He may not be that popular as anticipated but for over thirty five years and still counting Chief E. O. Oladapo a soft spoken and humorous man has kept the faith with the development in Alimosho as he has ventured in several businesses in Alimosho; yet he is not tired of it. He desires to have more businesses cum investors embrace Alimosho and help the jobless youths off the streets. He is the Managing Director of Super Standard Chairs and Table Affairs, major dealers of plastic chairs and banquet chairs and all kinds of tables with children toys also. The owners of Super Standard Hall of Fame, Egbeda Chief E. O. Oladapo in this interview with the publisher The Alimosho Mail Newspaper & Online Mr Abel Lazarus bares his mind on his successes and challenges of over thirty five years of business in the most populated local govern in West Africa, Alimosho.
TAM: Sir can we meet you ?
CEOO: My name is Chief E. O. Oladapo, the managing director of Super Standard Chairs and tables Affairs and Super Standard Hall of Fame.
TAM : How long have you been in business in Alimosho?
CEOO: I have being doing business in Alimosho for over thirty five years now, we started with block moulding from which we moved to selling of chemicals and engine oil later ventured into textiles before the current business of major dealership in chairs and table with the event centre management; and so far it’s been worthwhile.
TAM: What would you have changed from today’s Alimosho and that of thirty five years ago that you started business?
CEOO: It is incomparable; when we started business this place was in the bush that people dread to come for anything not to talk of doing business but today, life has taken over those bushes and here can be compared to other cities like the Victoria Island.
TAM: What would you is the major factor that brought you to Alimosho and the reason for the development in Alimosho today?
CEOO: Alimosho had and has always provided the much required level playing field for businesses especially for start-ups. Other parts of Lagos is already saturated by the constant migration of people into Lagos from within Nigeria and other neighbouring countries hence the size of Alimosho has made it lot easier to absorb greater percentage of these migrations which in turn has made it very easy for businesses to thrive . There is market for whatever products or services in Alimosho which investors or businesses have realised hence the reason for the growth being witnessed currently. More so, the infrastructural development achieved so far under the present administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has revolutionised her development.
TAM: Could you tell us more about Standard Hall of Fame and Standard Chairs and Table?
CEOO: Standard Hall of Fame is an event centre with two sizeable halls ( Main Hall and Ondo Hall) of five hundred and seven hundred capacities or even more depending on settings well equipped to host events such as Annual General Meetings, Wedding Ceremonies, Traditional Marriages, Conferences/Seminars, Training and many more, with adequate parking spaces for cars and a 100 kva power generating set to power the air conditioners. Our services are top notch as we support our clients with free chairs, tables and drums with highly subsidised ice blocks for chilling and for out-doors services. Aside from the amenities Standard Hall of Fame has, it also has edge over other centres by her location which is very easy for even a blind one to locate and stone-throw from Egbeda bus stop with Olugbede Model Market as a landmark.
While Standard Chairs and Tables Affairs is more or less a hub for all chairs and table manufacturers in Nigeria and importers alike. As we deliver quality products to our numerous clients within Lagos and beyond. As a major dealer, our prices are not comparable to any other chairs and tables outlets because we sell at factory prices and this has informed the reason why our major customers are more of dealers, whole sellers than the end users.
TAM: In your many years of business in Alimosho what would you say has been the greater challenge that the businesses have face and what would be your advice to new comers towards overcoming such challenges?
CEOO: The major challenge we have faced and still facing is the peculiar problem of doing business in Nigeria which is lack of power, this has remained for the whole period of the business as you can see currently there is no power hence it becomes a huge challenge for businesses around; like I said earlier it’s a Nigerian factor which we hope to overcome some day. For the new investor am sure he/she is aware of this and would have factored it in his/her business plan. The challenge of infrastructure is gradually been sorted. For a new investor his or first line investment should be to generate power for his/her business, then the next is to device means of reaching your target audience.
TAM: How would you say the local government has been able to support/encourage your business?
CEOO: There is no assistant what so ever from the local government, what they are interested in is making sure their taxes and rates are paid. They are adamant to business development around as there are no initiatives to promote businesses around this community.
TAM: You made mention of reaching out to the community, how would you say Super Standard Group had been reaching out to her community in the form of corporate social responsibility ?
CEOO: We have been supportive to the community in our own little way, for an instance we donate the hall to the Alimosho local government for their activities.
TAM: How many staff does super standard have?
CEOO: We have about eight staff which also represent a plus to the community as we are in our own little way helping to get some of the youth off the street by offering them employment.
TAM: What else would you like to mention to us or an advice to other intending investors in Alimosho?
CEOO: My advice for anyone that wants to invest in Alimosho is for him/her to hasten up to join in developing it. Alimosho is a good place to do business when compared with other parts of Lagos State.