulyman bagged a Bachelor of Engineering in Northwestern University and had worked with other reputable companies prior to his involvement with Andela. Konga, HP, CardinalStone, Bristow and Bain & company were among the companies he worked for before now. He is also the founder of AYPAfrica, a youth organization that focuses on nurturing talents.

In 2019, Sulyman was appointed Interim Country Director for Andela Kenya. But the most challenging change he effected in Andela was the notorious layoff of about 400 workers in 2019; it was a monumental decision that was needed to keep the company in business.

Sulyman said the decision to leave Andela was a difficult one, but there is never a better time to make it.

“This is a bitter-Sweet moment for me. It is difficult to leave when we’re still in the early days of a wicked global challenge with COVID-19 pandemic. I am also disappointed that I won’t be able to visit our various offices one more time in person due to travel restrictions imposed by various countries (which I agree with).

“I’ve second-guessed my decision to leave a few times, but there just isn’t ever a perfect time. I take comfort in the leaders and subject matter experts we have across the organization,” he said.

Sulyman plans on going sabbatical to put some of his personal ideas into practice including Real Talk Show with Seni, building a platform where entrepreneurs can share their experiences and learn from each other.

In February, Sulyman had shared his first step in making that dream come through, using his Twitter handle. It appears more time on his side will mean more of the shows after May 15. He said his most gratifying achievements is building the remarkable team leading Andela’s Africa delivery centers, and would want to continue in that vein after his sabbatical.

“After some time off, I’ll plan my next great adventure in line with my life’s purpose of building an ecosystem of exemplary African businesses and leaders, and creating commercial bridges between Africa and the world,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gokada is planning to expand its water services soon, as it appears to have introduced bigger boats to Lagos waters. The company shared a picture of its branded yacht on twitter with the caption: “We told you guys.”

Since the Lagos State Government banned the activities of commercial motorcyclists including app-based motor companies, Gokada and other ride-hailing companies have been looking for alternative fields to stay in business.

In June last year, the company introduced the waterway transport system (Gboats) that focused on the island due to limited ferries and inadequate infrastructure. The operation was limited to few Terminals at Laswa yard Falomo, Ikoyi; the Kingfisher Waterfront Jetty at Wole Olateju, Lekki; and the Paradise Jetty at Walter Carrington Victoria Island.

Much was heard of the initiative as Lagos State owned jetties were taking its campaign to many parts of the state.

Gokada said more speed boats and yachts have been added to its fleet and appears set to expand its water operations to other parts of Lagos. The introduction of yatch means the company has a plan to offer luxury and VIP services to riders.

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