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culture permeation

February 6, 2020 Leave a comment

A huge problem in Corporate Nigeria is our tribal culture; it knows no bounds. It is inhibiting professionalism and influencing business negatively. The worst part is we’re its enablers.

A friend shared some shocking news with me some weeks ago. Her boss at the office requires all female employees to courtesy, and all male employees to prostrate, when they greet him every morning. Shocking, right? On top of all that, some female employees address him as “Daddy” instead of “Sir”, and he doesn’t mind. Can you believe that? This man has basically instituted the Yoruba way of greeting, and turned the workplace into a mini Yoruba community.

That would have been ridiculous, if it is an isolated incident, but it’s quite common. A doctor friend of mine [trained in eastern Nigeria] told me how nurses would refuse to take instructions for junior medical officers, on the grounds that they aren’t “mates”, and it’s disrespectful for junior doctors to “order” them to follow up on or give medication to patients. I asked my sister, who was a Lagos-based doctor, if this is true here, and she concurred.

How old one is or how elderly, no matter the culture or tribe, a supervisor should never instruct his/her subordinates to courtesy or prostrate to him; especially not at their place of business/in a professional environment! Talk less of tolerating female subordinates referring to their boss as “Daddy”. Having a supervisor [younger in age] is no reason for older subordinates to disrespect him/her or neglect their duties! The level of unprofessionalism in Nigeria is getting out of whack, honestly.

There’s also the issue of casually [and regularly] speaking in native dialects with colleagues [usually from the same tribe], or pidgin, during office hours. I’m all for cultural bonding of colleagues and team members, but this pattern of behavior [during business hours] tends to rid a firm of its professional outlook. This trend is so widespread, it’s like an epidemic. Speaking in any language, other than English, is only permissible when English is causing a communication barrier with an uneducated client/customer. Any other language can be spoken after office hours or behind closed doors. Otherwise, the trend may result in tribal undertones associated with the brand. For example, the former Diamond Bank was perceived as Igbo people’s bank. This was mainly due to perception and the proliferation of certain mannerisms at the branch level. Chances were, if you walked into any former branch, not only would most of the front-end staff be Igbo natives, but they would be conversing [loudly] in Igbo with each other and the customers. Even the AI chatbot personal banker was called Ada. Ada is a popular feminine Igbo name, and the chatbot’s avatar was, of course, female. If Igbo-centricity was a strategy, it might have worked in attracting Igbo-centric clientele, but it also alienated clients associated with other tribes.

All these are some of the reasons my friend, Collins, and I went into business together in 2017. We set up a personal development agency called Centerprise, with the sole aim of ending the mediocrity in business and upgrading professionalism in Africa. We are determined to cause a positive shift in mannerisms and mentality, and we’re working from the ground up. We connect undergraduates/recent graduates with relevant internships to gain valuable professional experience, develop/optimize resumes and offer interview/job preparation to undergraduates/employees, and provide bankable business plans to budding entrepreneurs; most importantly, we organize professional classes for graduates/employees to gain proper business decorum. We believe personal growth must be intentional, and that includes professional business etiquette.

I understand we have a strong culture in Nigeria, and it’s a big part of our identities, but things need to be kept strictly professional at the workplace. Only verbal greetings and handshakes are acceptable forms of greeting. Permitting female employees to refer to their superior as “Daddy” or anything form of endearment is grounds for sexual harassment, at the very least. The only acceptable titles are “Sir” or “Madam/Ma’am” [or “Boss”, in semi-formal settings], not even “Oga” or “Ma”. And of course, with the exception of interactions with certain customers, Queen’s English should be spoken in and around the office.

ska redefined 2019

April 10, 2019 Leave a comment

The SKA Legacy is 10 years today!
How time flies, right? It honestly doesn’t seem that long ago that my dad passed! May he continue to rest in perfect peace.

There will be two (2) changes to the business (asides the switch in names and mottos) and this write-up from last year – Café Euphorie has become Bites N’ Treats (BNT) Gourmet Café, and from 2020, this write-up will be done at the close of the year (December 9th) to mark the initial anniversary of [my dad’s registration of] SKA Ventures in 1991. Asides from those, I’m still working on building the empire, and hope dad is pleased.

