Call him the dream master, call him the innovator, whichever way you want to describe Derrydean Dadzie, one thing is for sure, he makes the impossible possible.
Derrydean Dadzie of DreamOval; The dream master
" What this means is that we can make whatever our clients want come to pass. It doesn't matter the solutions they want, with the power of software we will make it come to pass."
The CEO of the Software Company of the year 2015, DreamOval, believes that we can achieve whatever we put our minds to. And for him, the mantra has been made more possible by the revolution of software and technology of this era.
Derrydean Dadzie, Chief Doer, DreamOval
No wonder he and his co-founders have built a viable company on the value of making the imaginations and dreams of their clients possible.
About seven years ago, young Derrydean Dadzie and his three other partners had a dream of turning their final school projects into a business. Freshly out of school in 2006 with a degree in computer science from Ashesi University, the four gentlemen were determined to build a success story for a change, at a time in Ghana, where unemployment was high and starting business was equally impossible given the business climate.
Derry and Co founders of DreamOval in 2008
The very problems young entrepreneurs are confronted with today were equally rife then, only more difficult, because Derrrydean and his friends were launching into a relatively new space for the Ghanaian business community- Software.
"It was difficult when we started, of course. Businesses were now catching up to the potentials of software and what it can do for them. Again, we were five young graduates who didn't have money, who didn't have enough experience. All we had was time, because we were young, and the believe in the dream we had. We were willing to do whatever it will take to succeed" says Derry.
Today, due to the success of pacesetters like Rancard, Softtribe, and DreamOval themselves, it is relatively easier to start what Derry and his friends wanted to do at the time.
DreamOval began with a suite of products including Outreach, i-Wallet, and Global Virtual Stock Exchange (GVSX). These were the individual final projects of the partners in their final year in school.
Outreach was a communications solution that enables enterprises to utilize SMS and Email for business-critical communication and relationship management. Customers include Ghana Home Loans, Ashesi University College and CAL Brokers. It is the new and improved Mytxt Buddy.
i-Wallet was an online payment solution that allowed customers to make purchases electronically. i-Wallet is now the new and improved electronic payment platform SlydePay. GVSX was an online portfolio management application that lets investment companies allow their clients to manage investment accounts online.
Founders of DreamOval at work in 2007.
Their success has been a dream come true, a living testimony of their mantra of making dreams come true.
In telling the DreamOval story, I ask a simple question: How many times do we see young people turn their school projects into a viable business like they have been able to do with DreamOval?
" Our success as a start up is based on a unique sense of can do, and the strong resolve to be unrelenting, and extremely consistent."
He concedes that starting a business in Ghana is not the easiest thing to do in the world, but it is worth it, he says.
" It is difficult to be an entrepreneur in Ghana, granted. I mean there's the constraint of capital. And for a software company, there's a lack of confidence in local software companies that we can deliver the solutions that the client needs. Typically a Ghanaian business would much rather go for a foreign software company. And that's a big challenge in the software space in Ghana."
DerryDean tells an interesting story of how they went months without money, when their friends were living comfortable lives working for one company or the other.
" The natural inclination for smart graduates as were when we started, was to get a job, and trust me, we would have been fine. But we wanted to achieve more than that. But that meant a lot of sacrifice. Not going without cash for quiet sometime, and anything we got, we put back in the business".
"Our parents were very supportive. But there was an extent what we could ask them for. Because here we were, graduates, our parents had spent a fortune on our education, we were not going to burden them further. But was not a problem for us at all".
He also tells the story of how they made a deliberate decision to chase their dream at an young age when they had nothing to lose.
Today, the balance sheet of the company stands at over 3 million Ghana Cedis, and an employment capacity of about 60 of the most brilliant software developers in the country.
DreamOval has made and continues to make major strides in the Ghanaian software industry. With a mission to provide e-business solutions to enhance businesses in the financial sector, DreamOval has developed a suite of products that are gaining attention throughout the market.
DreamOval has won several awards locally and iternationally. The most current is the Software Company of the Year 2015 in the Ghana Telecom Awards beating much older companies like Rancard and Soft Tribe.
Before the Software Company Award, Derrydean Dadzie was adjudge Entrepreneur of the year 2011 in the inaugural Youth Excellence Awards.
Derrydean Dadzie receives Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2011
And in 2012, Dreamoval won the Gold Star Award in president John Mahama's Youth Achievement Awards.
Derry receiving the Gold Star award from Ceo of RLG
Infact, the company has a trophy cabinet full of tophies.
The future only looks bright for Derrydean Dadzie and his indigenous software company DreamOval. Finally, Ghanaians can rest assured about the future of Ghanaian business because of the likes of DreamOval and their urge to succeed. Of course, there are still so many difficulties to deal with, but DreamOval says the problems notwithstanding, we can still dream.
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