Ola Orekunrin Brown was studying to become a doctor in the UK a couple of years ago when her younger sister fell seriously ill while traveling in Nigeria. The 12-year-old girl, who had been living with Sickle Cell Anemia, had visited the country on holiday with relatives. During the visit, she needed urgent care but the nearest hospital couldn’t deal with her condition. They looked for an air ambulance service that could quickly transport her ailing sister to a suitable hospital, but found none. Due to inability to get her to a hospital on time, she died.
Ola was devastated. But ultimately, this tragedy inspired her to forfeit a promising medical career in the UK, so she could create an innovative service in Nigeria that would help save lives.
Dr. Ola is an entrepreneur, medical doctor, trainee pilot, and founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, West Africa’s first indigenous air ambulance service. The venture combines her desire for improved healthcare in Africa and her passion for flying.
On episode 13 of Binging with GameChangers, Dr. Ola talks about her career trajectory and here are lessons we took home:
- “NO” is never an option!
Have the mindset that there is always something you can do about a situation and that you can get in control of any situation.
- Passion is different from Profit:
You have to understand the difference between a passion and a business, its one thing to have a passion for something, it’s another thing to turn it into a profitable business. So you must be willing to learn.
- Embracing your personality is key
Pushing people to be what they are not doesn’t necessarily bring out the best in them. Not everyone will be the same and its okay. So understand peoples personality and try to work with it.
Flying Doctors Nigeria is now a multi-million dollar entity that has been in operation for over ten years and now has a staff strength of over 50 people. She’s an author and also an international speaker who has been featured at the TED Global Conference, European Union, Swiss Economic Forum, UN, the World Bank and many other institutions.
The show is currently airing online as well as on Africa Magic Family, NTA Network, STV, LTV, MYtv and NTA2. You can visit @thebwgshow on all social media for more details.