Creativity Beyond Measure

Profile

SKA Ventures goes over expectations and beyond imagination. It is constantly raising the bar for excellence in innovation and service. Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, SKA Ventures is a leading, privately-owned, diversified business conglomerate. It owns and oversees the operations of several companies with interests spanning various industries all over the world. Through the dedication of its employees worldwide, SKA Ventures remains one of the most admired, dynamic and profitable companies in the world.

 

History

SKA Ventures began from Pearl Kreations on Monday, January 28th, 2008 in Hamilton, Ontario, while Sylvester Kay-Adade was a freshman at McMaster University. Circa September 2009, the vision for The SKA Group was conceived. The following year, it was implemented.

On September 21st, 2010, The SKA Group was officially registered in Canada under the laws of the Province of Ontario. As Pearl Kreations became more successful, its profits provided the necessary capital for the exploration of new industries. The explorations birthed Property Management Firm, Ransrive Realtors, in November 2009; Think Tank, Sylver Productions, in August 2011; and Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) Advisory Firm, Herança Financial in April 2013.

During its expansion into Nigeria in 2014, it was discovered that The SKA Group could not be registered in Nigeria as his father, Sylvester Adade, had coincidentally registered SKA Ventures Limited in December, 1991. In 2018, The SKA Group adopted SKA Ventures as its new name.

Presently, SKA Ventures owns BNT Gourmet Café, Herança Financial, Pearl Kreations, Prestige Academy, Ransrive Realtors, Suave Clothing, Sylver Productions, and Vecasyer Hotels & Towers, as well as controlling interests in Centerprise, RCubed-Merit, and Spinners.

 

Mission

SKA Ventures will relentlessly provide superior quality products and deliver exceptional service, while thriving to be the best and exceed expectations in all its business and social endeavors.

 

Vision

SKA Ventures aims to be recognized as the global brand with a drive for innovation and heart after perfection.

 

Values

Integrity

We believe in consistency in the right values.

Fairness: There is no discrimination; everyone is equal and every job is vital to our brilliant success.

Hard work: Excellent results are not manufactured, but accomplished through hard work. We understand that and are very familiar with it.

Lawfulness: All our actions and activities are in total obedience, and in complete accordance with the law.

Quality: All our products and services are always held to the highest standards.

Leadership

We believe in leadership by example.

Accountability: We account and take responsibility for our actions, and conduct ourselves responsibly and transparently in all situations and at all times.

Entrepreneurship: We are creative, innovative and ready to take calculated risks.

Perfection: We are performance-oriented and put our best into everything.

People

Like every family, we trust respect and trust each other, and that attitude flows right from the top to the branches. The people make the company, and our people are the best employees, executives, and partners; hence, we are the best company.

Service

We make everything about our patrons because it is.

Community: A good community produces good people. Our people are good people because they come from good communities. In order to maintain the balance, we give back through caring for the environment, maintaining old and raising new fundamental structures, and providing basic necessities to lacking communities.

Customers: Customer service is paramount to us because without our clients and customers, we would be non-existent. We are committed to continually provide value through our products and services.

 

SubsidiariesEvery business venture is held to the highest standards, operated efficiently, and pacesetters in their respective industries.

BNT Gourmet Café is the chain of state-of-the-art cafes designed for and with the quintessential business executive in mind.

Herança Financial is the global, small business advisory firm which deals in the provision of top-notch advice and solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Prestige Academy is the educational institution which delivers quality, unparalleled educational services. These services include entrepreneurial education, financial management education, middle school education, high school education, private tutoring, and renowned etiquette & grooming classes.

Pearl Kreations is the collectibles company which manufactures, retails and supplies superior quality pin back button-badges for a variety of corporate events and personal purposes.

Ransrive Realtors is the property management firm which provides temporary and permanent accommodation through the letting and sale of commercial and residential properties.

Suave Clothing is the unique clothing venture which retails luxury accessories from reputable brand names, manufactures and sells its own line of bespoke dress shirts, dress pants and suits, and provides wardrobe consultation services. It also produces a biannual online style publication called The Suave Series.

Sylver Productions is the innovative firm which provides unique products and services that meet untapped customer needs. It developed, manages and operates proprietary services like CityMail™, TixItUp™, Datlik™ and Wefyl™.

