Here on Whoot Africa, we not only showcase brands, but we also talk to the people behind those brands and have them share with us their back stories as well as give tips on how to successfully start and run a business.
Welcome to Whoot Africa’s – 15 Questions with the CEO.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and Kraft-Maid Décor Services Ltd Nigeria as a brand you represent?
I am Olabanji Opoola Muhammed, CEO of Kraft-Maid Décor Services. I have a first degree in industrial Design (Glass Technology) and a master’s in view from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
Kraft-maid is at its birthing state with highly effective and seasoned professionals who use their expertise to provide a unique, functional-design and engineering-craftsmanship services in the area of glass technology and glass design
Our mission is to deliver a product or service with the Kraft-Maid mark, what is our mark!
With a Combination of Knowledge, Skill and Craftsmanship, this is our Hallmark. In our ever-increasing pursuit of perfection for our Clients’ needs and demand, we complemented our mission with a set of values, which defines how we work.
-To carry out operation with integrity and trust
-To ensure client satisfaction – even as we seek to exceed client expectations
-And to pursue the continuous process of improvement
2. How did you get started in Business and what did it take you to get to where you are today?
My Mother was a businessperson and being the last child of the family I spent most of my time with her, I was the only child who did not start school early because I preferred helping my mom with her business. That became the bedrock of my interest in business and the entrepreneurship path, and the passion to what I do today..
3. What were you doing before Kraft-Maid Décor Services Ltd Nigeria off and why did you decide to start Kraft-Maid Décor Services Ltd Nigeria?
In 2007, I launched Kraft Maid after my then mentor fired me. I had been working tirelessly and somehow a few sick days earned me the sack letter. A misfortune that later turned out to be my biggest blessing in disguise, I launched my business soon after.
4. Did you know you were going to be an Entrepreneur all along, or did it happen by chance?
All my life I have dreamt of running my own business. I started as a young chap with the barter trade with my peers, during lunch. I later advanced to making yogurt and distributing it to all the shops on ABU main campus.
The business ventures list goes on, before Kraft-maid.
5. What do you love most about your business and your life as an Entrepreneur?
The satisfaction I see on client’s faces when we deliver their jobs, and as for my life it’s the joy and freedom I derive from doing what I love doing most.
6. What keeps you and the Kraft-Maid Décor Services Ltd Nigeria team motivated?
The passion for what we do and the satisfaction derived by our customers
7. What do you think are the most important personal skills someone must have to be successful in business?
You have to love what you do, it’s not just about the money, it’s the passion that keeps you going when the money is not coming in
8. How do you envision the Kraft-Maid Décor Services Ltd Nigeria brand in 5-10years from now?
In Africa, we hope to be a force to reckon in our area of specialty, when it comes to Glass Design, you think of Kraft-maid.
9. What are the obstacles you encountered in your business journey and how did you overcome them?
Finance, Equipment, and staff retention
We are proud to say that we are part of the YouWin program organized by the Federal Government of Nigeria to empower youth with business ideas that are viable, with this, we were able to solve our finance and equipment problem.
As for staff, you just have to keep searching for like-minded people who share the same passion that you have for the business.
10. How would you describe your leadership style?
Accept input from your team when making decisions and solving problems, but I retain the final burden of the decision choices.. Group members tend to be encouraged and motivated by this style of leadership, leading to more effective and accurate decisions, since no leader can be an expert in all areas.
11. Why did you choose this line of business/service or product and when did you know it was it for you?
I enjoy doing it, even free. After Seven years in business, I still enjoy every minute of it and intend to do so for a long time.
12. Who was the most influential person or mentor in your life?
13. What was the BIGGEST risk you have taken?
Business is all about risks. Taking the first one might be the Biggest and that was choosing to become an Entrepreneur
14. What do you think about college education? Should kids go to college now or get into business if they feel it’s a better choice? Considering some of the world’s greatest never had college education, your thoughts?
Education is the number one key to any successful business, education comes in different forms, an apprentice would spend years with his boss; what is he doing? He is learning the trade, learning how to manage customers and the list goes on.
Why do we send our children to school? We send them to learn, it is very simple ideology. For instance, you want to go to Lagos from Zaria; we all know there are various means of transportation and roads that leads to Lagos from Zaria. The main thing is to identify which way you want to take and follow it religiously, until you reach your destination.
15. What would be the most important piece of advice you could give to young entrepreneurs and why?
The life of an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart, do your research, be sure you understand the market and the competitors, be sure you understand the capital costs to succeed and be sure you have the team necessary to prevail be Innovative.
Don’t try to do everything yourself. You cannot be great at everything, as it is much better if you know your weaknesses and pull support in when needed. This will save you time and money. Believe in your vision, don’t listen to the naysayers and build something where there was nothing; Business is all about risks but make sure you take the right calculated risks, above all LOVE what you do.
“In school we learn that mistakes are bad, and we are punished for making them. Yet, if you look at the way humans are designed to learn, we learn by making mistakes. We learn to walk by falling down. If we never fell down, we would never walk.”
― Robert T. Kiyosaki
If you missed the previous parts of the 15 Questions with the CEO series, please click here .