Courage and determination are essential ingredients for entrepreneurial success
With a degree in Business Management from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Mr. Adewale Adeowo, the Chief Executive Officer of Adedaas Group Limited discovered long ago that his passion is in the creative interior designing. Adedaas Group offers a comprehensive range of services including furniture design and production, Interior decoration, paint manufacturing and finger foods. Mr. Adeowo spoke on the focus of a CEO in this interview with Nnamdi Nwokolo.
What informed your choice of business?
My interest in finger foods started while I was helping my mum in her restaurant business back in the days. Upon graduation, I took the necessary training to hone my skills. But shortly after, I got employed as the special event Manager at Coca-cola. While at Coca-cola, I established Adedaas Outdoor Catering Services & Small Chops and left it for my wife to manage. When I left Coca-cola, I ventured into Furniture design and production as well as Interior decoration. In the course of running the business, I identified the need to produce quality paints to complement our interior decoration and Meridian Paints came into being. Meridian Paints & Interior is an indigenous paint manufacturing firm that produces a variety of decorative and industrial paints.
How do you identify business opportunities and measure their viability?
Honestly, I must tell you that all business endeavours are viable but the challenge most people have is that they want instant gratification. In our everyday lives, great opportunities stare us in the face but it takes a gritty and focused person to identify them. Even though catering is largely seen as a vocation for women, I identified the gap in the industry and was determined to bridge the gap despite the postulation. Also, with a furniture background, (as my Dad was into furniture making) when I thought of diversifying my business, Furniture and Interior Decoration came to mind. At a time when we were having issues getting quality paints for our clients, I met someone who has worked with one of the big paint manufacturing companies in Nigeria and we put resources together and here we are. People looking for opportunities should first of all look inwards and identify where their strength lies and act on it.
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 are needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. 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 me to overcome that fear. 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 principles of integrity and good customer service. Our service delivery in terms of events and outdoor catering also stands us out, we have well trained and cultured staff. So, people who want to be identified with professionalism, quality, and unique taste will always come for us.
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 principle that can take an organization to the next level. When you build on your integrity, people will trust you. Meridian Paints is the first quality acrylic based co-polymer emulsion paint, designed for the decoration of interior and exterior walls and ceilings including bathrooms and kitchen. In Decorative Paints, Meridian Paints & Interior has paints and paint systems for every application. We paint all types of projects and our expert painters are dedicated to providing our clients with prompt, professional and quality work. Our goal at Meridian Paints & Interior is to instill confidence in our ability to meet all your expectations so that you know you are always our number one focus. Meridian paints also has a unique coloured screeding paste that is quite durable than the cement that is conventionally used.
What are your Focus/Projections for the organization?
We intend to be the leading player in the Finger Foods, Furniture/Interior Design and Paint industries through the provision of innovative, high quality, and affordable services in our market niche, with a view to achieving the benchmark for all in Nigeria. My focus is to build a global brand that will stand the test of time. In the next couple of years I see this organization diversifying into other sectors of the Nigerian economy as we are open to partnerships and collaborations. Adedaas Group Limited is a quality-driven company registered in Nigeria to carry out excellent services to clients cutting across several sectors of the economy. The things we do are governed by core values and beliefs, which include integrity and customer satisfaction. The direction we are going, we intend to redefine the service level in the industries we play in, so that customers will have real value for their money. This will go a long way to define who we are and the kind of organisation we are trying to build.
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.
What can government do differently to help the industry?
The high cost of doing business in Nigeria, from generating your own power, water, security and the issue of multiple-taxation is something the government has to look into. I think the government should create an enabling environment for business to thrive, so that people will be encouraged to invest locally. There are different incentives that can be given in terms of tax holiday to investors.
What drives you?
I love what I do and I derive pleasure in what I do. I have a phobia for failure. The drive is equally borne out of a passion for self reliance. I derive lot of pleasure in seeing people appreciate what I’ve done and nothing gives me pleasure than when people appreciate our offerings. I try as much as possible to maintain the highest level of quality. It is only with quality materials that you can deliver the best. I seek for the best materials to ensure and maintain a certain level of quality. We thank God for this moment and all through the years as it has not been easy to run a company successfully.