Vecasyer Hotels & Towers is the collection of the most stylish hotels and resorts worldwide, which offer 5-star accommodation with first class professional treatment and services.

 

SKA Ventures also has partial ownership of:

Spinners (75% ownership), an agency which provides expert advertising services and solutions to its clients. It also uses its ace designing skills and creative wordplay to make befitting logos, catchy names and impressive slogans for its clients’ businesses, events and products;

RCubed-Merit (51% ownership), an outfitting firm which highlights and optimizes the potential for various living spaces by redefining the outlook of the rooms, offices, homes and work spaces through the reorganization and restructuring of their overall presentation; and

Centerprise Global Resources (49% ownership), a personal development agency focused on better self, better employees, better business.

 

All subsidiaries operate independently, but are monitored and regulated from its headquarters, SKA Tower, under the leadership of the Chief Executive/Group Managing Director.

imovie 2019

January 28, 2019 Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

I wish everyone well.

Pearl Kreations is 11 years old today. I thank God for sustaining the company and my adventure as Mr. Buttons thus far lol. Sometimes, I can’t believe how long it’s been!

Well, as has been the tradition for some years now, we will be rolling out some cool buttons in line with some of the blockbusters coming out this year.

Once again, Marvel takes the cake for the most buttons – a whooping 9 out of 11 buttons.In chronological order, we have:

  • Captain Marvel buttons and SHIELD buttons for Captain Marvel – out March 8th
  • Shazam buttons for Shazam! – out April 5th
  • BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) buttons for Hellboy – out April 12th
  • Avengers buttons, Iron Man buttons, Captain America buttons, Ant Man buttons, Mjöllnir buttons, and Spider Man buttons for Avengers: Endgame – out April 26th
  • XMen buttons for Dark Phoenix – out June 7th
  • Spider Man buttons also for Spider Man: Far From Home – out July 15th

Since they’re almost entirely Marvel-based, there will be just one collection this year – The Fantasy XIX Collection – with all eleven (11) buttons.

You can order the collection via our Online Shop and Konga.com Store, or order individual buttons (only via our Online Shop). We’re also working on a Jumia.com Store; we’ll have updates on our progress with that on our social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The Fantasy XIX Collection will be available from Monday, February 18th.

The promo video is ready, so please watch and share.

Get set to button up with us 2019-style! 😀

tides change

December 25, 2018 Leave a comment

I have noticed that some of the best things in life happen when you least expect them. You might have been working so hard to attain a certain goal and it would seem like nothing could ever come out of all the effort. Suddenly, the tides change.

I have many, but I’ll share one. An old one, but drives the point home.

In 2008, barely 4 months after I started Pearl Kreations (Pearl Creations, at the time), a friend sent me an ad for an African Culture Festival seeking vendors. The vendor application was a bit pricey, but I scrapped some money together and paid; hoping to make more from sales.

The event was to start at 9:00am, but vendors could set up from 8:00am. It was slated to end 4:00pm. From 9:00am to 4:00pm, I didn’t sell one $2 button. There was interest from attendees, but no one bought a button. In my head, $60 down the drain. The closest I got to a sale was the surprise visit from the Ambassador of Lesotho to Canada. She wanted some with her flag, but I didn’t have any. I had never actually heard of Lesotho before then. I had Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan and other popular African countries though.
I apologized and her PA left me the Ambassador’s card. I emailed and sent some to her for free later on that week, I think.

At about 3:30pm, when I was thinking of closing up shop and heading home. I was approached by lady who seemed genuinely impressed by my flag buttons. She (Suzanne) and I had a pleasant conversation. Afterwards, she wrote down some questions and asked me to answer them as simply as possible. When I looked puzzled, she explained she was a journalist with The Hamilton Spectator and wanted to write a piece on me.

The Hamilton Spectator is one of the most widely read newspapers in Hamilton, and possibly, the GTA – Greater Toronto Area. I answered intelligibly, she invited me for a photoshoot, thanked me and left. Later that week, I went for the shoot, and a day or two later, I was featured.

This was 2008, before my dad passed and I did an honorary name change, so I still went by Olusola Adade. This piece announced me and Pearl Creations to Hamilton, the GTA, Canada, Nigeria, and the world. I made way more than $60 eventually! Through this article, I was admitted into the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Business Community in 2009. It also got me nominated for Business Owner of the Year at The Future Awards Africa in 2010.

