The Entrepreneur: Dumi Oburota, Disturbing London
Entertainment mogul Oburota discusses setting up his independent label with cousin Tinie Tempah, bureaucracy, and ignoring the words 'no' and 'can't'...
Company name: Disturbing London Holdings LTD
Co-founder: Dumi Oburota
Description in one line: Millennial entertainment/management/ fashion/ lifestyle company
12 month target: Growth and globalisation
Describe your business model and what makes your business unique:
- Young and progressive grass rooted perspective on culture and business
- An amalgamation of music, fashion, branding and publishing – one company, one voice
- The only company of its kind in Europe
What is your greatest business achievement to date?
My greatest business achievement today is the management arm of the business – representing two of the UK’s largest pop stars, Jessie J and Tinie Tempah, who both performed at the London Olympic closing ceremony.
What numbers do you look at every day in your business?
The dates in the calendar! I am about the financial numbers but time is the most important thing to me. If you prepare well, have a great idea and execute, the financial numbers will come.
To what extent does your business trade internationally and what are your plans?
Our management and label trade internationally as we do loads of activity abroad with our acts.Our plans are to grow the brand internationally on many levels and broaden the territories we operate in via events, products and social media.
Describe your growth funding path:
I started this journey as an artist manager first and foremost managing Tinie Tempah. I was a student at the time and would treat any spare cash from student loans and part time work as an investment in dreams.
When Tinie was paid small fees for shows, I would turn my earnings into T-shirts, physical CD’s etc. The return from products I sold would then be reinvested. As I continued my journey I began to build platforms around me that would benefit my aspiration as an entertainment mogul. I established companies around things I loved and was passionate about.
What technology has made the biggest difference to your business?
Social media and the internet.
Where would you like your business to be in three years?
I aim to recruit more great minded individuals with a passion for this new age. I would like to continue to represent some of the major talents in the world and to expand my office to LA.
In three years time, I would like Disturbing London to be one of the industry leaders in bespoke, innovative intellectual property management.
What is the hardest thing you have ever done in business?
Keeping focused when the times were hard. The broke days with a dream…
What was your biggest business mistake?
I don’t have one!
Piece of Red Tape that hampers growth most:
Bureaucracy, old rules and old stereotypes.
What is the most common serious mistake you see entrepreneurs make?
Objectives become blurred and they forget why they are doing it [running a business]. This is a recipe of disaster and a breeding ground for indecisiveness.
How will your market look in three years?
The market will be much more digitally driven by digital to consumer (D2C) products.
What is the single most important piece of advice you would offer to a less experienced entrepreneur?
Keep your objectives clear, don’t listen to the words ‘no’ or ‘can’t’ and work your ass off!
Executive education or learn it on the job?
Both learning on the job and education are equally important. I personally learnt on the job. However, I should add, when things are changing rapidly, it is important to constantly stay educated, keep learning and challenge yourself; you must go that extra mile. Staying current and always looking ahead…that’s what makes the difference.
What would make you a better leader?