The world has changed since COVID-19 was first discovered and this has dramatically changed the way people work and communicate. One of the major things that occurred in the aftermaths of the lockdown imposed by many governments around the globe was the adoption of tools that aided remote working. One of such tools is Zoom, a relatively unpopular tool pre-covid-19 but since its wide adoption, it has catapulted the company’s CEO, Eric Yaun, into the exclusive list of 100 of the world’s richest. His shares in Zoom are now worth a whopping $17 billion.
One company had adopted remote working before COVID-19 happened. That company is Rita and Nathan, a Nigeria-based company that makes colourful sneakers and slides with local fabrics like Ankara. The company was founded by Tracy Atobatele, an FAA-licensed US-based commercial pilot and entrepreneur initially as a clothing company, but it later changed strategy and focussed exclusively on making sneakers and slides.
Rita and Nathan’s shoes-making arm was created in 2016 while Tracy was training as a pilot in the US. The company has been largely run remotely with interactions between the CEO and her staff done via video calls and messaging apps like WhatsApp.
Tracy according to her has never met in person her operations team since 2017 due to the distance between the operational base and where she resides in the US, yet the business has been managed successfully.
When asked about how she can manage her time as a pilot and entrepreneur she said her typical day is like being “up at 3-4am and working on my business till 7am. If I have to fly at 8am, I go fly to come and go back home and check in with my R&N team to be sure everything is running smoothly. Then I usually start posting on social media and attending to customers and then working on my other side businesses, using the gym, eating, and sleeping.
Rita and Nathan have seen their client base increase over the years with the company selling to customers in diverse locations like India, Finland, Bahamas, Papua New Guinea, United Kingdom, and the US. In short, the company has shipped in almost all directions of the world.
Since its inception, the company has always given back to society by adopting a strategy of giving back to society 5% of their revenue, a similar strategy used by the popular shoemaker, Toms. Rita and Nathan distributes a part of its revenue with the less privileged in Nigeria as its CEO is deliberate in giving back to the community she grew up in.
She advises budding entrepreneurs to:
A. take each day as it comes.
B. start small.
C. pray and be thankful and grateful for the big things as well as the little things.
D. the customer is king so always put your best foot forward and treat them like you would want to be treated as a customer.
Rita and Nathan can be found on Instagram here @ritaandnathan