Welcome to ‘Women We Love’ – our weekly column where we celebrate women doing amazing things in their areas of influence. From the tech & the fashion world to social activism & politics, these women, we think, are definitely crush-worthy. Catch up on all our crushes here!
Today, we shine the light on marketing & communication guru – Dolapo Fasina!
…is the marketing and communications manager at OnePort 365. She is responsible for demand generation and driving brand recognition, growth, and equity.
To give you inspiration for your next level and introduce her to some of you, we had a chat with Dolapo. Below she speaks on her role, winning in a male-dominated industry and some opportunities for you.
For those who don’t know who you are, tell us about yourself
My name is Dolapo Fasina. I am currently the Marketing and Communications Manager at OnePort 365, a digital freight management start-up. At OnePort 365, I am responsible for demand generation and driving brand growth. I thoroughly enjoy what I do.
I studied Accounting and Finance at Coventry University, UK. and obtained an MBA from Odette Business School, University of Windsor, Canada. My MBA degree was my first exposure to marketing strategy and communications. I was placed with a top car manufacturer and I remember that it never felt like work.
Trying to stick to the initial plan, I started my career in deal advisory but later switched to marketing communications. This happened when I realised my paid hobbies were entirely marketing-related and I was spending more time looking up marketing journals and case studies than corporate finance ones.
I am from a family of six, married to a driven visionary and have a sweet little girl.
How did you get started in the world of freight management?
I got started in freight management specifically because of OnePort 365. The appeal stemmed from the start-up’s vision to enhance Africa’s participation in global trade. It is in alignment with my own goal to help African businesses/brands grow from being country-specific, to span the continent and further achieve a larger global scale.
You work in a male-dominated industry which can be very challenging. How have you navigated these waters so far?
It is a male-dominated industry but how I work is not heavily influenced by this. What influences me comes more from an internal drive to deliver excellent results.
I am continuously updating my skills, learning and re-learning. I have found that getting some fundamental knowledge of other people’s jobs really helps in a cross-functional role such as mine. It also helps me get the buy-in of both my male and female peers and senior colleagues much quicker.
Another key guide I apply at work is to focus on solutions rather than the problem and execute excellently. This is a profound mindset shift that leads to results.
What opportunities are available for women in freighting?
Women are becoming more involved at different levels and in various roles. I do love that OnePort 365 is intentional about gender equity in recruitment and access to resources and opportunities.
What would you say are the loopholes/challenges present in the current freighting industry framework in Nigeria?
There are several challenges in the current freighting industry landscape. Most of which are process-based.
Let’s take the booking process, a trader looking to book a shipment has to liaise with various intermediaries across different channels. He or she will have to make several phone calls and send emails to request and compare rates in order to put together a quote. This could take several days.
Another challenge is the lack of visibility on ongoing shipments. In worse case scenarios, shipments miss the cut off date for loading on scheduled vessels or go missing or get stolen.
Other challenges include but are not limited to paper-based documentation, low level of professionalism in the sector and infrastructural gaps.
The OnePort 365 freight management platform was created to streamline the freight booking process and bring more visibility to the management of booked shipments. Users of the platform get instant rates and make a shipment booking within minutes. Our real-time updates and tracking technology also ensures that shippers have more visibility.
What should women & men consider when going into the freighting industry?
Training in freight management. Also, some knowledge of how this functions as part of a supply chain system for various industries including agro-commodities, manufacturing, consumer goods etc. This helps to see the bigger picture and provides an understanding of the different peculiarities of managing cargo transportation for the different industries.
Also, try to look to modern freight forwarders that leverage efficient processes and technology, the industry is changing very rapidly. It will be great to be on the beneficial end of the change.
The core roles, of course, revolve around freight management. However, those interested in the industry should consider the many other functions that are equally required by digital freight management start-ups including product/project management, sales, marketing, tech and so on.
What would you say has been your lowest moment professionally?
I wouldn’t say lowest, but I experienced fear and uncertainty when I considered making a change in my career from deal advisory at a big four accounting firm to media and marketing. You see, a career in financial services was always the plan. Also, at the time, I believed my experience in marketing was not enough to successfully launch into the profession. This was despite my time as an MBA student consultant for a Northern American car manufacturer, paid hobbies executed for a couple of clients and extensive research and learnings. Classic case of imposter syndrome.
Regardless, I made the change and I am thoroughly enjoying every step of the journey.
If you could list 3 aspirations you have in life, what would they be?
A very short term aspiration is to network more on a professional level.
Longer serving aspirations are contributing to the participation of African brands on a global scale as well as keep growing in faith to stay connected with my creator and purpose.
We love a woman whose ambition knows no bounds – that’s why we’re crushing on her!