This Product Manager left Google to Join Okra
Adesola joined Okra from Google to lead on building out an ambitious product. She says the Okra culture and vision made her choice easier.
Why did I leave the US?
My answer has always been quite simple. I felt a calling to do something bigger than myself to learn how to impact my birthplace—Lagos. Nigeria. Africa. I've always believed that "Odò tó bá gbàgbé orísun rẹ, gbígbẹ ló máa gbẹ (A river that forgets its source, will doubtlessly dry up)."
Why did I join Okra?
It all fell into place: the right people, a promising solution to a tricky problem, timing, and a challenging role. Okra helps companies build better financial products for their users through seamless access to financial data. I fundamentally believe that solid financial infrastructure is essential for economic stability and growth.
I love how Okra focuses on unlocking financial connectivity across Africa, and in doing so, creating vital infrastructure and systems that can cement Africa's position in the global economy. Also, the people at Okra are exceptional. It's been incredibly inspiring to work with Fara Ashiru Jitbuboh, Okra's CEO/CTO, and to see her leading the team so well as a female leader in the male-dominated tech startup environment. She made a similar leap to mine, coming back to Nigeria after spending time in the US, and to be so humble, gracious, and tenacious in her role is impressive. And it's not just Fara - I've honestly been blown away by every single member of the team. Everyone is energised and ready to put in the work to make a real impact in Nigeria and Africa more broadly.
Why did I leave Google?
I came to a point at Google where I felt stagnant and unfulfilled. Don't get me wrong - Google is a fantastic place to work, and I have very few complaints about my experience. I learned so much about the tech industry and how to be an effective product manager. Also, I made some lifelong friends and mentors and learned so much about myself. But it got to a point where I was not being stretched or challenged or having the type of impact I wanted to have in the world. So when a chance meeting came up with Fara, I realised Okra was the opportunity I was seeking!
There are open roles for you at Okra. Apply now.
How do I feel now?
When I was five years old, my family left Nigeria with sporadic visits throughout my childhood and adulthood. In many ways, Lagos is a familiar but still reasonably unfamiliar environment. There's so much uncertainty that lies ahead, but I feel at peace with my decision. I've said this a lot over the last couple of months - I feel like it's genuinely a blessing and privilege to have a vision of how you want to create an impact in this world. So I am grateful to have a picture of what I want to do, an opportunity that aligns with that vision, and a firm conviction that rises above my fears and worries. In all, I'm happy, excited, and honoured to be a member of the Okra team, and I'm thrilled to be home again. 🇳🇬
👇🏾 Check out this video for a more in-depth interview!