The career narrative of Victor Asemota in tech may seem seamless, but in truth the entrepreneur didn’t have everything planned from the beginning.
Victor Asemota, a tech entrepreneur who coaches people on their tech careers and is well-known for his big sense of humour on social media and in his speeches, once had an indecisive moment on what professional career to take.
At its core, the story of this jovial tech entrepreneur is much similar to that of many others at heart.
He is the founder of SwiftaCorp, an advisor to Assets and Resource Management, and an Africa Partner for Alta Global Ventures.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Victor Osaretin Asemota was highly intelligent, who got admission into secondary school at the age of 10 and was out at age 15.
Picking a career among many
Being a genius sometimes could be a problem, and this was the dilemma Victor Asemota faced.
Being good in all subjects appeared to be less of a blessing to the now tech entrepreneur because it made it difficult for him to pick a career due to a lack of passion for any.
However, there were few careers on his radar, but he fought hard not to accept them as his reality. One of which was Banking.
When Victor was a teenager, the image of banking he had in his brain was one in which he had to wear suits while counting other people’s money.
In his indefinite state, Asemota decided to follow his parents’ push into the medical direction. Narrating his experience during a 2017 Tedx Talk in Yaba, Lagos, he said:
“I had no say over what I wanted to be. My parents wanted me to become a medical doctor because both my grandparents were in the medical field, and I had a lot of relatives too who were in the medical field.
So it seemed logical that they expected me to continue down that path. I was young, so they wanted me to do my Premed in Nigeria and be grounded before going to Harvard Medical school,” he said.
Venturing into the medical field
As he became older and had the chance to study some background in the medical sciences, he decided to pursue a career in medicine by enrolling in a relevant course in Nigeria.
Victor Asemota had the chance to work with some bankers and IT specialists after completing his required one-year service. He recalls that this particular event also provided him with the vision to have a prosperous career outside of medicine.
However, that was not enough push to turn him off his medical doctor path. The final push came after an occurrence with a fellow medical doctor like him:
“During my service year, on this particular day, I was at the Ikeja bus stop in Lagos, and I saw this guy who worked with one of my uncles. He was also in the medical field and was one of those encouraging me to study medicine.
After exchanging pleasantries, I was shocked to see him jump into one of these yellow ‘molue’ buses. That was officially the end of my medical career and any dream to become a medical doctor.
I told myself that if this guy after all his years in medical school, his residency and work, was jumping molue buses, then that was not the profession for me. At that time, doctors in Nigeria were really poorly paid” Asemota explained.
Victor Asemota started thinking about the professional options available to him after ruling out being a doctor as a career. Among them was banking.
He claimed that some benefits of this new profession were the fact that many bankers dressed nicely and had comfortable lifestyles.
He returned to the University of Benin in 1992 to complete a Master of Business Administration on the suggestion of his uncle (MBA).
Before this point, Asemota had been studying computers and other IT-related topics just as a means of branching out and discovering his interests.
A movie greatly inspired him to enter the tech industry. A character in the movie who happened to be a hacker gave him so much thrill. And it was at this point he made the decision to become a “techie.”
“I liked the character in the movie who hacked into banking systems and made a lot of money. So I looked at it, and I decided that I wanted to become a hacker to hack into banks and make money.
That was the first reason for going into tech. Of course, it was a very stupid reason, and morally questionable too, but it led me to where I am today,” he explained during his TedX Talk.
Victor finally made the decision to pursue entrepreneurship while pursuing his MBA, thus for him, it became tech entrepreneurship.
In order to solidify his decisions, he attended Harvard Business School for a few Executive courses between 2011 and 2013 and Sheffield Hallam University for a master’s degree in IT and Management between 2005 and 2007.
A move into entrepreneurship
As an MBA student, Victor Asemota founded his first business, SwiftaCorp, in 2003. Since then, he has developed into a serial entrepreneur.
SwiftaCorp soon became a pioneer in the field of software and technology services. Now it has now grown into several African nations.
Victor Asemota can be considered a pioneer in the African information technology (IT) sector as the founder, CEO, and Principal Consultant of SwiftaCorps. He resigned from his position as CEO in 2015 and joined the board as a Director.
In addition, Asemota is a co-founder of the distinctive African Mobile Financial Services Accelerator known as MFISA. Some payment platforms in Africa are powered by MFISA. He co-founded the Internet startup and platform finance company Alterna Capital Group in 2014.
Asemota specialises in investing in early-stage technology startups as a venture capitalist. He is an authority in starting a business from scratch, and many of his tweets offer advice on how to launch profitable ventures.
Victor Asemota serves on the advisory boards of Assets and Resource Management DFS, Alta Global Ventures, and AnD Ventures as a growth partner. Additionally, he serves as a Non-Executive Director of MATS Africa, which provides services for merchants and agents.
Since 2017, he has served as a board advisor for Flutterwave and the continent lead and manager for Africa’s Interactive Design Foundation (IDF).
In May 2017, he co-founded the Africa & Diaspora Mentorship & Investment Network.
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