Dr Tijion Esho
Courtesy of Dr Tijion Esho
Dr Tijion Article
Over the last 20 years, cosmetic surgery has seen a significant rise in the demand for treatments administered, with there being a growing market for younger people. A part of this increase is due to the improved quality and variety of surgeries available (at an affordable price), yet much of this change is directly attributable to a new wave of public acceptance. Modern attitudes to cosmetic tweaks have been heavily influenced by celebrities, influencers and reality TV stars, many of whom are now more open about their surgeries, making it an attractive option to their fanbase. However, cosmetic surgery can also be used as a tool that can restore confidence in those in need of reconstructive work. I met with cosmetic surgeon Dr Tijion Esho, a Harley Street practitioner who has worked with a number of high profile clients and is now using his resources to help tragedy victims.
A North London native of Nigerian descent, Esho grew up in Edmonton, after his parents emigrated to the UK during their 20s. Typical of many African families, Esho’s upbringing was strict and, despite demonstrating a creative flair and desire to pursue graphic design, his father did not tolerate such flexibility around the career options that had his seal of approval. He recalls being told, “you can either become a doctor, dentist, architect, lawyer or engineer”. Whilst initially reluctant, a teenage Esho was fortunate to gain some work experience in a hospital and encountered a doctor with whom he was fascinated; an accomplished man who was well respected amongst the staff in the hospital wards. Meeting and speaking with this individual inspired Esho and acted as the catalyst that set him on the road to becoming a doctor, eventually heeding his dad’s advice.
He was later admitted to a number of medical schools and eventually accepted an offer from the University of Leicester, keen to get away from London. Determined to train as a surgeon, he began his medical placements after completing his initial degree. Whilst on a placement at a private medical centre specializing in aesthetic surgery, Esho identified his talent for and interest in cosmetic surgery, however felt conflicted about pursuing it rather than joining the National Health Service (NHS), the altruistic option that is often perceived as best for a doctor. Esho sought advice from his boss at the time, who encouraged and reassured him that, indeed “he could always return to the NHS” later in life.
Establishing Esho Clinic
Aside from his work at the private clinic, Esho independently performed cosmetic procedures, with lip augmentation being the most popular request. However, when looking for more customers, he noticed that it was challenging to gain recognition online, as at the time independent surgeons mostly built their client base through word of mouth. He created a social media account for his practice, which was rare and overlooked by most plastic surgeons at the time. He began posting “before and after” photos and, gradually, interest in his brand and services grew.
Courtesy of Tijion Esho
Courtesy of Tijion Esho
Mainstream recognition finally came after Esho performed a successful cosmetic procedure for UK reality television star, who was gaining popularity at the time. She posted a transformation photo on her own pagem and the image went viral on social media. His following grew into the thousands overnight and, soon after, members of the press (who had previously shunned him) were reaching out for an interview. A highlight of his career so far is when he was invited to shoot a cover feature with The Times Magazine (a supplement of The Times newspaper) ,which was a special day for his family and friends and, with the increased demand, served as confirmation that running his business could become a viable long-term career path.
Scaling Up The Business – The Evolution Of Esho Clinic
As his client base grew, Esho sought his first full-time clinic location. Many of the options within his budget that he had viewed did not meet his standards, as Esho understood the importance of a strong aesthetic to his customers. Through a fortunate turn of events, a wealthy client from Newcastle expressed a desire for him to be based locally. She also had a partner who owned office spaces. The couple gave Esho a favourable rate, and ESHO Clinic was established in 2013. The buzz on Esho’s social media continued and demand increased to the point that, soon after setting up in Newcastle, Esho felt that he had to be in London more often. He re-invested the profits generated to open a second location on London’s Harley Street, a renowned location for cosmetic medical companies. This was soon followed by clinic in Dubai, the city from where his wife lived, and was familiar, international site.
The success of the clinics globally had exceeded his own expectations and Esho was certainly grateful. However, as is the case for many entrepreneurs, he began suffering from burnout. Frequent travel between London, Newcastle and Dubai had taken its toll. Esho wanted to improve his delegation of tasks and allow his local teams to take increased control of the day-to-day operations. He was ready to run his clinic like a proper business, a change in mindset which he credits his accountant father, who had always encouraged to maintain his work ethic and always under the value of a pound .
Courtesy of Tijion Esho
The need for increased flexibility came with the arrival of Esho’s first son. He says that his son “gave [him] a level of focus [he] didn’t have before; not only to focus on working hard, but to cut out any slack and focus on what’s important.” This added drive lead to the opening of his largest clinic to date, based in Wimbledon, London, where he resides with his family. He sees this clinic as the pivotal accumulation of all the effort he has put in over the years, and proudly states that it is some of his best work to date.
Today, Esho is set on leveraging his business success to giving back to the community. ESHO clinics are offering over 100 free treatments annually to victims of trauma, such as those suffering from acid attacks or burns, with treatments from lip augmentation to full facial reconstruction. His charitable work has been featured on numerous television programmes and Esho considers his commercial business as a great opportunity to share his skills to benefit those who in need reconstructive surgery who cannot afford to wait on the state system. Esho expects this to be his lasting legacy.