Home > interviews > business from the bedroom

business from the bedroom

I was contacted by The Creative Africans for an interview on Monday, April 11th, 2011.

If you’re wondering who they are, as I initially did, The Creative Africans is an online organization that conducts video interviews of African entrepreneurs with the sole purpose of inspiring African youths and helping them develop the spirit of entrepreneurship in order to help shape the future of Africa through learning from experienced entrepreneurs. They are motivated by their belief in another side of Africans – the side which is full of creative, energetic, intelligent, prudent, strong and successful people whose stories should be told in order to encourage other young Africans around the world and help put Africa on the map of entrepreneurship on a global scale.

I was humbled they thought my story was inspiring and successful enough to motivate a lot of African youths. They would have loved to have an audio or video interview, but since it couldn’t have been organized at the time, we settled for written. We agreed to arrange that (audio/video) for a later date. I got the interview questions the following Monday (April 18th) and the interview was published on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011. Here’s the interview:

Sylvester Kay-Adade

Sylvester Kay-Adade

Can you give the readers some background information about yourself and your company?

Certainly. I’m Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade. I was born on May 29th, 1987 to Mr. Sylvester I and Mrs. Fehintola Adade in Lagos, Nigeria. My dad was of mixed heritage and my mum is Yoruba. I have four lovely sisters- Ronke, Anthonia, Rita and Veronica.

I’m a Businessman, Entrepreneur, President and Chief Executive of The SKA Group Inc. My first business venture, Pearl Kreations, is my popular venture. It initially made just button-badges, and that is where my nickname- Mr. Buttons originated from.

I love to read and watch movies. I also love to play chess and lawn tennis.

When and how did you start your business?

I started doing business in January 2008 when I launched Pearl Kreations. I had been saving for quite some time; and when I was all set, I decided button-badges were going to be the right use for the money.

How did you come across the idea and what made you think it was profitable?

A very good friend of mine, Sombiri shared his idea to make badges for Nigeria’s forty-fifth (45th) Independence Day celebrations. We put our heads together and joggled some ideas, but there were several setbacks to accomplishing the goal so we gave it a rest.

Sometime in 2007, after moving to Canada, I remembered the buttons idea. I did the research- button designing, the type and cost of the equipment and materials required and so on. I tried to partner with Sombiri, but he had moved on to other things; so I had to go about it on my own.

I couldn’t be certain if it would be profitable or not at the time, but I felt it was worth the shot. I believed it would be better to know I tried, rather than wonder “what if”.

On your twitter you were talking about networking being the key. How has it helped growing your business?

In my opinion, networking is all about putting yourself out there. It’s about getting acquainted with like-minded people and building your contact base.

In my case, I’ve always been sort of an introvert. I also have an expressionless face, which sometimes makes me seem unapproachable.

I’m learning to grow out of my shell by smiling, meeting new people – and introducing myself as an entrepreneur and giving out my business cards. So far, I’ve met prospective clients and made a couple of deals with people I met at formal and networking events.

How have you used social media to improve sales?

After hearing that in 2009, companies like Dell and Starbucks, made additional revenue in the sum of tens of millions of dollars basically for free; by simply communicating with customers via twitter, I realized I wasn’t maximizing the potential of the facebook and twitter accounts. We started by engaging our fans and followers by throwing competitions and communicating with them directly.

Since January 2011, Pearl Kreations’ sales have increased almost fifty percent! Facebook and twitter are incredible networking tools.

You have had 3 business successes: buttons, clothing line and estate management. How did you do that?

It is all by God’s grace. After successfully running Pearl Kreations for about two years, I realized I actually enjoyed business and decided to diversify.

I wanted to go into something else; something that was close to my heart – style. Soon after, I started Suave Clothing. It is a high-end formal clothing store. We started by retailing luxury accessories like sunglasses by Carrera, cufflinks by Christian Dior and belts by Salvatore Ferragamo and the likes. As sales soared, I decided to launch Suave Clothing line of superior quality dress shirts. Manufacture has been halted, but we will resume by launching our brand of superior quality suits and dress shirts for stylish youths and young executives.

