Kehinde Muibi: Entrepreneur building a successful construction business
In the highly competitive world of the construction industry, it is traditionally difficult for young entrepreneurs to break into.
But Kehinde Hammed Muibi, founder of Destiny Crest Limited has been able to break into Nigeria’s construction industry with hard work and tenacity.
Kehinde who started working in the construction industry as a labourer for several years was inspired to establish his business after identifying an opportunity in the industry.
Also, the young entrepreneur was inspired by his passion and interest in the construction industry.
To kick start the business while still an undergraduate, Kehinde did a lot of research on Nigeria’s construction industry and took up part-time jobs in the industry during holidays and strike periods of tertiary institutions to broaden his skills.
Upon graduation, the young entrepreneur secured a job with a top bank and after working for six years, Kehinde resigned to establish his business in 2016 and incorporated it in 2018.
Since starting, the business has grown steadily as the brand has worked on major projects such as the Sugarland Estate and others.
The business currently has 12 full time and over 200 part-time site employees. His initial start-up capital was gotten from his savings while he was working in the banking industry.
It was not all rosy for the young entrepreneur as he had to convince clients that he had got the right skills to deliver a project.
To achieve that, the banker-turned-entrepreneur had to render his services free of charge during the early stages of the business.
“When I started my business I built a shopping complex free of charge for a client. I only requested that we should be feed daily all through the duration of the project,” he says.
“The project lasted five months and it was a stepping stone for me in the industry as well as a wonderful experience,” he adds.
The young entrepreneur told Start-up Digest that he was able to secure his first major contract through the help of a friend.
“The first contract I got was a building plan design job through a friend. After delivery, the plan turned out to be beyond the expectations of the client,” he says.
“Due to the excellent job, the client offered me the complete building project to manage. It was an eye-opener for me,” he further says.
Since the pandemic outbreak, the business has had to re-startegise its model to survive the economic fallout from the pandemic.
“We are particular about what we deliver to our clients. Even during the pandemic, renowned companies in Abuja have offered us jobs, choosing us as an outstanding construction company fit for their project,” he explains.
Kehinde states that starting his business is the biggest risk he has ever taken. “For me, starting a company is a risk on its own. Every project is also a risk because the projects have to be completed despite the increase in the cost of building materials coupled with clients’ unwillingness to pay extra.”
Speaking on digital innovations the business has brought to the country’s industry, he says the introduction of a work-shift for engineers and workers has helped the business innovate its processes.
“We are taking the construction industry into an extra dimension, creating a foundation for our workers,” he says.
In evaluating the country’s construction industry, Kehinde says it has evolved and is still evolving.
He says the industry can be used to stimulate economic and environmental development through the execution of massive physical infrastructure development across the country.
The young entrepreneur states that the Nigerian business environment has improved tremendously and this has encouraged new entrant of youths into various industries.
“Nigerian business environment has improved a lot as we have more youths making waves in the ecosystem. This is because the government has been focused on reducing the country’s high unemployment rate,” he explains.
He stresses that most start-up businesses fail because of adequate planning.
He notes that most start-ups fail after five years of operation as a result of inadequate planning and structure.
“Some start-ups feel they have the financial capacity to venture into entrepreneurship without adequate and proper long term plan. After a few years, such businesses are no longer found relevant because the plan they have is not enough to sustain the business for a longer duration.”
On his business expansion plans, the 28 years old entrepreneur states that his business plans to become a major brand in the country’s construction industry in the long run while in the short run, the business hopes to rebrand its processes and make an entry into Abuja real estate industry.
“We plan to rebrand our processes by having more directors and stakeholders to ensure proper and adequate solutions for the present and future challenges faced in the industry,” he says.
“The brand is proposed to be established firstly in all states of the nation, then across the world. Presently, we plan to launch this new brand in Lagos, Oyo, and the federal capital Territory,” he adds.
Speaking on challenges confronting his business, the young entrepreneur notes that inadequate funding has continued to limit his business.
He urges the government to make funding available for start-ups and entrepreneurs to be able to scale.
Similarly, he calls on the government at all levels to bridge the country’s huge infrastructural gaps, saying that Nigeria cannot attain industrialisation without crucial infrastructures that aid development.
“The government has to look into funding entrepreneurs with a reliable and profitable business plan. This will help reduce the high rate of youth unemployment in the society. Existing businesses should also be funded and regularized to ensure maximum productivity,” he says.
On his advice to young entrepreneurs, he says “be ready to face the mountains before you, be on the lookout for new things, and let challenges you face move you to success.”