This week on ICONOCLAST, we bring you the exclusive story of Adelabu Oluwaseun who founded and funded events management outfit, THE EXECUTIVES right from her own pocket by saving a whopping 90% of her monthly allowance as a corps member during her NYSC. Get ready to be inspired.
How did The Executives start?
The executive events started while I was serving, through the SAED programs organized by NYSC. I took my time to decide which one I would best fit in, and settled on events planning because that’s who I am. I have always loved to be up and going, especially when it comes to events. I love when things are properly planned and organized in such a way that everyone is happy at the end.
What was the main inspiration behind The Executives?
The main inspiration I would say was myself because I am one person who believes in being independent. The thought of writing applications or looking for a job was always a big deal for me so I saw event planning as a way out and the fact that it’s a big role. It’s a lot of work and I love everything about it.
What are the major skills you need to be able to build a business as wonderful as this?
The major skills required to have to build any business at all are determination and focus.
Capital can be an obstacle for upcoming entrepreneurs. How were you able to secure funding?
Being an events planner didn’t require much to start with, plus I learnt how to save and not eat with my ten fingers. I was saving 90% of my allowance while serving and that helped me start up as I was able to pay for the basic things I needed to start.
Who are your major Influencers in the industry?
There are very few of them because I am one person who loves to do new things. I love my own creativity so I’d say; yes, there are big names and all but I am my own influence.
What do you look out for when picking ushers?
When it comes to ushers, I am very strict because ushers have been tagged different names. Asides that, I also study people so during the process of an audition, I already know if I will work with you or not. I am not always strict though, on the contrary I tend to be playful to see those who will still know their place even when the boss plays and jokes with them. Also I don’t like ushers that are forward, I love them charismatic; those who can have that effect on you at first contact with them. Pleasant and very simple also do it for me. Being beautiful is not enough; you have to possess all of these attributes to work with me as an usher.
Interesting. A lot of event outfits consider just beauty as top priority. We are glad to know you look beyond beauty. Now, as an events manager, what are the things you have to take note of before taking on a job?
Profiling is paramount. When you’re able to profile your client it helps you narrow down what to offer them and how to work with them. This, however, doesn’t rule out suggestions but that way you already know what you’re expected to bring to the table.
What has been your most challenging job so far?
My first job. I was meeting the client for the first time and at that time I was still in training. I was a little nervous because I didn’t want to sound like I was new in the game but with the help of God, my boss then Sellyrite events, I was able to pull through.
What does it entail to be an events manager?
To be an events manager, you have to be smart, business oriented, pleasant and hardworking because it drains you. You have to be able to multitask. You also have to be result oriented as well.
How has the competition been so far with big names like Bella Naija?
The truth is, this world itself is a market place. Sell your own, Ill sell my own. Everyone has their audience or clients and don’t forget, those big names started somewhere. We will get there too.
By God’s grace, THE EXECUTIVES will. What has been your defining moment since the start of The Executives?
I would say my first job because I never thought I could pull it off, especially because I was still in training, but at the end, I was glad because no one sees the picture of my first job and doesn’t marvel. At that point, I knew I was in and ready.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I see myself in an events-house company where we would offer every bit of event services. I mean, right from the event venue, clothing, catering, and every detail of events basically. That’s why I call it an events house. We won’t have to source for vendors of any kind. We would deliver every service. Of course, there would be exceptions to clients who already have vendors but at least 50% will come from us. That’s where my focus is and I am already working on that.
Finally, what’s your advice to aspiring Entrepreneurs?
I hope they learn that it’s not going to be easy at all but if they remain focused and determined, they will get there. Also, they should surround themselves with people who want to see them grow.
Watch out for another terrific ICON same time, next week.
For now, let’s know how you feel about this interview in the comments section.