emem thomas

Emem Thomas is an indigene of Ikono LGA, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. She is a graduate of Biochemistry from the Cross River University of Technology and is based in Uyo where her business is.  She is a single mother of two handsome boys and a globally Certified Close Protection Officer. Emem is the CEO of Dragon Squad Limited, the first all-female Close Protection Operatives and Event Security in Africa. When Emem is not working, she gets involved in activities she enjoys such as swimming, long walks, meditation, cooking, listening to soft music and a little hanging out with a few friends and family.

Her love for the military and a uniformed organization prompted her to venture into her business. She was always captivated by the tactical formations done by them and this passion prompted her to join the Red Cross Society of Nigeria and later on, became a Carnival Marshal at the prestigious Calabar Carnival. She was doing well until her marriage collapsed and the need to escape from the trauma and shame associated with a failed marriage made her give up her passion and work in a Private Security Company in Uyo as the Admin Officer. She later proposed and introduced the idea of female officers to complement the males in the company.

Emem did not just propose the idea, she went on to convince some ladies to take up the role. After a few events with the ladies, the company was dissatisfied and dissolved the female security officers.  She was disappointed and felt betrayed but she was not planning to let the ladies feel they were not good enough and so she resigned from the company and started Dragon Squad in 2018, with those ladies that were rejected. Dragon Squad is four years now and still waxing stronger and stronger.

Emem avers that event security is a thriving industry as there is a high demand for professional and reliable services and as the CEO of the company, she is thrilled about the remarkable economic potential her business holds. What sets her brand apart is its unique approach as an all-female plus-sized security company, catering to a specific niche and capturing the attention of event organizers, corporate clients, and high-profile individuals who appreciate diversity and inclusivity. Emem enlightens that their commitment to excellence and innovation is a winning formula that attracts and retains clients, paving the way for repeat business and valuable referrals. With the events industry experiencing continuous growth, both locally and globally, the opportunities to generate significant revenue are abundant.

emem thomas

Emem is confident that by delivering exceptional services and building a strong reputation, Dragon Squad Limited will not only thrive economically but also leave a lasting impact on the industry. Together, they can seize the financial possibilities, create a profitable business, and forge a future where inclusivity and excellence in event security are at the forefront.

Emem started her business with a startup capital of forty-five thousand naira (N45,000).

Emem elucidates that as an all-female event security company breaking stereotypes in a traditionally male-dominated industry, Dragon Squad Limited has achieved several significant successes and high points. She goes further to explain their notable accomplishments below:

 

Empowering Women

We have successfully provided employment opportunities and empowerment to plus-sized women, challenging gender stereotypes and promoting inclusivity in the security industry. By giving women a platform to excel and showcasing their capabilities, we have created a positive impact on their lives and the community.

Client Satisfaction

We have built a strong reputation for delivering exceptional event security services, exceeding client expectations, and ensuring the safety and smooth operation of various events. Our commitment to professionalism, reliability, and adaptability has resulted in high client satisfaction and long-term partnerships.

Recognition and Media Coverage

Dragon Squad Limited has received widespread recognition as a unique and groundbreaking brand. Reputable media outlets such as BBC World, Reuters, and BBC Pidgin have highlighted our innovative approach and global impact, shining a spotlight on the success of our endeavours.

Industry Leadership

I and the team have been invited to speak at industry conferences and events, serving as thought leader and influencers in the security field. Participation as a panellist at the 2022 Women in Security Conference in Lagos has provided a platform to share our expertise and contribute to discussions on gender diversity and empowerment.

Market Expansion

We have successfully expanded our client base and secured contracts for notable events, such as the Akwa Ibom State Government Carol Night and the Calabar Carnival. These achievements demonstrate our ability to penetrate diverse markets and establish ourselves as a trusted and preferred event security provider.

Having experienced some low points in the business, she goes further to explain them below:

Defying Gender Bias

Breaking into a male-dominated industry hasn’t been without its obstacles. We have encountered scepticism and prejudice from some clients and industry stakeholders who doubted our capabilities. However, through our unwavering commitment, professionalism, and exceptional performance, we have shattered those biases and earned the respect we deserve.

Building Market Recognition

Introducing a unique concept like an all-female plus-sized event security company required us to build market awareness from the ground up. We invested significant effort in showcasing the value we bring and educating clients about the benefits of our inclusive approach. Through strategic marketing and persistent outreach, we have steadily gained recognition and positioned ourselves as industry trailblazers.

Securing Prestigious Contracts

The journey to securing large contracts for high-profile events posed its challenges. Established male-dominated security companies often enjoyed preferential treatment due to longstanding relationships. Nonetheless, our perseverance, dedication, and exceptional track record have allowed us to break through barriers, earning the trust of clients and securing prestigious contracts.

Challenging Preconceptions

Overcoming preconceived notions about the capabilities of an all-female event security team has been an ongoing battle. We continue to prove our mettle, dispelling doubts through our professionalism, expertise, and unwavering commitment to providing top-notch security services.

Emem has this to say about giving up in the face of challenge:

As the CEO of Dragon Squad, the journey of building this business from scratch, facing the lack of support from family and friends, and combating the stigma of being a plus-sized woman has been incredibly challenging. There have been moments when the weight of these struggles felt overwhelming, tempting me to consider giving up. However, in those moments, I reflect on my unwavering passion and determination to break barriers and create opportunities for others like me. The desire to prove that success knows no limits and to inspire a more inclusive and accepting world keeps me going, pushing me to overcome every obstacle and rise above adversity. Giving up is not an option when I see the impact we can make and the change we can create. The journey may be tough, but it is in these moments of challenge that our strength and resilience shine brightest, propelling us forward to achieve remarkable heights

Emem does not work alone, she actively oversees the operation and strategic aspect of the business where she delegates responsibilities and collaborates with a dedicated team to ensure the efficient functioning of the company.

She explains that she engages a team of skilled and trained professionals to work for Dragon Squad Limited. From event security personnel to administrative staff, each member plays a crucial role in delivering our services effectively. The company prioritizes hiring individuals who share their values and commitment to excellence, allowing them to provide top-notch security services to their clients.

Moreover, Dragon Squad Limited is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. The company has fulfilled all legal requirements to establish and operate as a legitimate business entity. Being registered provides them with credibility and ensures compliance with applicable regulations, allowing them to build trust with clients, partners, and stakeholders.

Emem introduces Tanwa Ashiru, the CEO of Bulwark Intelligence; Inya Lawal, Program Partner, Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE); and Oluwafemi Aratokun-Ale, the CEO of Target Search Global Ltd as her business mentors.

Talking about how policymakers and investors can assist her, she explains below:

Creating a Favorable Environment

Policymakers can establish policies that promote diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunities in the security industry. By ensuring fair regulations and licensing processes, they can make it easier for companies like Dragon Squad to operate and grow.

Financial Support

Investors can offer financial assistance to help us expand our operations. Funding can be provided in the form of investments, loans, or strategic partnerships, allowing us to invest in training, technology, and infrastructure to enhance our services.

Networking and Partnerships

Policymakers and investors can connect us with relevant industry stakeholders, such as event organizers and other security companies. Building these partnerships can help us expand our network, reach a wider audience, and collaborate on projects that benefit all parties involved.

Raising Awareness

Policymakers and investors can use their influence to raise awareness about the importance of gender diversity and inclusion in the security industry. By advocating for equal opportunities and challenging stereotypes, they can help create a more supportive environment for companies like Dragon Squad.

Contact: 08064665775, dragoneventsprotocols@gmail.com

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