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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Mylastkobo's exclusive interview with The young CEO of BETA LOOK Laundaries Kubwa Abuja

Mr Femi, the proud CEO of Beta Looks Laundaries in front of his office

The success story of Beta Looks Laundary is one that should motivate any prospective Small
Medium Business owner out there to start working hard to achieve the best. The most remarkable thing about this young Small Medium enterprise owner who finished his National Diploma certificate program in Rufus Giwa Poly Ondo State. Is that he never once mentioned, while he was being interviewed, He never once mentioned any instances when He went out for any so called job Interview or screening test. Here is the interview. sir could you please give us a brief introduction about yourself?

Mr Femi:  My name is Emmanuel Oluwafemi and i hail from Ondo state. I completed my National Diploma certificate program in the field of Estate Management from the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Ondo State, after which i came to Abuja for my Industrial training. After my IT in Abuja i moved down to Maraba to meet my Brother, there was no work so i followed my Brothers friend who is a Painter, i followed him to sites just to learn how to paint then like that, like that i learned how to paint and in two months i was able to carry "roller"(paint brush). i started going for my own Jobs and was earning just enough to keep me going that was how i started developing myself.

Mr Femi attending to questions from So you finished from what department in Polytechnic?

Mr Femi: Estate Management. Wow! so knowing that you did estate management whta made you to go into setting up a aundary outfit?

Mr Femi: After my National Diploma i wanted to push forward but there was no power(money). but one would have thought that as you already have a degree in estate managemnet and experience in painting, one may have expected you to develope on your career in the lines of estate Management but what made you to realy choose laundary and dry cleaning as your preferred choice of Business, what made you to really go into this laundary business?

Mr Femi: what made me go into laundary? i was working in a site at one time in Area 2 so i met one Man called Labaran He is was the site Engineer at that site and we also worked in other sites. but the work was not coming that regularly again sometimes we only work once in a month and before the end of the month you dun spend the whole money finish.
An Array of carefully laundered suits at Beta Looks Laundary Oh i understand. you people were not getting regular jobs again.

Mr Femi: Yes, so he told me that there was one plan he wants to lay down. He told me that he want to set up a laundary, Barber shop, Women Saloon and Massage parlour that he would like me to manage a department there in short he sent me to train for Laundary.
" it was very hard at first coping with the heat and stress of starching and ironing someone's cloths, infact i just had to manage, After my training he started a new shop in Kubwa here i moved down to Kubwa from Maraba and i just forgot about my house i was working and sleeping in the shop, i was doing everything in the shop like it was my house",
Then after a year when i believed his laundary is already moving, atleast i have laid a solid foundation for his business, i trained some guys for him. so you have trained people?

Mr Femi: yes i trained some guys for him he even trained and became very professional, then he oopened another shop and placed somebody to manage it for him, he opened another one for NYSC and put one of the boys i trained there then i managed the head office at Dutse.
after i have gathered some money i had to tell him that i want to leave, that i want to set up something for myself and he told me that i cant go empty like that so he just had to support me
Inside the laundary When you started off on your own what was the major challenges you faced?

Mr Femi: Eh! i have faced some major challenges athough i am very good at marketing so i had little problem in that area. You know in Nigeria when you want to set-up anything you have to make your own private arrangements for electricity so that the poor power distribution in the country would not affect you, especially a business like yours that is dependent on electricity, so what was your plan in that area?

Mr Femi: firstly before we came down i looked round and saw that electricity in this( Kubwa) is still good and i noticed that the light here is a little bit stable atleast we have up to 18-19 hours of daily electricity which is ok. yes that is Ok compared to the statistics from other area.

Mr Femi: So the matter of getting a good customer that was a big challenge but i have learned a lot, we do share fiers, house to house adevertisement, i come to your house, i dont care if you insult me because i am a laundary man or not, some people say " i have a laundary man where do you want me to put him? but sometimes, especially when i came around here people just kept coming they want to check how i work i looked at what they want and how they looked so i decided that i had to improve myself to serve this people and i had to ay a very good standard that in this environment i want to be the best, which i was very successful in that. so i think the packaging and the "perfect ironing", cleanliness of the environment and my way of approaching customers those are the things that made me unique.
inside the aundary(laundary equipments) so do you have any strong competition in this area? that you think would be able to challenge your standard?

Mr Femi: ( laughs) in this environment? i dont, only my boys that i trained that can even try to move close to my standard. they will try but the difference is still clear(smilling). only if i just decide to overlook some work. so if you want to encourage young people that are wiling to move into your line of business what will you tell them?

Mr Femi: You see, they have to go for training and this work you must love it, you must have the passion because if there is no passion you will just get tired of it and you may not be able to continue. so are there sometimes that you feel that way?

Mr Femi: yes sometimes casting of light ( power failure) that may last for up to five days and we will not be abe to work because sometimes to get fuel for the generating set is an issue. and you will have a of cloths to deliver. so you get a of pressure from the customers?

inside the laundary( Boys at work)

Mr Femi: ( exclaims) Heh! it is always very difficult. some come here and raise their voices on us, and you know when a customer is shouting in your businesss premises you dont know who is watching, a prospective customer might be passing by, a new customer may want to come in and you are shouting, so those times i sometimes feel like which kind work i even they do self i sometimes feel like closing up the business and find another way. so how do you overcome this challenge?

Mr Femi: when they come i address them, some say nothing should be an escuse and some understand. i apologise to them and urge both of my workers to be up and doing in their presence. so are you still planning to further your Education?

Mr Femi: i am already pursuing my HND so most times i am no always available i leave the bulk of the work for my young workers and i always try to encourage them, sometimes when i am around i give them 500 naira to go out for lunch, one of them even came to me and told me he wanted to write Jamb and i gave him the enrolment money without deducting it from his pay because i know that if he is successful in the Jamb it is my joy. so how do you manage your workers when you are not around?

Mr Femi: you see this( he points to a notification written " call this number for your complaints and suggestions" my customers can always complain of any poor service by my workers to me directly on my personal line. and i always have this ( raising some sheets of paper) customer complaints form that i encourage my customers to use for their complaints. so sir what final thing do you have to say to viewers out there about your Buisness?

Mr Femi: this is not an easy job and if you know you can do it then you must go for the training and even after the training you must have passion for the job or you will get discouraged along the line, most especially when the challenges start coming in.
Then to start this kind of business you have to have the money to get a decent shop, paint it, let it look neat and get an electric iron and a good laundary table for ironing the cloths even if you dont have money yet for washing machine for a start in the next three months if you are very good the washing machine will come. and you have to learn to be very careful with money, dont spend anyhow or you will pack up quickly. but there is one thing. What is that?

Mr Femi: for a start you have to get support, if not for the support from my former boss i would not have been able to establish something like this with my little savings. and it is a very tedious business sometimes i sleep only for 4hours a day because sometimes we have to work allnight. Well the truth is that you are reaping and you will continue to reap the fruit of your labour. i am very happy you granted us this interview, it will go a long way in guiding and motivating prospective Small Medium enterprise onwers who plan on going into this your line of business. Thank you very Much Mr Femi.

Mr Femi: thank you too. weldone.

inside the laundary( Boys at work)