1. Why did you start a business in the co-sec field?
Corporate governance is the field where I am most qualified and experienced, and I wanted to share the experience with businesses that might benefit from guidance on ethical leadership and corporate governance. It has also been a dream of mine to own a business and in many ways, this is my dream come true.
2. Which services do you offer?
Having been a company secretary, director, and chairperson, I experienced corporate governance from different perspectives. These positions overlap in many ways. In putting together the services for Okina, I wanted to be a one-stop shop for businesses that offers many related services.
Board portal software (online service)
This is an amazing tool that can change the lives of company secretaries, administrators, and directors. When I was sketching out the services, this was at the top of my list. I approached the providers in London and after sealing the deal in New York, I knew that this was the best product that I could bring to my clients, anywhere in the world. Having worked with it myself and introducing the directors and management to board portal software, I witnessed how much value it added when it came to saving time, and improving efficiency and accessibility. For directors who travel internationally, having access to the system makes their lives really easy. They can work online or offline and they have everything they need at the touch of a button.
We offer free demonstrations online to introduce clients to the software.
Board administration (online meetings and communication)
This is a crucial service as it addresses company secretarial and corporate governance advisory services, including the following:
Company secretarial services
• Appointing a company secretary
• Setting up boards and committees (board charters, terms of reference, checklists, and work plans)
• Planning annual board cycles (agendas and information coordination)
• Compiling board packs
• Managing meetings (meeting attendance, minutes, and matters arising)
• Compiling director induction packs
• Corporate governance framework
• Board evaluations
• King IV assessments
• Board governance advice and guidance
Board training services (online via Zoom)
This is an important aspect of the service because education is the key to success. Generally, people will steer clear of something that they do not know, simply because they do not want to ask. However, when you are in a situation where information is relayed in a safe space, you may get all the answers you need without having to raise your hand. I offer three important courses:
• Director induction
Every new director, whether experienced or not, needs an induction into the new role and the organisation. In the past where I have inducted directors, existing directors saw value in what I was doing with the new appointments and asked to be included. I welcomed it. The more directors understand about the business, the governance systems, and processes, the reasons for them and how to use them effectively as directors (to their advantage), the more effectively and efficiently the board will operate.
• Director fiduciary duties
I decided to develop this course because every director needs a refresher course on what their duties are. In general, directors work for years without having regular updates on the topic as a refresher and I wanted to make this readily available.
• Corporate governance for leaders
This course is important because as much as we talk about the overarching structure that governs us in business, we need to dive into ethical leadership and look at the theory and the practical aspects of implementation. This course can also be modified to fit middle and senior management to educate them about being ethical leaders in their existing roles, and build a strong management team in future.
3. How do you plan to grow with Okina going forward and what do you want to achieve?
For the first few years of business, most companies are focused on survival and that is where my business is currently. However, prioritising the growth of my company is one of the best ways to increase the chances of it not only lasting, but also contributing to my economic well-being and having a stable financial future. My focus is on retaining existing clients, attracting new clients, providing an excellent client experience, controlling costs, marketing consistently, and maximising social media.
Keep your eyes open for the second part of the interview