Years in Tech
Head of Innovation, EFInA (Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access)
Business Strategy, Customer Segmentation, Strategic Marketing, Product Development & Positioning and Business Performance Management.
14th December, 2018
Dayo Ademola is a senior financial services and technology professional, with extensive experience in innovation, business strategy, customer segmentation, strategic marketing, product positioning, product development and business performance management across the software, telecoms and financial services industries. She has held roles in Union Bank, MainOne and Rosetta Stone (USA) among others. Following her experience in business and financial analysis, and marketing and strategy for technology companies like Rosetta Stone and MainOne, and corporate and retail strategy and innovation for Union Bank, she is now bringing her combined expertise to bear as EFInA’s Head of Innovation, where (among other things) she runs a multi-million dollar fund that invests in start-up and growth-stage fintechs with an aim to boost financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Dayo holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Economics from Temple University, USA and is currently a Global Executive MBA candidate at INSEAD (Abu Dhabi, France & Singapore).
What experiences led you to technology and how did you develop the skills to compete in the industry?
One of my first job roles after graduating from college was with Rosetta Stone, the world’s largest language software company at the time. I was able to witness how technology was used as a tool to change people’s lives and bring different cultures closer together. Rosetta Stone democratized the learning of new languages for everyone. I had a similar experience working for MainOne, witnessing firsthand how the proliferation of broadband internet services changed Nigeria. These experiences (among others) further solidified my notion that tech is the best and fastest way to deliver real progress in any sphere. To be best at this, it was important for me to gain experience and industry knowledge across different industries. I don’t believe in tech for the sake of tech. Tech is a means to an end; to solving and improving “real world problems”, so gaining experience across industries was key to ensuring I have the best possible skill set to work in tech.
How has your background helped/differentiated you in the tech industry?
We currently run a fund focused on investing in start-up and growth-stage fintechs. The overarching goal of this fund is to cause the “big bang” in financial inclusion in Nigeria; pulling millions of people into the formal financial sector. Having worked in banking and financial services, I am in a unique position as I fundamentally understand the pain-points traditional financial institutions experience in delivering their services, and how technology can help overcome some of these.
What advice would you give to women considering a career in technology? What do you wish you had known?
If you’re going into technology, be clear in your mind what problem you would like to use technology to solve. And, as with everything, know your onions. Be the best informed about your particular space.