15 mins

S002: Story of Nigerian Banker Turned Hair Stylist – with Bruno Oaikhinan 2

August 06, 2016
Bruno Oaikhinan Banker turned hair stylist - swiych podcast

S002: Story of Nigerian Banker Turned Hair Stylist – with Bruno Oaikhinan 2

This is the concluding part of the story of Bruno Oaikhinan; the Nigerian Banker turned Hair Stylist. Bruno Oaikhinan was the Head, Internal Communication, Skye Bank before he resigned to start his own salon brand, Bruno’s Place.

In this episode, you will learn about the following:

  •  raised about 8 million naira to start his business,
  • grew his business by focusing on “employees’ welfare and development”,
  • got his space for his business in Ikeja Mall against all odds,
  • plans to build a business empire from this, and how he
  • fared in our game segment.

The Stigma in the beginning

Many “educated” minds in Nigeria do not consider running a salon as a lucrative business worthy of their status. More often than not, it is regarded as a business meant for dropouts. In light of this, no one saw it coming when the head of a department in a reputable bank announced his decision to quit, starting a salon business.

Banker turned Hair Stylist

Barely 3 years after that audacious move, Bruno Oaikhinan is now celebrated as the Banker turned Hair Stylist revolutionizing the way many see the hair styling industry.  He is the Chief Inspiration Officer (CIO) of Bruno’s Place, a brand much more than just a salon.

Currently, his Startup is located in two big malls in Nigeria. In addition, many local and international TV Channels (notably Channels and BBC), Newspapers, and popular Blogs have interviewed him.

Bruno's Place
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A growing business

Bruno’s Place is fast growing into Nigeria’s most innovative and people oriented hair styling brand. This would not have been possible had Bruno Oaikhinan not risk it all. Leaving a well-paying job to start a business you have never done before is not an easy decision to make. It is a risk many people are afraid to take. “What if I Fail?” But have you ever considered what if you don’t?

The lessons

There are lessons from this story cuts across all aspects of life. While there are specific lessons, we want you to learn, there are other underlying principles. These principles can help you take risky decisions and become a success where others have failed.

About our Guest

Bruno Oaikhinan is the Chief Inspiration Officer of Bruno’s Place, a business much more than just a unisex salon. He is a certified Brand Strategist from the Orange Academy. He was formerly the Head of Communications at Skye Bank before resigning to start his own business 3 years ago. Bruno’s place has two branches in two large malls in Nigeria (Abuja and Lagos), and employs about 55 staffs.

  • One main takeaway for me, is the importance of treating employees very well. If organisations learn to see their employees as customers to be treated well, then external customers of such organisations would be treated as royalty by employees

    • Perfecto! Excellento! Even as the host, I listened with awe and rapt attention, when he got to that part. You see, for some reasons (misplaced societal values I believe), we find it hard to apply that principle. Growing up, it was not strange to see employers ( especially in the vocational world) treat employees with some level of disdain. The belief here is that you have to constantly remind them that you are the boss. None of those business (that I know) exist today. The reason is very obvious now.


    Wow! so motivating, chief Inspiration Officer (that is touching) , you know I just finished an online course with Africa Management Initiative on motivating your team, and believe me Bruno is the practical aspect of it. There are a lot of differences between getting motivated intrinsically and extrinsically. When your team get motivated by you (Manager, CEO, CIO), when they are carried along, when they feel valued, believe me they are going to deliver big time. Invest in yourself? That’s another bomb. All I have learnt in my entrepreneurial journey, management courses. Bruno just summarised the whole thing in just 15minutes audio. So inspiring. Thank you se7en. You are the man.

    • Whoa (I just realised I spell my wow differently lol) You see, Irisha, I believe Mr Bruno will build an empire for understanding these basic yet unpopular principles. Calling himself CIO did two things for him: 1, it made him stand out from the rest; and 2, it subconsciously made him an authority in employee’s motivation. Psychology Psychology Psychology. Investing in one’s self is magical… Even as a host, I learned, in one sitting, what 5 people could not explain to me in 13 classes.

      • IRISHA Events n Poultry

        Exactly @Samuel what a great lesson

  • Omoloro Fasuyi

    “Your employees are your first customers”, that is more than enough for a take home point. I love how he constantly reiterates the importance of treating your employees well. A lot of business fail because they fail to understand this. People believe once you have a good product and brand, you are good to go.A lot of Nigerian organisations do not pay attention to the high rates of staff turnover they have because they believe it is ‘soldier come, soldier go’, they believe they have a lot of options to choose from because of the high unemployment rates. But it is not true. I have seen people be “rudely polite’, i have seen way too many people who just go to work grudgingly because thy cannot be bothered anymore. I have also personally experienced the role of a simple please and thank you from your employer in motivating me to work. I am really glad they have this corporate culture at Bruno’s place and i hope more Employers learn from this.

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