Home African CEOs Interviews ‘Build Technical Skills, be Confident’, Luno Nigeria’s Owen Odia tells Women in Tech
Interviews - Money - November 16, 2020

‘Build Technical Skills, be Confident’, Luno Nigeria’s Owen Odia tells Women in Tech

Owen Odia had left her marketing job at Zenith Bank to pursue her Master’s degree in Mobile Computing because of her desire to offer solutions to the inefficiencies in Africa’s financial system.

She developed an interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies along the way, and later landed an executive role as the Country Manager of Luno Nigeria, a digital currency company.

In this interview with Business Elites Africa, Odia tells us more about her life in the tech space.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your career path.

A: I started my career as a relationship manager at Zenith Bank and specialized in marketing, but a year into the role, I left Zenith Bank to do a master’s degree in Mobile Computing to develop technical skills, and later rejoined the company as a Mobile Payment Lead.

This experience in digital banking exposes you to the various potential of technology, and after a few years, I developed an interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. There are so many different use cases for technologies on the continent, and working with Luno, I found a company that not only offers consumers an exchange for crypto but also provides a platform to conduct transactions in a safe and well-informed manner.

Q: What influenced you to pursue a career in IT?

A: I’ve always been passionate about IT (information technology) and thought it was cool for a woman to be in the tech space. This was one of the main things that motivated me to study Computer Engineering. IT is also an interesting career path because it offers a range of solutions to inefficiencies in Africa. Our financial system is a key example of this inefficiency. For many people, it’s easier to take physical cash on an aeroplane and give it to the recipient than to make a bank transfer. Tech-based platforms and technologies offer a wide range of solutions that addresses this challenge, making it easier for businesses and individuals to trade and access the products and services globally.


Q: Tell us about your current role and the most exciting part of your work.

A: My role involves a range of tasks, including working with our partner banks and payment providers, coordinating Luno conferences, and managing my team to deliver on business targets. My favourite part of the role is interacting with current and potential customers. It provides a great opportunity to build on existing relationships, as well as meet new people. I’ve always been a people person, and this part of the job allows me to use interpersonal skills that come naturally to me.

We also hold university meetups to boost education and awareness about cryptocurrencies. Today, there are a lot of myths about cryptocurrencies (i.e., they’re mostly used by criminals), which we address at these meetings, so I’m happy that I get the chance to be a positive voice in this space…

Read the complete interview in the Business Elites Africa magazine here: Find it on pages 50 & 51.

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