Home Personality Interview Bankole Bernard: The Man Behind Finchglow’s Visionary Journey

Bankole Bernard: The Man Behind Finchglow’s Visionary Journey

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GMD, Finchglow Holdings, Mr. Bankole Bernard

Recently, during a chat with some Aviation journalists, Mr. Bankole Bernard, Group Managing Director of Finchglow Holdings, recounted the visionary journey that led to the establishment and growth of his company. 

Bernard revealed that, the pivotal moment that inspired his entry into the aviation industry was a visit to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) office in Madrid. There, a discussion with the vice president revealed that Nigeria, a country of over 200 million people, had fewer than ten Approved Training Organizations (ATOs). 

This revelation, he said, sparked his resolve to become the tenth, leading to the creation of his aviation school.

The journey began modestly on Toyin Street with just three classrooms. Despite regulatory challenges, Bernard saw opportunities for those committed to excellence. 

He said, the company then moved to Emena Crescent, expanding to four classrooms, but faced new challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, necessitating further growth. 

Today, the school boasts eight classrooms, positioning Finchglow for significant growth.

Bernard reflected on the broader aviation industry’s challenges, particularly the misconceptions local airlines have about their core business. He stressed that airlines should focus on transporting passengers, leaving ticket sales to travel agencies, which are crucial for their success. 

According to him, this insight guided his strategic decision to start a travel agency before venturing further into aviation.

The dream of entering the aviation industry began in 2002, but it took until 2006 for Finchglow Travels to materialize, initially operating out of Falomo Shopping Complex. 

“In 2002, I wanted to go into the aviation industry, I was really interested, and I realized that what l wanted to do in the aviation industry is to float an airline. I realized that to float an airline is capital intensive, I don’t have that kind of money, and it’s always good to start at the rock bottom at least nobody climbs the ladder from the top. So, I said the best approach would be to understand the commercial by running a travel agency”. 

The Finchglow Holding boss emphasized the importance of dreaming, daring, and delivering, which has been the company’s guiding theme. 

He acknowledged the loyal employees who have been instrumental in realizing this vision, highlighting key figures like Adejodu and Ezekiel, whose dedication and growth have been vital to Finchglow’s success.

Today, Finchglow Holdings which include Finchglow Travels, Finchglow Holidays, Lagos Aviation Academy, FCM, and TravelDen stands as a testament to Bernard’s vision and determination. 

The New facility at Emena crescent soon to be opened not only offers expanded classroom space but also includes a large kitchenette and breakout rooms for student self-study, emphasizing the company’s commitment to long-term investment in education.

“One thing you must understand, anything that has to do with education is a long -term investment”. 

This remarkable journey from a small office to a leading player in Nigeria’s aviation sector underscores the power of vision, perseverance, and strategic planning business success.

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