Elvis Charles and Jeffrey Okpaleke launched their app Play Network for business and lifestyle networking which has been widely embraced on the social media.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with the Okpaleke brothers on what inspired Play Network and how Nigerians can enjoy it…
What is Play Network all about?
Play Network is for business in the lifestyle networking. It connects people in the lifestyle industry. It connects people who are into business. It connects entrepreneurs with investors. Basically, we are trying to blend everything together, lifestyle, business and networking. Generally, it is a lifestyle business network.
We are also trying to help young business grow. We will continue with our Be a boss in 15 seconds scheme. We are giving out N1 million to the winner. That is our primary objective. A guy that packaged groundnut, garri and sugar won the test run edition.
How has the response been?
It is something we started working on a while ago. We were able to pull something together called How to be a boss in 15 seconds where the winner was awarded N1 million. We wanted an innovative person to come up with ideas in 15 seconds. Those are ideas we want to pursue. I must say that the response has been tremendous.
Who exactly are the targets of Play Network?
Young entrepreneurs, young people in general. We cater for people who are willing to express themselves as well.
How interactive is Play Network?
It is very interactive. It is a combination of Facebook and Linkedin. You can meet people on the network, you can communicate with people, send them direct messages, post pictures, interact with friends, update your profile and you can send requests, block and unblock people.
How many people do you have on the network now?
We have a lot, over 10,000 people.
How does Play Network work?
If you click on the website, it will ask you if you are a member or not. If you’re not a member, you will sign up and start enjoying the network. Just click on www.playnetworknigeria.com.
Why the name Play Network?
It is because we are into serious business. The word play goes beyond playing. We have something called Political Play Forum. It is for politically inclined people. So, using the word play does not mean it is all about play.
What are the similarities and differences between Linkedin and Play Network?
They are both social network. Linkedin connects professionals. Play Network connects more than professionals. We connect business people, investors and people are just there to look. We are taking both the business and the lifestyle part of it.
How long has Play Network been?
Play is eight, the Network is some months old. We were at it for a while before launching out.
What makes Play Network unique?
It is bespoke. It is detailed. We connect you with people within your network. For instance, if you are into agriculture, you can click on agriculture and it will connect you with people who are into agriculture. You can discuss business and share ideas. Just click on the sector you belong, you will get people who are in your sector. We are not competing with other similar service providers. For now, it is within Nigeria.
You also run Play Lounge, can you tell us about it?
It is a luxury lounge. We have something similar here in Lagos. It is called BLD. We also have in Calabar.
How challenging is it doing business in Nigeria?
I love this country. I don’t think I would relocate to the States. Though doing business in Nigeria is very tough. They tax people too much. If you want to employ, you have to think of diesel and every other things even you will spend money so that at the end of the day, you can still make profit.
What other business are you involved in?
We have a restaurant on the Island, BLD Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. It is on Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos. It is a buffet idea. With N2,500, you can eat at BLD. It is quite affordable. We want to give out middle class luxury. We want ordinary people to enjoy what the average man is enjoying. We are hoping at expanding to other states very soon.
We have our free play lifestyle magazine and we are also into fashion. We have Play Apparel. We are into everyday wears, high street fashion that is affordable. We have an online retail store, Shop and Play. We sell retail Nigerian brands for women and men.