Kayode Ogunro
Kayode Ogunro
Home Region

Ghana, Nigeria

Undergrad Education

Harvard College, 2005

Previous Experience

Weston Presidio Capital, RREEF (Deutsche Bank)

HBS Activities

Co-president of the Africa Business Club, Joint Committee on Diversity; AASU; VC & PE Club

“It's like a basic training that helps you find the blind spots.”

"The chapter that struck me was on VCPE in emerging markets," says Kayode. "I realized that this was the way to bridge the gap between small-scale angel investing and large-scale equity markets." Kayode, whose parents are from Ghana and Nigeria, had long been interested in the power of private enterprise to bring positive change to Africa. "VCPE seemed like a pretty efficient way to finance growth," says Kayode. An e-mail exchange with Professor Lerner evolved into a guided thesis project on foreign direct investment and private equity in emerging markets, particularly Africa.

Getting an insider's point of view

After college, Kayode explored investment strategies from multiple angles, first with two years at Weston Presidio Capital, then with Deutsche Bank's private equity arm, RREEF. This summer Kayode will be interning in London with Actis Capital, a UK-based emerging markets private equity firm.

"I studied liberal arts at Harvard," Kayode explains, "and I was looking for a way to fill in my professional skills." His love of his alma mater, plus the encouragement of mentors, directed Kayode to HBS.

"The first year here is all about one question: What does it mean to be a manager or leader?" Kayode reflects. "It's like a basic training that helps you find the blind spots. I came in as a number-cruncher and needed to look more toward leadership. The Required Curriculum opens up perspectives from marketing, from operations, from entrepreneurship. It provides an overall competence in all management aspects that really makes sense."

"At Weston Presidio," Kayode says, "I had seen a lot of companies in similar situations. But now I can see them within a more analytical framework, an understanding of why some processes are more effective than others. Before, I had an outsider's view; now, I have deeper insight into key business issues."

International involvement

In his winter and spring breaks, Kayode participated in the China and India IXPs respectively. "I got to see two very different models of development," says Kayode. "China is government-led and better organized. But India has greater private sector involvement and is letting go of bureaucracy."

Both models, Kayode believes, can offer insights for Africa. "I want to get involved in African emerging markets and private equity," he says. "Eventually, I'd like to direct policy, and perhaps take a more social enterprise approach to aid and education."