In an exclusive interview with Abubakar Sanusi, granted Bayo Speaks as a face of the week. he revealed his background, lifestyle, career and achievements.
Abubakar Sanusi is the CEO of Jopiter, Inc. A software engineer and more of a radical-minded tech enthusiast.
May we get to meet you; who is Abubakar Sanusi?
Well, I’m an entrepreneur, still at my early stage, but among other things, I’m also a software engineer and more of a radical-minded tech enthusiast, and I’m the sole founder of Jopiter, Inc.
Can you please tell us about your background?
I was born in Germany on Nov 11 1993, left Germany when I was eight years old to Saudi Arabia with my parents and siblings. It was there I spent almost half of my life. So technically, I’m a hybrid of various nationalities, but still a Nigerian by blood.
Briefly tell us about your educational background.
I came to Nigeria for the first time in 2007 and I attended Primary 5 and 6 at an Islamic school sponsored by Saudi Arabia.It’s called Islamic Center, at Anophia, Afikpo, Ebonyi State. Then I left for another school in Osun State, which was Ibikunle Lawal College at Ile-Ife. And there, I attended my JSS 1 to 3 before I left for Saudi Arabia where I finally completed my SS 1 to 3 and my university degree.
Also, I am a bachelor student of Computer Science, a graduate of Umm-Al Qura University, Makkah Saudi Arabia.
What do you do for a living?
So currently, I’m a full-time employee of my own established startup, Jopiter, Inc. I do work as a digital marketing consultant for other SMEs and startups too. Digital Marketing was something I learned pretty fast since my days at senior high school. Among other hobbies are graphic design, concept writing, and also content creation.
What dream did you have while growing up?
Honestly, I’ve always wanted to be an Architecture engineer because I was a natural-born artist in terms of drawing. Be it buildings, animals, human beings, or cars. But I was much more focused on drawing buildings and landscapes. Then seeing the tall skyscrapers, especially in Saudi Arabia always made me build something like that.
But I guess the Lord Almighty had a different plan for me, so I didn’t make the cut-off mark as a student of Engineering (Architecture, Civil, Mechanical, or Electrical Engineering) while applying for university pre-intermediate year so Computer Science was my most favorite option.
Briefly tell us what led you into fashion.
It all started with the COVID-19 pandemic when we had to study from home. So, I and a team of my colleagues at the university were given research to do. This research was an AI study to find out what people were spending more money on during the pandemic, just within Saudi Arabia.
We found out that over 65% were busy purchasing fashionable materials, and ordering online, instead of electronics like laptops or iPads for remote studying and remote working. So later on, it went up from 65% to 78% and it was fascinating for me, because I never had any interest in fashion right from time. But because of that, I decided to join the fashion industry but from a different perspective.
What defines you as a Fashionista?
To be honest, I’m not a fashionista. I’m just a tech guy exploiting technology to navigate my way into the fashion industry. Especially in Nigeria where digital fashion is not a dominant niche, I took the advantage to accelerate through the fashion industry using the latest technology equipment which also includes the Web 0.3 technology.
Can you briefly tell us about your brand Jupiter Studios?
So Jopiter Studios is actually a subsidiary division of Jopiter, Inc. It’s the first African digital fashion and apparel brand, and I say first with full chest because we date back to 2019.
Jopiter Studios is a creator-led brand that uses the latest in digital illustration, NFT, blockchain authentication, metaverse characters (Avatars), and augmented reality, combined with manufacturing expertise to create fashion and apparel from virtual to physical.
What’s the hardest part of keeping your clients focused on a particular design?
Well, we’re working on creating a fashion virtual store platform that will get people to shop and experience shopping, selling, and designing fashionable wear virtually.
For now, we just have to create all kinds of digital fashion content that will simply blow people’s minds. That will cause more curiosity, and from there, people will be so eager to know what our next move is.
That’s why currently, all we do is create different 3D animations, illustrations, AR/VR modeling, and designs that we push across our social media platforms. And perhaps it’s also time we attend seminars, tech events, and more to showcase what we’re capable of.
What qualities do you believe make up an effective fashion brand?
I can think of three,
– Be highly competitive, by focusing on everything and anything that will put you above any other brand.
– See what other fashion brands are doing, and try something much more different.
– Being the first to tap into something no other brand has ever thought of, with these three qualities, a brand will have what it takes to grow as a dominant fashion brand.
What do you do in your spare time?
Well, mostly I try to explore different places, just go out, and visit places I’ve never been to before. Then apart from that, brainstorm while I meditate, cause that’s when the big ideas keep coming into my head.
Can you please tell us about the people you admire?
Honestly, people I try to look up to within my line of profession, and that’s tech executives like Oracle’s Larry Ellison or Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. I learn a lot from those tech magnates.
How do you separate your feelings and emotions from difficult decisions?
In business, one needs to understand that everything apart from constant progress is a liability. So sometimes emotions can be compromising, and compromising in business can lead to catastrophe. The only most important thing is to make tough choices and execute them, and one thing every business leader should always remember is choices are made for the benefit of the business, nothing more.
Define yourself in one word.
Lol! Well, it’s obvious. I’m a Tech Villain.
In what ways are people from your industry making a difference in the world?
By finding solutions to some dire situations across industries. This is why cutting-edge technology is the key to solving any problem we’ve been facing for decades.
With the advancement of the 4th revolution, (The 4th industrial revolution) we’ve come across so many solutions that will solve not just current challenges but future challenges to come.
What are some of your achievements?
Well, I have helped businesses solve problems that have been causing them minor and major setbacks in terms of functionality.
I’m the first tech startup founder of my university set, including my set from both junior and senior high school.
And one of Africa’s first tech entrepreneurs to merge technology and fashion from physical to digital.
Where do you hope to be in the next four years?
In four years, I’ll be a mentor to a vast majority of young techpreneurs. And I’ll also push much wilder boundaries within the tech and fashion industry in Nigeria to begin with.
How can our readers connect with you?
That will be through our upcoming virtual store platform “Jopiter Stores.” And to share general info on what JopiterStores is; Jopiter Stores is an experiential e-commerce digital fashion platform, it’s a 3D Virtual and AR environment that realistically replicates an actual store that is shoppable and enables online customers to shop, and experience in real-life shopping.
It also enables brands, vendors, and retailers to set up 3D clothing, buy and sell NFT collectibles, and showcase 2D rendered apparel collections.
I’m grateful and appreciated