Generating Employment, Means Of Livelihood For Women And Youths Is My Driving Force- Aderibigbe Abdulsalam
Aderibigbe Abdulsalam is CEO of Green Plexus Creative Concept/ S.A Leather works which specializes in the production of leather crafts and other services. An indigene of Saki, Oyo State, he studied Linguistics and Nigerian Languages at the University of Ilorin and presently runs his business in Minna, Niger state.
TMG> Tell us about your background as a Leather craft artisan and entrepreneur?
Aderibigbe> S.A Leather Works is a subsidiary of Green Plexus Creative Concept, a business registered under the Cooperate Affairs Commission. S.A Leather Works is a business that specializes in the production of leather crafts with a focus on bag making. Our products range from all sorts of leather bags to souvenir bags for various events.
Our aim is to make positive contributions towards solving the problems of unemployment.
TMG> How did you come up with the idea?
Aderibigbe> My passion for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG8) and the need to conquer idleness and generate sources of income are the motivations toward establishing S.A Leather works. It’s also as a result of the need to satisfy my interest for handwork.
TMG> What other services does your company offer especially to assist upcoming entrepreneurs?
Aderibigbe> Apart from the production and sales of leather crafts, we also render services such as organizing entrepreneurial seminars and skills acquisition programs. Our business has been able to train over 150 women and youths on leather crafts production and on how to be self reliant. A total of 15 women and youth are on our payroll.
TMG> Which areas do you need to improve on in your company?
Aderibigbe> The areas of keeping adequate records and advertising are what we still need to improve on. We are trying every possible means to make sure we perform at an optimal level in these aspects.
TMG> As you are into Leather crafts also other businesses, how do you cope?
Aderibigbe> I imbibe the principle of ‘ doing what you love’. By doing what you love, you tend to overcome every fatigue that comes with it. I also strike a balance between my activities.
TMG> What do you feel is the next step in developing your skills?
Aderibigbe> Engaging in constant studies of how the market works in line with our products and services.
TMG> What are some of the challenges you have faced in starting your company?
Aderibigbe> Some the challenges I have faced as the founder of the business ranges from how to get my products accepted by people to how to create a unique design which will differentiate my products from other products in the market.
TMG> What style of management do you think works in becoming successful at your kind of business?
Aderibigbe> Striking the balance between business and personal life.
TMG> Tell us about a successful sales pitch you used for a difficult client. How were you able to sell the good(s) to him/her?
Aderibigbe> The uniqueness of our products is what speaks for us. Our products are one of their kind and most of our customers agree on this. However, the pricing is where the problem lies. We tend to make them know what’s at stake when they go for products that cost less and are less durable.
TMG> How do you keep up to date on your target market?
Aderibigbe> Investing in research for latest products and trends in the market place is one of our major means of keeping up to date with our target market. I’d prefer not to state other means.
TMG> Who are you comfortable selling your products to and why?
Aderibigbe> There are no specific people whom we find it comfortable selling our products to most.
The use of our our products cuts across all kinds of people as there are scarcely people who don’t make use of bags, purses, shoes and sandals. However, each of our products has a specific consumer. We are much more comfortable when we sell the right product to the right costumer.
TMG> What motivates you?
Aderibigbe> Making positive impact through my endeavors. Generating employment and means of livelihood for women and youth is what motivates me most.
TMG> What is your ultimate career aspiration?
Aderibigbe> Building a world class company in Agriculture and renewable energy which will serve as a means of generating employment for millions of people.
Food and energy are two most important need of man.
TMG> How do you keep a smile on your face during a hard day to make sure your clients feel good?
Aderibigbe> I’ve learnt over the years to separate my personal life from my business. This is one of the reasons why I took a course in psychology. I try as much as possible to prevent expressing my emotions in the presence of our customers.
TMG> What way do you think your organization could do better?
Aderibigbe> We could do better by further improving the quality of our products and services.
TMG> What’s your approach to handling customer objections?
Aderibigbe> Most customers objection serves as a motivator for us to improve our products and services as well as our marketing strategies. We address every objection positively.
TMG> Tell us about the greatest goal that you’ve ever accomplished professionally?
Aderibigbe> Bringing up my business ideas into realization is one of the greatest goals I have ever achieved.
TMG> What kinds of sacrifices have you had to make to be successful?
Aderibigbe> Giving up some social habits is one of the sacrifices I have ever made in order to be successful.
TMG> Tell us something you would like to learn or improve upon?
Aderibigbe> Languages and communication skills are some of the few things I would love to learn and improve upon respectively. They are the most expensive assets of the future.
TMG> How do you manage risk, in terms of damages or loss?
Aderibigbe> We approach them positively. They enable us perform better in subsequent endeavors.
TMG> What’s your advice to young people who want to be into business like yours?
Aderibigbe> First is to clear your mind of immediate gratification. While creating a niche for yourself, the business might seem unprofitable at first, however in the long run, you’ll start to enjoy the benefits. I started production for family and friends at my own expense. They later served as a strong source of customers for me due to the referrals I get from them. Hard work and persistence pays.
You just have to start no matter how little it is.
TMG> How do you socialise and when?
Aderibigbe> I scarcely socialize, it’s one of the few things I need to improve on. However, I spend few timeouts with friends and families.