As the Head of Growth and Marketing at Youverify Inc., a regtech company that builds compliance products, Hakeem Akiode, a fast-rising figure in the tech growth and marketing landscape, has earned the reputation of being one of the most inspiring professionals in the field.
With a proven track record of crafting and executing growth strategies for both B2B and B2C tech companies, he speaks in major African tech conferences across five countries. Notable among them are events like the African NXT and Africa Money and DeFi Summit West Africa events.
With over seven years of experience under his belt, Hakeem has consistently delivered great results, driving exponential growth and propelling businesses to new heights. One of his most notable impacts was seen in scaling Youverify’s growth, helping the company seal its seed extension fundraising in less than a year after joining in.
His unique blend of strategic thinking, innovative ideas, and deep industry knowledge has made him a sought-after expert in the field. In this light, we decided to hold an interview with Hakeem, discussing his journey so far, his impact on the African market and his desire to mentor early birds to find their feet quicker.
It is a pleasure interviewing you, Hakeem, one of the leading growth and marketing professionals in Africa.
Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Hakeem, let’s start by discussing your career choice so far. What motivated you to pursue a career in growth and marketing, particularly in the tech industry?
Great question. Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by the intersection of technology and business. I saw the potential for technology to disrupt traditional industries and create new opportunities.
As I explored various fields, I realized that growth and marketing were the catalysts that could drive the success of these innovative tech companies. The dynamic nature of the tech industry, coupled with the ever-evolving consumer behaviour, presented an exciting challenge that I was eager to take on.
After completing my studies, I started volunteering and taking up ambassadorship roles on campus, which helped sharpen my personal development and leadership skills. I learned how to sell products, understand my audience, and influence people.
Fortunately, Africa’s tech ecosystem was rapidly emerging at that time, and I wanted to be at the forefront of this movement. I saw immense potential in leveraging technology to solve the unique challenges faced by African businesses and consumers. This motivation propelled me to dive deep into growth and marketing strategies that could propel these tech companies to new heights.
The summed up experience led me to eventually become the Growth Lead at Youverify, where I have had to manage people in a fast-paced environment and provide support to them when needed. I have learned how to connect with people, provide direction, and influence them naturally.
That’s inspiring! Speaking of impact, could you share some examples of the impact you’ve made across Africa in your role as a growth and marketing professional?
Absolutely. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with several B2B and B2C tech companies, each with its own set of challenges and goals. One of the highlights of my career was spearheading a comprehensive growth strategy for a B2B SaaS company in the e-commerce space.
By optimising their customer acquisition funnel and implementing data-driven marketing campaigns, we achieved a significant increase in user acquisition and revenue. This not only helped the company establish a strong market position but also enabled it to seal its seed funding investment.
In another instance, while working with a B2C fintech startup, I led the launch of a mobile payment solution targeting the unbanked population. Through targeted marketing initiatives and strategic partnerships, we were able to empower thousands of previously underserved individuals with access to financial services. Witnessing the positive impact on people’s lives reinforced my belief in the transformative power of technology and marketing.
It’s incredible to see the tangible impact you’ve had on businesses and individuals. What has been your main motivation throughout your journey, and how do you stay driven in such a competitive and rapidly evolving industry?
My main motivation has always been the opportunity to create meaningful change and impact the lives of people. I believe in the power of technology to solve real-world problems, and marketing serves as the vehicle to drive adoption and impact.
Seeing the positive outcomes resulting from my work, whether empowering businesses to grow or enabling individuals to access essential services, fuels my passion to keep pushing forward.
Additionally, staying driven in this industry requires constant learning and adaptability. The tech landscape evolves at an incredible pace, and it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve. I dedicate time to expanding my knowledge through training, industry research, attending conferences, and networking with other professionals.
Collaborating with talented individuals and being part of a supportive community also keeps me inspired and motivated to continually push boundaries.
That’s a fantastic approach. Finally, could you share some of the key steps you took to reach your current level of success and establish yourself as a leader in the growth and marketing space?
Building a successful career in growth and marketing involves a combination of strategic thinking, continuous learning, and consistent execution. Here are a few key steps I took along the way:
1. Mastery of Core Skills: I invested time and effort in developing a deep understanding of growth and marketing principles, frameworks, and tools. This foundational knowledge enabled me to approach challenges with a structured and data-driven mindset.
2. Hands-on Experience: I sought out opportunities to gain practical experience by working with various tech companies across different industries.
Each experience provided valuable insights, helping me refine my strategies and adapt to different market dynamics.
3. Networking and Collaboration: I actively engaged with professionals in the industry, both locally and globally, to share knowledge and learn from their experiences.
Building strong relationships and collaborating with talented individuals have been instrumental in my growth.
4. Embracing Innovation: To stay ahead, I embraced emerging technologies and marketing trends, constantly experimenting with new strategies and tools. This openness to innovation allowed me to deliver impactful results for my clients and employers.
5. Persistence and Resilience: The path to success is rarely linear. I faced challenges and setbacks along the way, but I remained persistent and resilient. Learning from failures and embracing them as opportunities for growth propelled me forward.
Those are invaluable insights. Thank you for sharing your journey and expertise, Hakeem. It has been an enlightening conversation.
Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure discussing my career and experiences. I hope it inspires others to pursue their passions and make a positive impact in their chosen field.