Eric Osiakwan is a speaker at the 2017 African Diaspora Investment Symposium.
1. What was your first job?
Website sales executive at GhanaClassifieds – the first online classifieds in Ghana and Africa.
2. What parts of your job keep you awake at night?
The need to hire the best team for the portfolio. Most start-ups succeed at the mercy of a great team but talent is scarce in Africa.
3. Who has had the biggest impact on your career?
Esther Dyson, and she still does…
4. What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
From my mother who told me, “Everything is an investment and investing in people is the ultimate”. So I know it is a people game, especially when it comes to early-stage investment.
5. The top reasons why you have been successful in business?
Luck – when preparation meets opportunity. I think I always take my chances. I believe that life is waves, so the best approach is to identify the waves and ride them.
6. Where’s the best place to prepare for leadership? Business school or on the job?
There are things that you learn in school, but experience you only get on the job. Sometimes school prepares you for the job but unfortunately sometimes it does not.
7. How do you relax?
Hanging with friends, travelling and reading.
8. By what time in the morning do you like to be at your desk?
Early, I like to be ahead of everyone – even in school I was an early riser
9. What is your message to Africa’s aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs?
“What others have done we can do also.” – Marcus Garvey