Damilola Alade- Global Wireless
Damilola Alade is the founder/CEO of Global Wireless which specializes in information technology and e-commerce. He shares his thoughts on entrepreneurship and co-working.
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Damilola Alade, I am an Accountant by training and I’ve worked in several industries from real estate, oil and gas, media retail, online retail before setting up my own business. I am a Christian and married with 2 boys
What motivated you to start your company:
The motivation came from my last job with Jumia where I was the Vendor Relationship Manager and my job was to onboard vendors on the platform and guide them to help their business thrive, which I did with great success. And then after having developed a good professional and personal relationship with key vendors and distributors and even country reps of some OEMs, I decided to put all the skills I had learnt on the job to start my own thing which commenced in 2017
How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors:
By offering good quality products as the best bargain. Also by establishing a good business/personal relationship with all customers and above all, offering an excellent after sales service and taking responsibility to ensure customers get value for their money on any purchase made.
Share some of the lessons you’ve learned from being an entrepreneur:
Nothing is handed to you on a plate of gold, you have to strive to get through. There are no days off as the amount of effort you put into marketing your wares, determines what you take home at the end of the day. Competition is very stiff and people are watching what you are doing with the intention of high jacking it, if you are successful at it. So do not be relaxed. No loyalty in business world as even close associates want to steal your customers or knock you off from where they see you are making good sales.
What personal characteristics do you look out for in an exceptional candidate during interview for employment?:
What are the key principles you follow to build successful customer relations and retention:
ensuring they get value for their money spent, offering after sales support to ensure purchase is serving its purpose for customer. Checking up on customer from time to time to inquire about their wellbeing and sending periodic messages on new items available.
What are the major challenges facing SMEs in Nigeria?
How do you unwind to relieve yourself of the stress of being a CEO?
Recline on my couch at home and watch some TV, having some family time gusting and also hanging out with some mates.
What is your view about co-working hubs?
A very brilliant idea which has really helped me establish a corporate base/environment for my business.
What areas do you think coworking hubs can improve on to support SMEs better?
using Workbay as an example, I think you should reconsider not opening to your tenants on weekends and public holidays as these are free days for a lot of customers who want to come around to see where who they want to do business with is operating from. We are small businesses and not a corporate company and limiting our access to our place of business to Mondays to Fridays only is stifling our business. I know how many sales I’ve lost by not having a place to meet up customers on weekend and public holidays. Some customers have been nice to still do transactions with you from your car, while some think of it as suspicious, wondering why can’t they enter into your office if your truly operate there, especially depending on the value of the purchase they want to make. If you really want to assist SMEs to grow, then you must give us access to the facility always. You might have a different timing on such days and not offer us full service, I.e light or internet but at least access to be able to attend to customers. Thank you as you take a critical look at this.