By Maduka Nweke
Dr Mrs Jayne Obioma Onwumere is the Group Managing Director of Property World Africa Network (PWAN Group).
Recently, the Queen of real estate network celebrated her birthday with pomps and pageantry.
Nine years ago, she wrote her name in gold as the Amazon to whom the pride of being the visionary of real estate network business model belongs to. Dr Jayne Onwumere, third in the family of seven children, was born in Utuh, Nnewi- South LGA of Anambra State. Having come from a family of academics with both parents teachers, Dr Jayne had her secondary school education in Federal Government College, Gboko. Attended University of Ilorin, Kwara State where she studied History. She is also an alumnus of Lagos Business School and is presently in the Owner President Management Programme at the prestigious Harvard Business School, Boston Massachusetts, USA.
With a father being the first graduate and school principal from Utuh and mother who is from Nsukwa, Aniocha in Delta State, being the first female teacher in Nsukwa, Dr. Jayne learned how to be independent in all she does hence, when she entered into real estate, the enthusiasm with which she carried every aspect of the job, earned her the queen of the real estate. In this interview, she fielded questions on why women are few in the real estate sector and other national issues relating to real estate. Excerpts:
Queen of real estate status
Sometime in 2009 and 2012, Dr. Jayne and her husband, Dr Augustine Ozioma Onwumere, had lived in 13 places, squatting with relations and acquaintances. It was out of that personal need to have a place they can call their home, that the then distressed couple stumbled into the first network marketing business model that the world has ever employed to market real estate products.
Together, they birthed the now sprawling PWAN Homes, with the vision to make ownership dream a reality for all. Thus from destitution, Dr Jayne and Dr Augustine now sits at the pinnacle of the management board of PWAN Group, which boasts of over 21 affiliate companies, as GMD and Chairman of the group respectively.
Firmly established following the template that was midwived by Dr Jayne and Dr Augustine,who is better referred to as the actualiser, PWAN Group is reputed as the clear industry leader in Nigeria’s burgeoning real estate sector. Within nine years of operation, the firm has established about 250 exclusive residential estate in Nigeria alone. It is also known as the single corporate entity with the largest land bank spread over the South West, South East and South Southern Nigeria.
How she will be remembered
As she marks another mile stone of her life, Dr Jayne will be remembered as a rare gem and gift to the business world. Particularly to all practitioners in the property’s sector; who have copied her model and benefitted immensely from it despite the competitiveness in the sector. Her passion to impart knowledge and help other people live better lives has been a pillar of support to everyone who have come across the Onwumeres. Her husband, Dr Augustine, once said: “My wife and I are no long in business just for what we can eat, the cars we want to drive or desire for any personal luxury. Our utmost goal is help people achieve their of home ownership dream, with ease; and to raise others to live a better.”
Growing up under a father who was a Principal, strict disciplinarian, and a believer in the girl-child education, Dr Jayne was taught how to read from an early age. Hence, she developed a passion for reading literature books, like William Shakespeare books. She was also exposed to thousands of books, as a teenager in secondary school. And growing into adulthood, she began to, consciously, invest in self-help and motivational books. All of which have helped in shaping her life, providing answers to business challenges and even helping her overcome stress.
Challenges in a male dominated business world
Coming into business was never a rosy affair at inception, for Dr Jayne. she had actually had to pass through the crucible of a humble beginning. She explained: “The journey has been quite a rewarding experience as well as a very challenging one.”
As a woman in a male-dominated sector, she has had to prove her worth and carved a niche for herself, which has earned her respect in the business world, especially, from her Team Managers, as the GMD of the group.
An epitome of an accomplished woman in business, Dr Jayne regardless of her gender, has excelled in some aspects of real estate activities otherwise perceived as men’s affairs. For instance in the beginning of the business, she has had to personally visit sites for land inspection in the company of men.
How do you equip yourself in the job:
She always remained resilient, tough, dogged, and true to her passion and vision to keep her goals running. Besides, she has had to constantly develop herself, gaining knowledge from international schools, conferences, and seminars in a bid to stay relevant, over the past years,
Some of the trainings she attended include the Owner Manager Program (OMP 20) of Lagos Business School in 2015, she is also a participant in the Owner President Management Program of Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA and she has participated in the Go Pro Recruiting Mastery Program in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA along with over 20 people from her Team in 2017. Go Pro hosted by Eric Worre and his Team is the largest gathering of Network Marketers worldwide.
Secret of success:
The secret of Dr Jayne and her husband’s business success emanates from the grace of God upon the couple’s lives. She explained that they made it a point of duty to give their business (PWAN Group) as a covenant to God. As devoted Christians the Onwumeres always make the Bible their standard of life. She takes reading the Bible with all seriousness. Invariable when she lost a close person in 2003, she has found the Bible to be her succor in time of need and happiness.
Besides business, Dr Jayne has infectious passion for teaching, writing and Impacting lives, which she does regularly today. She is an unrepentant giver and helper of people in need. An avid reader, she has also a blessing to lots of people through written words; mentoring younger people, empowering women and seeing them grow and achieve their goals.
Advice to people venturing into business:
Dr Jayne’s advice to anyone who desires to achieve excellence in any endeavour is; “Always be ready to go the extra mile. Work hard and do what other people aren’t doing and be a people person and very accommodating”.