Africa Business Communities

[Interview] Biodun Kolade, founder, Colad Gray Consulting, Nigeria

Biodun Kolade is the Founder of Colad Gray Consulting, an HR Tech service firm bringing a variety of human resources solutions to companies all over Nigeria.


Could you tell us about your company?


Founded on the disruptive idea that every business should have access to efficient, professional and affordable HR services, Colad Gray launched in 2019. Our mission is to optimise human capital for businesses. We desire to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and startups across Africa with bespoke and strategic HR solutions designed to support businesses to scale sustainably.

Currently we offer a range of subscription and non-subscription HR services ranging from recruitment, performance management, organisational strategy development, payroll management, employee engagement and lots more. Our subscription services go from as low as 30,000naira a month to 200,000 naira, depending on your business needs.


What industries benefit from your service?


We work with a wide variety of industries as every business needs HR. Perhaps the only industry we don’t cater to will be the HR industry itself, but even other HR companies can leverage some of our software, like our recently launched payroll solution - Oleefee. Our current clientele covers sectors like healthcare, education, tech, agribusiness, Fintech, FMCG, Marketing and PR.


What is Colad Gray’s growth strategy for Q3 2022?


This year we plan to expand to all geo-political zones of the country and solidify some of our international presence. At the moment we have business hubs in Abuja covering the North-central region; we have in Port Harcourt for the South-South and our Lagos and Ibadan hubs covering the South West. We currently service businesses from anywhere within the country, and we are targeting some other African countries.

Colad Gray intends to empower 1000 startups and small businesses from the formal and informal sectors, so we have launched our Freemium HR service to grant 1-month of free access to registered clients. This will ensure businesses hire, manage and optimise their HR for sustainable growth.

We are in process of signing some strategic partnerships with other startups globally to provide employees onboarded on our payroll software with other services such as savings, investments, home financing, tuition and utility bills.

We currently manage employees in other countries in Africa on behalf of our clients.


What are the long term ambitions you’re aiming for as an HR organisation?


Our vision is to deliver quality, efficient and bespoke HR technology solutions to businesses across Africa. In the long term, we want to provide HR services and develop tech solutions that support the ease of implementation of this service. We have already kicked off with our payroll solution and will be building other HR tech solutions based on market demands.

In terms of geographical expansions, we already have some footprints in a few African countries like Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya (as we are currently managing clients with international offices).

In line with our roadmap, we will reinforce this reach and extend it to other locations in, East Africa and Southern Africa within the next 12 months.


What government policies can be implemented for companies such as yours to thrive in Nigeria?


One comes to mind that I consider most important. The review of the Nigerian Labour Law to address current realities of labour practices in Nigeria and globally.


How can startups in Nigeria directly benefit from your services?

Most times as a business owner one tends to focus only on the numbers - revenue, profits, loss, and costs. While these are good metrics, they cannot portray the overall health of a business or even position the business for sustainability. People drive these numbers, and there is a strategy for people management that most founders ignore. They sometimes double up as CEOs and HR managers, and more often than not, it is counterproductive.

Colad Gray allows business owners to focus on growing their business while we partner with them to ensure they get the right people and get the best out of their workforce. We guarantee we build the right culture suited for a business, aligned to its goals and keeping the people at their best.

HR, like every industry, has its rules and peculiarities, and it is too delicate a part of your business to leave to chance.


Which 3 African countries will perform best in business in 2022?


I’ll go with Egypt, Mauritius and Rwanda, in no particular order.

With a population of approximately 95 million, Egypt is one of the wealthiest countries in Africa and has a stable economy with an average growth rate of 3% - 5% in the last quarter century. Since 2000, the pace of structural reforms including fiscal, monetary policies, taxation, privatization and new business legislations have propelled Egypt toward a more market-oriented economy and prompted increased foreign investment.


Mauritius’ economy is a mixed developing economy based on agriculture, exports, financial services and tourism. It was placed 13th in the latest World Bank ease of doing business rankings; this country has solved most issues any investor would face, making it one of the top 10 African countries to start a business in 2022.


Since 2000, Rwanda’s economy has grown at an average of 6% year over year. With a 76.5 rating, the Sub-Saharan African country ranks 38th on the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings. Rwanda is ranked number two in the world for ease of property registration, second only to New Zealand. In recent years, this East-African nation has implemented the most business reforms in Africa. The country has put in place electronic systems that have helped replace its stifling bureaucracies. Now taxpayers can issue value-added tax invoices using free software.


How will Africa develop as a knowledge economy in 2022, and how can companies contribute?


To our mind, the knowledge economy is very critical to growth and prosperity in Africa and as such, we believe that the various governments should support via policies, and invest heavily in companies and organisations that focus on ICT, Education, Economic Incentives and Innovation.

We can already see the impact of what young Africans are doing with startups across the continent; what’s needed is for the authorities to provide the enabling environment for them to thrive.


Any news or information from your organisation you’d like to share?


We recently developed our payroll system as a response to the market needs of our clients. Oleefee is a unique payroll solution setting the pace with automated tax and pension calculation deductions and remittances.

Oleefee has processed over N100m before our official launch and is already doing features like salary advance for employees onboarded on the payroll.

If you are in the market for a seamless payment solution, you definitely should check out Oleefee, you get one whole month free registration, and you never have to do manual calculations again.



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