“Do not trust your visa applications to just anyone” – Interview with Emmanuel Onyebujoh on BeInspired Show
- Let’s meet you?
Webplay Nig Ltd is at heart a software company, where we build custom websites, web and mobile applications as well as business management softwares aimed at automating your day-to-day business processes.
TravelNow Logistics Ltd is an Online Travel Agency (OTA), offering a range of travel-related services such as Flight bookings, Travel and visa advisory services, Corporate travel services, and credit facilities for business and corporate travelers, enabling them to travel now and pay later.
Having a background in Electrical & Electronic Engineering From the University of Benin, I’ve always enjoyed building applications or developing services which help simplify our day to day lives as well as ease our business processes.
- Tell us more about TravelNow?
TravelNow is a travel service company providing you access to affordable local and international flights for all destinations, Travel advisory and visa services, as well as corporate and business travel credit facilities.
The company started as an online airline ticketing service arm of Webplay Nig Ltd, but has since grown to become a full-fledged travel company with offices in Abuja and Benin city.
Apart from servicing customers directly, TravelNow also provides B2B services for upcoming travel agencies as well as training and affiliate services where you can set up and run your white-label travel agency as one of our affiliates.
- Many persons desire to travel outside Nigeria, but for the present pandemic, what do you have to say about that?
Despite the pandemic, International travel is still possible. However, it’s no longer business as usual. As borders are reopening, travelers must trust that traveling is safe and must be aware of general safety rules as well as specific health protocols for the countries they wish to visit.
More than ever before, it’s important to use the services of established travel agencies as they are in the best position to keep you informed with up to the minute information and guide you properly.
Today we hear Airline A has been banned from entering airspace B, and vice versa. Only travel agencies can liaise with these carriers and help switch or upgrade your flights.
- What two tips can you give to young persons who want to travel out, whether for school, conferences, business or the likes?
One, Don’t be in a hurry and Two, go about it the right way.
Traveling out of the country can be a tricky business. You can easily get visas by demonstrating previous travel experience, however, you can only get this experience by traveling, and yet the visa officers will hardly approve your visa applications without this experience (lol).
So we have to start somewhere. At TravelNow we advise people to build their travel experience by visiting countries that have less travel restrictions. Try not to be in a hurry and build your travel history.
Also, ensure you don’t trust your visa applications to just anyone. If you’re getting visa assistance, ensure you are part of the process and make sure the documents being presented are all genuine.
- What makes your agency stands out, why do I have to do business with TravelNow?
TravelNow stands out because we are here to build a long lasting, mutually beneficial relationship with our customers. We are basically here for the long run. Having that in mind, we ensure we put in our best to satisfy our customers.
We understand that a satisfied customer will most likely be a repeat customer and will also refer more business to us, and so it’s actually a no-brainer that we put in our best to ensure we satisfy all our customers.
Also, we try to stay abreast of the newest trends as regards travel and rely heavily on technology to ensure we create the best experiences for our customers. Hence, doing business with us means you’re getting the best services available in the country.
- How do you foresee 2021, especially as it relates to global opportunities and hopefully post Covid?
2021 will be a great year because the new normal post covid-19 is unlikely to return to what it was before the pandemic. Many trends that were deemed to happen sometime in the future have now being accelerated and are already here with us.
We will see the continued rise of the digital behaviour in areas such as remote work, remote learning, service delivery, telemedicine and others.
The rate of acceptance of technology as part of our lives will continue to grow and will provide opportunities for growth for individuals and companies with something tangible to offer.
- What inspired you to start out as an entrepreneur and in your niche?
Right from time, I’ve always had the desire to build something and to see it being used widely and derive satisfaction from the fact that I have been able to offer something that makes peoples lives easier in any way possible.
Initially, I felt this would be an electronic gadget or something related. However, given the huge cost of developing electronic projects then and the unavailability of research labs in the country, I was quite disappointed and started to look elsewhere. That was when I discovered computers and fell in love. My first PC was actually assembled by a friend and I.
It was during this time I discovered web development and programming, and since then, we’ve been trying to do one thing or the other. Again, I’ve always wanted to live life on my own terms and not being confined to a 9 to 5.
Discovering computers and being able to figure out how to build applications and get paid for it helped me get started on and remain on that path.
- What has been the challenges so far?
The state of the economy, the constantly falling purchasing power of the middle-and upper class, and the difficulties associated with running a business in Nigeria.
Most Nigerians are, by their very nature, explorers. Travel comes naturally to us.
The average Nigerian believes there’s so much out there and would leave no stone unturned in his or her quest to get a slice of it. Hence selling travel and travel lifestyle shouldn’t be difficult but for the fact that most average people can not afford it.
Also, the international image of the country does not help. Many first time travelers are not given visas, automatically creating a sense of low self worth and other negative idiosyncrasies.
- What are your top three rules for success?
– Learn and keep learning.
– Do it afraid and try not to stop. Don’t wait for perfect conditions, there’s hardly ever any.
– Be consistent and believe there is grace for you. Keep at it and expect that your efforts will be rewarded.
These are all easier said than done. Saying it here, I’m also talking to myself because I’m 100% sure I would have achieved so much more if I had religiously kept to these rules. Good thing is, it is never too late to resolve to keep trying harder every day.
- Any other thing you would like to say?
Come and follow us buy ticket jor! All this our plenty talk is so you know we are here to serve you and to make you understand you are better off with us! God bless you.
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