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Vague goals will produce vague results – Uwadialé

Osagie Benard Omohe Uwadiale, chief executive officer of Clean FCT is determined to build a profitable business and to create a logistics ecosystem that delivers goods seamlessly across the world from and to Nigeria. In this interview with Stephen Onyekwelu, Uwadiale takes his audience through the details of what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. Excerpts:

What is Clean FCT about?

Clean FCT offers satisfactory laundry services within Federal Capital Territory. We are currently partnering with a shipping company in Istanbul Turkey. My passion is to create an ecosystem. That is, a way I can cargo products from every part of the world to Nigeria without delay.

How do you see the company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?

I see a lot changing in two years. I want to make Clean FCT to go global. I am so passionate about what I do and I am working on an App that will make a change and also make it easier for customers to patronise us without leaving their comfort zones. I am strategising a plan to offer our services like no other company does, in a unique way, in a way that customers will wonder, ponder and ask what kind of professionals we are. I want my brand to be special and I want it to stand out.

All this requires work, yes and I am ready to put in my best. I am currently reading lots of business books. Not just reading but I have been to seminars in England, Australia and Dubai. To me, this is the time to put that knowledge to use.

Read also: World Bank says Sub-Saharan Africa to see 3.3% economic contraction on Covid-19 pandemic

How has your business fared under the COVID-19 pandemic?

I was lucky enough to be able to hand some costumer contacts but basically what I did after offering my services before the lockdown was that I got their contacts. These were email addresses, phone numbers or even house addresses. I sent in gifts for events like Salah. And sometimes I send emails of appreciation and texts too.

So when the lockdown started I had to go back to the drawing board. Gathered all the contacts I already had and I started to send texts and emails to the. This way I was able to continue my business.

This pandemic is challenging. It is also a test for us Nigerian entrepreneurs. Any business that can’t survive a lockdown shouldn’t even be called a business. After this pandemic, entrepreneurs need to sit down to find a way to offer or sell their goods and services online. What I mean by that is we should look for a way to survive for any other lockdown.

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You have written a yet to be published book. Tell us about it.

It is titled Transition Waves. My book is simply about courage and tactical thinking.

All I did was to show my generation how to go slow and steady instead of moving fast and crashing afterwards.

It is also about building and working on your foundation because success without a well-planned foundation won’t last. Apparently many youths in Nigeria have so much potentials that most don’t even know because of how the society has affected their consciousness.

My book is not for everyone. It’s for those who don’t know how to start; it’s for those who have already given up and those who think they can never do it.

Why do many people find it difficult to achieve their goals and desires?

One of the main reasons people fail to reach their goals is because they are not being specific enough. When you ask them what they want to achieve in their lives, they will give you vague and general wishes such as they want to be rich or they want to be happy.

Do you know that vague goals will produce vague results? And that your goals will affect your strategy?

The strategies to achieve $10,000 a month and the strategy to achieve $1,000,000 a month are totally different. Therefore, if your goals are not specific, you cannot create a specific action plan to reach them. The first thing you must do is to make sure your goals are as specific as possible.

Next, people often have doubts about their goals and they do not believe in their abilities. They set a goal and then they imagine all the things that will go wrong, they ask themselves, “What if I fail?”

When you have doubts and you do not believe in yourself, you would rarely tap into your maximum potential to reach for what you want. Think about it, if you are doubtful that your product can perform, do you think you will go all out and promote it?

Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, et cetera always believed in their products and services that is why they are willing to invest millions of dollars into their businesses. If they are doubtful about their businesses, they will never take a bold move and pour all the effort into their dreams. You have to believe in yourself and your ability to reach your goals.

Too often, you will see people jumping from one company to another and switching from one business to another.

Most people do not know how to handle their failure and they do not have the determination to go on. When they work on something and they do not see any result, they choose to give up and go on to chase the next big thing.

So what do you think should be done to overcome the current challenges?

Responses to the past pandemic outbreaks have been fragmented. Instead of pooling resources, governments and business set up isolated programmes.

In order to fight infectious diseases effectively, we must collaborate. Health Ministries must take advantage of innovation in the private sector, and in turn, educate business about the effects of pandemics on their bottom line.

Business has access to a portfolio of new and evolving technologies. Their research and development divisions give them deep insight into local needs and they have the ability to produce health solutions at scale.

We only need to look at how private-public partnerships (PPPs) have driven innovation in the financial services to see the impact it can have. Healthcare in Africa must embrace mobile technology in the same way financial services has.

By connecting patients and care providers with public health workers via mobile telecommunications, we can effectively detect and act against infection outbreaks and develop valuable insights to prepare for future outbreaks.

This so-called disease surveillance involves the collection, analysis and interpretation of large volumes of data originating from a variety of sources. It helps us predict, observe, and minimise the harm caused by an epidemic or pandemic outbreaks. It increases our knowledge about which factors contribute to such circumstances.

To effectively implement surveillance through technology, we must turn primary healthcare workers into data gatherers. This will take a major investment in skills development. By training staff to recognise symptoms and to collect data for epidemiological reasons, we will be building an extra layer of defence against pandemic outbreaks.

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