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.
Can you share with us a little bit about yourself and Surprise Gifts as a brand you represent?
I was Christened OYINKANSOLA, but my personal legend has given me a new name. I am the MERCHANT OF ROMANCE (M.O.R). The Chief Imagination Officer of Africa’s first SURPRISE GIFT DELIVERY COMPANY….
We are EXPERTS at
SURPRISE GIFT DELIVERY
CREATING ROMANTIC EXPERIENCES FOR COUPLES
ROMANCE COACHING and
What were you doing before you set out with Surprise Gifts?
I was working as the chief storyteller at Orange Academy; Africa’s first practical brand advertising school.
How did you develop interest in this business?
I love to create ‘WOW’ effects and experiences in all I do. And I love to see couples plan surprises for each other and exchange gifts. So I simply turned my passion into a brand.
How long have you been in the business with the Surprise Gifts brand and what has the reception being like so far?
We have been serving and pleasing couples for the past four years (February 12, 2014). It’s been a welcoming reception, though we need to create more brand and top of mind awareness.
The Adult Shop Business and the African culture have two different perception entirely; does the African perception and culture give you concern about the long term growth of your business and the longevity of your brand?
Our BRAND would exist as long as people still fall in love with each other.
“Sex sells as they say” from your business experience so far, is sex (The Adult shop business) really selling in Nigeria?
I am not sure about the adult shop business. We are not into that kind of business. What we are into is SURPRISE GIFT DELIVERY AND SURPRISE PLANNING
You are a very spiritual person with unwavering Christian faith, how have you been able to balance your faith considering the nature of your business?
I hear this over and over. Well, I must say at this point that we are into something we call ‘ RESPONSIBLE ROMANCE’.
This simply means we serve MARRIED AND INTENDING COUPLES. Not sugar daddy/girlfriend or sugar mummy/ boyfriend. We aren’t judging, we are simply not the suitable platform of expression for them. We believe in helping couples sustain a lifestyle of romance not just cashing in and smiling to the bank.
We would have been more influential and wealthier though because immorality sells more, but we have decided and chosen to promote marriages and healthy relationships.
What are some of those challenges you have experienced so far, and how have you been able to overcome them?
Major challenge would be trying to create an EMPIRE in an unexplored field. We are the 1st ROMANCE CONSULTANTS AND ROMANCE COACH in AFRICA so it hasn’t been too easy being the pioneers.
We have however chosen to learn from the MEN AHEAD in different fields.
How were you able to finance the surprise gift brand? Any advice for upcoming entrepreneurs on raising funds?
Financing has always been from my personal savings, our sales and support from my beautiful family. We plan to get grants and investors soon though.
Upcoming entrepreneurs should start with what they have. This simply shows they believe in what they are creating. No one is permitted to give you money until you have first put your money where your heart is.
Are there plans for surprise gifts branded products?
Oh yes, a lot of them. We are creating our own ‘ ROMANCE ON THE RUN’ products. Please check www.merchantofromance.com for more info
Where do you envision the surprise gifts brand in 5years and how do you keep your team motivated? What can you say keeps the dream going
We would have become a household name in Nigeria, that when people think about ROMANCE and SURPRISE GIFTS, they would think THE MERCHANTS OF ROMANCE. We have delivered gifts in 30 States in Nigeria, Ghana, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
We keep one another going by reminding ourselves of the reason why we are together.
Who are some of those entrepreneurs that inspire you in the business world?
I love Anthony Robbins, Steve Harvey and Lanre Olusola, to mention a few..,
If you had to talk about doing business in Nigeria, how would you sell doing business in Nigeria to an investor with specifics to your line of business?
The essence of our company is entrenched in one of our beliefs that if we can build the home, we can build the Nation. Thus, we are building the Nation, one home at a time. Investors who know and identify that the intrinsic value of a Nation lies in the families would be more than willing to come on board.
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?
Everyone who has the privilege of going to school should please go. College Education is a good foundation. Everything I learnt in school has lent a hand in making me who I am today.
What would be the most important piece of advice you could give to young entrepreneurs and why?
There is no such word as impossible. Every ‘gaddem’ thing is possible.
The Surprise gift delivery expert
Mobile: 08037174741, 08125116740
If you missed the previous parts of the 15 Questions with the CEO series, please click here