Luno is a cryptocurrency company founded in 2013 and headquartered in London. The company has since set up shop in cities across five other countries including Nigeria. This week, we talk to Owen Odia, Luno’s country manager for Nigeria to learn how she works.
Current role: Luno Country Manager for Nigeria
Location(s): Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire
Current computer: MacBook Air
Current mobile device: iPhone 11 Max
Describe how you work in one word: Passionate
Tell us briefly how you started out and how you got where you are today
I have always been passionate about information technology. In all honesty, I thought it was pretty cool for a woman to be in the tech space, so I decided to study computer engineering.
I joined Zenith Bank, started out as a relationship manager (what’s also known as a marketer) but that wasn’t what I really wanted to do. So, after a year, I left the bank and decided to focus on obtaining a Masters degree in Mobile Computing. Once completed, I rejoined Zenith Bank as a mobile payment lead.
After a few years, blockchain technology caught my attention. Luno, of course, made it easy for me to be part of this new technology, so I expressed my desire to work with the team and it has been great. I started the Nigerian office and I look forward to expanding across Africa.
Walk us through a typical workday
My typical workday is rather interesting as there’s always a lot to do. The first thing I focus on is checking the price of bitcoin (BTC) to see how the market is doing. We then confirm that connectivity is up and running as Nigerian customers are always buying BTC. I then liaise with our partner banks and payment providers to ensure their services are available, then follow up with the team on any outstanding projects and develop or implement plans to reach our targets.
I will usually attend scheduled meetings or Luno conferences. This usually includes checking the Luno community to ensure customers are happy and if they aren’t, escalating their queries to responsible parties to resolve any outstanding issues.
What apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you do without?
Gadgets: My mobile phone. It’s like my mini-office since a lot of my work is done online.
Tools: Google Suite
What’s your favourite shortcut or hack?
Command + Z (shortcut to undo the previous command on Mac). I sometimes wish it could be applied to our daily lives.
What task(s) do you dislike but still do?
If flying can be regarded as a task, then I’m still hoping someone will come up with a better way of travelling without having to fly. Teleportation or Hyperloop perhaps? I also dislike putting together presentations.
How do you recharge or take a break?
I love good food, so when I need to recharge, I treat myself to a really good meal and that does the trick for me. I also watch TV shows and movies when I need to take a break.
Besides work, what do you spend time doing? What do you enjoy?
I love spending time with my family and friends. I also binge watch TV shows — I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan.
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to? What do you recommend?
I’m currently watching Succession on HBO.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.
What’s a problem you’re still trying to solve?
The poverty rate in Nigeria has led to an increase in the number of mothers who are unable to care for their loved ones or themselves in a medical emergency. This is something I am passionate about and I aim to improve their odds.
I write about media, technology and internet culture. Reach me on Twitter @okikesam