Ebisemiju Kayode is the managing director of GOKmantech Multimedia, a business concern that started about a decade ago but has grown to be among the biggest in Okitipupa in Ondo State. In this encounter with our correspondent, Olamide Bakare, he talks about his journey into entrepreneurship as well as his future plans
Nothing indicates that Ebisemiju Kayode, the man behind Gokmantech Multimedia, an organisation responsible for services including digital printing, sits atop an emerging conglomerate as he attends to everyone with a friendly mien. This quality describes his lively nature as he ushered our correspondent in to his office. Not the type given to frivolities, he asked that the interview commence immediately. On how he began, Kayode said fate played a decisive role, as he never dreamt of going that route. Though he admitted that his long held desire was to become a successful businessman, he never knew it would come so early, as he started the journey during his undergraduate years.
Hear him: “I never thought I would end up doing something along this line but I think it is purely the work of fate being actualised. Although I have always loved to be self-reliant, it never occurred to me that it would happen soon. I saw the opportunity and it was right to take the bold step. Quite early in life, having realised the enormous burden on him as a son of a farmer, I took the decision to pick up a skill that could earn me some income to augment my bills in school.”
Venturing into printing didn’t come as happenstance, as Kayode noted in reaction to his decision to remain along the path he had chosen having studied something entirely different. Kayode talks about how it all started after completing his first degree as a biochemist and what led him into entrepreneurship.
He said: “The business was established in 2005 after I had learned all that was required. I saw my hometown, Okitipupa, Ondo State, as a good breeding ground to kick-start the business. We have the expertise and experience that our clients need to promote their businesses in a highly competitive marketplace.
“It was in my life’s darkest moment, when there seemed to be no hope that I discovered my entrepreneurial spirit. I thank God for that situation. If not for that single situation, I might have died without giving the entrepreneurial spirit in me a chance to manifest.”
Asked what informed the decision to become an entrepreneur, he said: “To be sincere with you, I can’t really pinpoint why I became an entrepreneur but I think I did it for several reasons. First and foremost, I am very ambitious and I love the word ‘control.’ I became an entrepreneur to gain greater control over my life. I want to determine my own pace; I want to move at my own speed, I don’t want to be limited by circumstances beyond my control.
“It is my utmost desire to become a billionaire in my lifetime and also give away billions of dollars. I don’t think any paid employment on earth can help me achieve that dream. If I become a billionaire in my lifetime, I will just be another self-made entrepreneur on the list. But if I don’t, I will die knowing I gave that dream my best shot.
“I also became an entrepreneur because I want to give my kids the life I never had; I became an entrepreneur because I want to leave a legacy for my generation. I became an entrepreneur because I want to be free to do what I want; I want to spend time with my family and I don’t want to be under any pressure outside my control”.
Doing business in an environment like ours must have its own challenges. Kayode admits and shares his thought.
According to him, “Building a business is quite challenging and demanding. There are numerous challenges confronting businesspersons, not only those of us involved in general printing. Some of the challenges include power supply, capital and raw materials. If you take a look at the country, you will know that electricity has always been a major problem. Even at that, only few people appreciate quality work on our own side; we don’t compromise on quality. Capital is also an issue. Most of the equipment we use in delivering quality jobs are expensive.”
It is the desire of every businessperson to see his business grow. Kayode said he is looking forward to enjoying patronage both within and outside Nigeria.
He said: “In the next five years I want to become an icon in general printing rendering services to both local and international firms.”
Kayode advised aspiring entrepreneurs to remain resolute in the pursuit of their dreams, saying; “In my opinion, I think every entrepreneur has a motive for starting a business but it is recommended that you balance your motives and focus more on providing your customers with real value for money. A good way to balance your motives for becoming an entrepreneur is to develop either a personal mission statement or a set of values and stick to it. Subjecting your life to a set of core positive values will ensure that you stay on and focus on your long-term objectives without being distracted by your short-term achievements.
Source : Independent