One Year Anniversary Interview with Linda Okwudili
Linda Okwudili joined AfricaWorks a year ago as Growth Manager Lagos. In one year, she has connected multiple businesses to AfricaWorks and risen in ranks from Growth manager to Deputy Commercial Manager.
Linda’s utmost desire is to help businesses in Africa flourish and expand across the continent. This is in line with AfricaWorks’ mission to unlock Africa’s business growth potential.
In her anniversary interview, she shared her challenges breaking into the Nigerian market and onboarding members mid-pandemic.
Congratulations on your One Year Anniversary.
Why did you decide to join AfricaWorks, and how has your journey been so far?
Linda: I have been in the real estate sector for a while, and I wanted to do something different that directly impacts businesses in Africa. AfricaWorks has provided me with that opportunity to help African businesses to thrive and exceed their business goals by offering high quality, flexible workspaces, and a supportive business community.
A lot has happened since you first joined AfricaWorks last year as Growth Manager. What has been your most memorable experience?
Linda: My most memorable moment at AfricaWorks was on-boarding our first AfricaWorks Lagos member. When AfricaWorks Lagos opened in January 2021, it wasn’t easy to onboard members because we were a new name, and it was also in the middle of the pandemic. Businesses were shutting down. Many companies were cutting down office commute. However, connecting new members became easier as words spread because people genuinely love the community we are building and want to be part of it.
How did you feel during that long wait before signing your first client?
Linda: It was frustrating, but it boils down to having team members that are very collaborative and cooperative.
You can imagine how it felt to say the same thing over and over again for two months: “I have sent proposals, and I am awaiting a reply.” However, my colleagues had faith in my ability to deliver. My team knew that we were new in the market and required time to get accepted.
How did those periods of waiting shape you?
Linda: Those periods of sending proposals and waiting taught me a lot of patience, positive energy and resilience.
What has been your most significant success or achievement at AfricaWorks?
Linda: Seeing AfricaWorks Lagos grow from one member to the current number. Onboarding our first members was challenging because of the pandemic. However, thanks to the high-quality service and a supportive business community, clients love our spaces, and onboarding is a lot easier.
Why do members love your space? What makes AfricaWorks stand out from other coworking spaces?
Linda: The Pan African business community we are building sets us apart. It is no hype, people genuinely love being here, and the positive energy shines through. Members mingle, share ideas and collaborate.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Linda: I love to sell. I enjoy that my position allows me to speak and meet with prospective members, negotiate, and close deals.
Many people shy away from sales, but sales is your forte. So how do you do it?
Linda: I’m a fantastic salesperson. I have a stellar track record both here and before AfricaWorks. Over the years, my top three sales strategies have been: Identify your top target market, create value and set a time frame.
As the deputy commercial manager, what are your goals for AfricaWorks?
Linda: We have one goal at AfricaWorks, and that is to come, stay, grow, under one roof®. I want to see our members start in one city and expand to our other offices in different African cities. For example, Glovo started in our Abidjan office and has extended operations to Nigeria in Our Lagos office.
Any failures you wish didn’t happen in the last year?
Linda: Pushing deals that got cancelled at the last minute. I wouldn’t call them failures because it is all part of the job. As a salesperson, you must be prepared for disappointment, but keep going.
You have an amazing drive. What motivates you?
Linda: I am very assertive about life. I am self-motivated. Every morning, I remind myself that I have just one goal: to become a better version of myself.