ABD Fuel boss, Juwon Lawal, a couple of months back introduced a new lubricant, ABD Lubs, which will be officially launched in September 2012. According to the young and brilliant entrepreneur, a lot of other projects including his company’s multimillion naira headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos, are still in the pipeline.
ENCOMIUM Weekly cornered the Kogi State born business man at Protea Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday, August 29, 2012, where he spoke to us on the progress of the company and other issues.
It’s exactly a year ago that we had an interview with you on your business outfit, ABD Fuel, what has been the progress so far?
Thank you very much. We thank Almighty God, we have been able to put everything together and arrived at so many projects which we are now working on. By the grace of God, before this year runs out, we will have some of our products in the market.
In April this year, you came out with a new product, what is it all about?
It’s true, we have come out with our own lubricant called ABD Lubs but it’s going to be officially launched in September this year. From there, it will be made available to all our customers. I can’t say precisely when but by the special grace of God that will be achieved before the end of the year. When the lubricant is in the market, we can now go for another project.
What are the fresh challenges faced as regards the business?
God has been so great. There are no special challenges so far, I think they are just normal business challenges as far as I am concerned. They are not out of hand. So, we give God the glory.
How would you now describe the experience since last year till date?
It has been fantastic. In oil and marine business, we gain experience every day. We travel all the time, we have transactions all the time. We always meet people in the industry. We have been able to come up with new ideas, new approach to our numerous customers.
So, the experience has been very great.
As an entrepreneur, what are the golden rules that guide your business?
First, you just have to be self disciplined, dedicated and committed. If you don’t have all these, you’re not likely to go anywhere business wise.
Are all these working for you as well?
Very well and I give thanks to God for that.
How would you rate your employees in terms of discipline and all that?
Very high. All my workers are disciplined. If you call my office’s landline at 7.40 or 7.50am my staffers all there.
What about service delivery, how prompt are they?
They are very prompt, they don’t disappoint our customers.
The last time we had a chat with you, you said that you would soon complete your company’s headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos, what’s the development?
We are almost through with it.
What is the worth of the project?
I have not valued it yet and if I have done that I won’t tell you.
But they said it’s a multimillion naira edifice…
(Cuts in) That’s true because we are going to accommodate more staffers and more marketers. Definitely, we would need a better and more spacious structure.
How has the partial removal of fuel subsidy affected your oil business?
I don’t serve the public, I do off-shore trading. It only affects me as an individual not as a business person.
Let’s hear your opinion on the introduction of N5,000 note which is the topical issue now, do you also support that it should be suspended as ordered by the Senate?
I believe we economic and financial experts, including those in the Central Bank, Ministry of Finance, we should allow them to sort such things out first. I think in some countries abroad they have higher notes but in our own country, the introduction of such will only have a negative impact on our economy.
So, that’s the reason I don’t support the policy. I think what the Senate and House of representatives members are saying is good. Let’s support their voice so that as Nigerians, we would be able to appreciate our naira.
Back to your business, are there lapses so far that you intend to address?
No lapses as such but we only need to be more vigilant. That’s all.
What is ABD Fuel’s unique point?
Our unique point in ABD Fuel is obvious, we are very unique in our prompt service delivery. We don’t disappoint our clients and we do a lot of research every day.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, September 5, 2012