Suave Clothing also provides wardrobe consultation services; and since 2010, the company posts style articles for men and women on The SKA Blog on a quarterly basis. You can read more about Suave Clothing at in my website.

Another thing I’m passionate about is real estate. I invested some of the revenue from both businesses in real estate, bought a property, developed it and started renting. This real estate venture is called RansRive Realtors. In time, I hope it will provide temporary and permanent accommodation through the letting and sale of commercial and residential properties.

I’m able to manage these businesses through the parent company called The SKA Group Incorporated. It’s based in Canada, but conducts business worldwide. The SKA Group is into other ventures like advertising (Spinners), document management (Sylver Productions), financial services (SKA Ventures), space optimization (RCubed-Merit) and many more. Some are still projects, while others are operational. Some are privately-owned, while others are in partnership with other companies and entrepreneurs.

What cheap marketing techniques have you used that proved successful in the early days of your business?

Sponsorship of events (by offering free products), word of mouth/referrals and social networking (blogs, facebook and twitter).

What is your experience about making business plans before starting a business?

I think it is important to have a business plan. It helps you map out the life of your business – mission, vision, values, competition analysis, location analysis, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis on the industry, target market analysis, trend analysis, sale projections etc.

Pearl Kreations didn’t have one when I started, but it does now, and I strongly believe I could have been much more successful today if I knew then what I do now about the importance of business plans.

What is the entrepreneur eye you mention on your twitter?

The entrepreneurial eye is the ability of see potential, viable business opportunities any and everywhere. You can read all about my initial experience with the entrepreneurial eye on my website.

What is the worst experience you have ever had as an entrepreneur?

There’s nothing quite like having a great idea, pursuing it and then having your hopes dashed. I’ve had my share of disappointments. My worst experience would be when every single of my countless proposals addressed to film companies and banks were rejected or not responded to. It hurt, but I kept pressing on. My application to supply buttons for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was initially rejected, but I was persistent. Eventually, I was awarded the contract! So you see, you cannot afford to give up!

Tell us more about your KAFF?

The Kay-Adade Family Foundation (KAFF) is a private organization I founded to support our (my family’s) favourite charities, provide free healthcare for orphans and under-privileged families, assist The SKA Group with some of its social responsibilities and support entrepreneurship. KAFF currently sponsors the Canadian Bible Society, the Juravinski Cancer Centre Foundation, missions and outreaches of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Worldwide, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and some promising entrepreneurs.

In the near future, KAFF plans to additionally fund young, budding entrepreneurs through a biannual competition called the KAFF Challenge. The winner will be awarded a cash prize to start up as well as the backing of The SKA Group, if necessary. It will also provide scholarships for prospective students of the Pearl Academy, Covenant University, Ota; and McMaster University.

Link to the Original

That’s all folks!

Advertisements
  1. M. Sobukunola
    April 25, 2011 at 6:52 am

    You’re a challenge. Well done!!!

  2. Nelson Kyari
    April 25, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Don’t go searching far away when all you need is right there where you are.
    Good piece Syl and I wish you the very best.
    You’ll go far, very far! I have been inspired…

  3. Bubu
    April 25, 2011 at 6:55 am

    <=-P Gosh! I'm sooooo happy and proud of you!
    I glorify God for your life as a success story.
    I keep praying for you that you'll be just like Joseph; that God will continue to make everything you touch and everything you go into be a success and prosper and grow IJN

  4. O.E.A.
    April 25, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Way to GO!

  5. P3TRA
    April 26, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Good job!
    I see you’re really determined to make SKA a household name. I like your determination.
    I’m so happy for you. Your efforts would never be in vain.

  6. toyosi
    April 26, 2011 at 2:56 am

    I’m so proud of you boo…keep doing your thing!

  7. FS
    April 26, 2011 at 5:49 am

    Nice interview.
    Really happy you are making progress with The SKA Group and KAFF – that’s super (y)

  8. Moni
    April 26, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Damn, you’re doing amazing things and that’s awesome. I’m super proud of you buddy.

  9. Teni
    April 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I’m so proud of you

  10. katty
    May 9, 2011 at 9:31 am

    hi, your story is inpirational thanks keep it up

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: