Passion drives excellence
HOW did it all start?
I started from a humble beginning and it was out of determination and passion to succeed that led me into establishing this firm. I had my early education in Lagos before proceeding to the University of Lagos to pursue a degree in Business Administration. Upon graduation, I had a brief stint at the Local government before venturing into phone repairs. The passion to go into catering kept pushing me until I went for training in catering, basically in finger foods. The inspiration has always been there but the drawback was the funding to start. In 2006, I started this business with two staff and every client we worked for, will introduce us to the next person and it went on like that. Despite the challenges, we’ve grown from strength to strength that all the banks, Telcos and the Presidency are our clients.
What has been the biggest challenge in running your business?
After passing through the training, the fund to set up was a big challenge. What I did was to write down twenty names of friends and family members that can afford to give me five thousand. Unfortunately, it was only my elder brother and my wife, then my fiancée who were able to raise some money for me. Despite the meager amount I had at the time, I was convinced that I have to start. Most of my friends who had the means never believed in me but I strongly believed in myself. The first job I got was for fourteen thousand naira but my major break came some months later. We were able to get referrals from people and we‘ve grown to an extent that we work for almost all the banks in the country, all the Telcos in the country, all the oil companies in Nigeria, as well as the British, American, Canadian embassies and the Presidency.
Did you entertain any phobia when you started?
The fear of failure is always real when you start as an entrepreneur. It’s important to state that courage and determination is needed by entrepreneurs. I was determined to succeed and that made the fears to pale into insignificance. The principles of passion, perseverance, faith and a strong belief in God really helped us to overcome that fear.
How do you consistently stay on top of the competition?
Quality control, good customer service, humility, polite and prompt service delivery are some of the principles that really helped us to stay on top of the competition. Above all, integrity is the highest principles that can take an organization to the next level. When you build on your integrity, people will trust you. A lot of small chop businesses have come up, but if it’s not e600, it can’t be e600.it will interest you to know that a lot of companies were there before us, some has been there for twenty five years, twenty years, and fifteen but we are less than 10 years and we are ranked equally or even above them.
What are the secrets of your success?
E600 foods International thrives on the principles of honesty and integrity in doing business. We have emerged very reliable among our contemporaries in the emerging market as our impact is being felt everywhere. The fundamental basis and foundation of our operations are based on God and good principles. It is also imperative to mention that no meaningful success can be achieved without God. For us, whatever success we’ve achieved can be attributed to the grace of God.
What are your focus/projections for the organization?
We play a leading role in the industry and we intend to sustain the tempo through the provision of innovative, high quality, and affordable products in our industry. My focus is to build a world class organization that can compete with the likes of KFC and McDonalds. In the next five years, we should be able to move into our plaza as the plan is ongoing. We intend to open more offices in major cities of the country and in the next couple of years; we’ll make e600 a household name globally.
From your experience, what are the critical factors for business success in Nigeria?
The factor that militates against business success especially in Nigeria is basically the lack of infrastructures. The industry is a sub sector of the economy, so whatever challenges the economy experiences will definitely affect the industry. Always, there’s need for continuous improvement for you to succeed. One step at a time, with good concept and idea, people will invest in you. God blesses every little beginning. As an individual, you need to have a persevering spirit to succeed in the Nigerian business environment. You also need to be courageous because, challenges will definitely come. You also need to stay around people that motivate you. We appreciate everyone that has stood by us all these years. We are very grateful.
Advice to young entrepreneurs:
Nigeria is truly abundantly and richly blessed. You have to be proactive and whatever you do, do it well, because you don’t know who is watching you. Success should be seen as a continuous process, and not a destination. Remove emotions, continually innovate and plan ahead in your business. Remember; don’t try to cheat because what goes around comes around. You should be contented with where you are and your achievements. Read books, attend seminars and build relationship because success is a collection of relationships. The person you meet might be the person that’ll propel you to the top.
What drives you?
To be very honest with you, my inspiration is divine. The ideas we are getting is from God. What we are doing here can comfortably compete with what is obtainable abroad. The drive is equally borne out of a passion for self reliance. I have a wonderful and capable wife. My time at home is qualitative because in whatever I do, I put my family first. I try to find a balance between family and work. I make everywhere very comfortable, from my office to my home etc.