Olugbuyi Ogunnaike Jnr is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Ice Box Nigeria Limited. He has worked so hard to create a niche for himself by providing total logistics for events. He believes there is a key to every business and also passion and consistency can take one higher.
Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly he told us what makes Ice Box stand out, advising the youth to be creative and do things differently to make them standout and more.
Can we meet you?
My name is Olugbuyi Ogunnaike Jnr., the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Ice Box Nigeria Limited.
Can you give us an insight of what Ice Box does?
Ice Box provides total logistics for party drinks, that is we supply drinks for events, we supply ice blocks and serve all kinds of drinks, we set up mobile bars. Some middle class might want a high class service so, we work around the kind of drinks they can afford and attend to them the same way they would be attended to if they had the party at Eko or Oriental hotels.
So, our major business is providing logistics, ice the drinks and serve them.
What inspired this choice of business?
Though I have always managed stuffs like birthdays at home but after my first degree, I did my Masters and seeing what companies and organizations were paying, I thought of what to do because I attended a private university and know how much my parents spent. I couldn’t afford to collect N30,000 or N40,000 as salary, so I opted for this because I have always managed stuffs at home.
So, I thought I could also make it a business as well. I registered and started telling people of what I do. Though a lot of people didn’t take me very serious at that point but later when they saw the zeal and passion I have, they started responding.
How do you get jobs?
By reference, we also have event planners we work with as well, most times we get jobs directly from the clients or guests that attended an event or a party we provided service. From each event we serve, we are sure of five clients because they are always impressed with our services.
Looking at your kind of service that has to do with time structure, how do you manage that?
We work around the week, if we have an event on Saturday, we start sorting out ourselves from the beginning of the week, get drinks and water suppliers, that way we can meet up with the timing. A day before the event we load our stuffs in the truck depending on how many events we have that particular day and as early as 6am, we are set.
If we have event outside Lagos, we get set on or before two days to ensure everything is intact.
How do you manage to stand above your competitors?
I believe there is always a space for everyone, everybody has his/her own client but in as much as everybody has customers, we try to do our own thing differently. We give satisfactory service. I believe what makes us different is the uniqueness of our service delivery, our packaging, the uniform, accountability which is very important.
We ensure that everything is accounted for, if there are left over drinks after the event, we hand them over to the client, so the major thing is trust and the way we present ourselves.
Do you think this business is profit oriented?
Yes, it’s profitable, we have been doing this business for five years and if it’s not profitable, we wouldn’t be here. We supply the drinks at the flat rate. Even if you go to the market yourself, you would not get it at such rate or price, we only charge for the services because we are the service provider, if you want a mobile bar, you pay for the service.
How do you guard against not meeting the client’s satisfaction?
We try our best to make sure everything is accounted for. We work directly with the importers/dealers of the drinks to avoid providing fake drinks. We are 100 percent sure of our source. Trust is very important in business so, if you build that trust in your clients, you are good to go and we give the best service and we always improve on what we have on ground.
Perhaps you have to travel outside town or country to provide logistics, how would you manage that?
I believe the same way we have been doing outside Lagos would be applied, if I can work in Abuja, Oyo and other parts of the country, I can equally manage any event outside Nigeria. One thing is that you can’t move all your staff, you either work with people outside the country and tell them how it works and get it done.
Has the economy of this country affected your kind of business?
The economy of Nigeria is not stable, at some point you don’t get business as you ought to while at another point you will be fully booked from January to December. So, there is always a season for any business but the peak period is from January to April. It slows down for a while and by August, it picks up again.
So, I won’t say the economy affects the business because people celebrate every day, people get married but the only way it affects us is, maybe they might not spend much money as they would have.
What kind of drinks do you supply for the clients?
We supply all kinds of drinks ranging from water, soft drinks, alcohol, wines, cocktails, champagnes, all drinks depending on the client’s request.
Is your service affordable?
Of course, we are very much affordable, just walk up to us and tell us your budget and we work around it and give you the best service. You never can tell someone might be at that particular event and award us much higher contract. And we have had a lot of big jobs through that.
How do you manage to put Ice Box on the lips of everyone?
In as much as you are consistent in what you do, people will talk about you and we have been consistent in that business. There were four events we managed the same day and some of the people in the first event attended the others and were amazed the way we rendered our services and met the client’s needs.
A lot of young graduates are out there roaming the street, what advise would you give them?
When I finished my education, I had this at the back of my mind that I wasn’t going to work for anybody and the salary was not even impressive. My parents paid a lot to see me through a private university.
Though everybody must not do business, some people will definitely work for somebody. I will advise them to be passionate about any choice they make and put their mind in any job or business.
When I started Ice Box business, I didn’t get a job for one year but I was still going to work. The first job I did, I made only N8,000 and I had bills to settle. It was discouraged but I never backed out, I kept pushing.
I even got some jobs from that particular event and after that things started changing. So, I will advise them to be serious and creative even if they want to start making shoes, they should be creative and do it differently.
Some people that do this my kind of business see me as an inspiration because of my service delivery.