Things may be terrible, but God can turn any situation around, like He did for me. Trust Him!

Merry Christmas!

ska redefined 2018

April 10, 2018 Leave a comment

It is time for another review of the company to mark The SKA Legacy.

Some things have changed. For starters, I’ve decided to readopt SKA Ventures, so the company is no longer The SKA Group. The motto/slogan of the company has also changed from Over and Beyond. I noticed this year that Land Rover has the same motto/slogan. I have nothing against the brand, but I always wanted something unique, so the entire company with adopt Pearl Kreations’, which is Creativity Beyond Measure. Pearl Kreations’ will now be Gotta Button Up! Well, I hope my dad is pleased. Continue to rest in perfect peace dad.

 

CREATIVITY BEYOND MEASURE™

Profile

SKA Ventures goes over expectations and beyond imagination. It is constantly raising the bar for excellence in innovation and service. Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, SKA Ventures is a leading, privately-owned, multinational, diversified business conglomerate. It owns and oversees the operations of several companies with interests spanning various industries all over the world. Through the dedication of its employees worldwide, SKA Ventures remains one of the most admired, dynamic and profitable companies in the world.

History

SKA Ventures began from Pearl Kreations on Monday, January 28th, 2008 in Hamilton, Ontario, while Sylvester Kay-Adade was a freshman at McMaster University. Circa September 2009, the vision for The SKA Group was conceived and implemented. By September 21st, 2010, The SKA Group Inc. was officially registered in Canada under the laws of the Province of Ontario. As Pearl Kreations became more successful, its profits provided the necessary capital for the exploration of new industries. The result gave rise to property management firm, Ransrive Realtors, in November, 2009; innovations firm/think tank, Sylver Productions, in August, 2011; and small & medium enterprise advisory firm, Herança Financial in April, 2013. In a bid to expand into Nigeria in 2014, it was discovered that The SKA Group could not be registered in Nigeria as his father, Sylvester Adade, had coincidentally registered SKA Ventures Limited in December, 1991. In 2018, The SKA Group became SKA Ventures.

Presently, SKA Ventures owns Café Euphorie, Herança Financial, Pearl Kreations, Prestige Academy, Ransrive Realtors, Suave Clothing, Sylver Productions, and Vecasyer Hotels & Towers, as well as controlling interests in RCubed-Merit LLP and Spinners Incorporated.

Mission

SKA Ventures will relentlessly provide superior quality products and deliver exceptional service, while thriving to be the best and exceed expectations in all its business and social endeavors.

Vision

SKA Ventures aims to be recognized as the global brand with a drive for innovation and heart after perfection.

Values

Integrity
We believe in consistency in the right values.
– Fairness: There is no discrimination; everyone is equal and every job is vital to our brilliant success.
– Hard work: Excellent results are not manufactured, but accomplished through hard work. We understand that and are very familiar with it.
– Lawfulness: All our actions and activities are in total obedience, and in complete accordance with the law.
– Quality: All our products and services are always held to the highest standards.
Leadership
We believe in leadership by example.
– Accountability: We account and take responsibility for our actions, and conduct ourselves responsibly and transparently in all situations and at all times.
– Entrepreneurship: We are creative, innovative and ready to take calculated risks.
– Perfection: We are performance-oriented and put our best into everything.
People
Like every family, we trust respect and trust each other, and that attitude flows right from the top to the branches.
The people make the company, and our people are the best employees, executives, and partners; hence, we are the best company.
Service
We make everything about our patrons because it is.
– Community: A good community produces good people. Our people are good people because they come from good communities.
In order to maintain the balance, we give back through caring for the environment, maintaining old and raising new fundamental structures, and providing basic necessities to lacking communities.
– Customers: Customer service is paramount to us because without our clients and customers, we would be non-existent. We are committed to continually provide value through our products and services.

Subsidiaries

Every business venture is held to the highest standards, operated efficiently, and pacesetters in their respective industries.

ska-in-2014
Café Euphorie is the chain of state-of-the-art cafes designed for and with the quintessential business executive in mind.
Herança Financial is the global, small business management firm which deals in the provision of top-notch financial advice and solutions for small and medium scale businesses.
Prestige Academy is the educational institution which delivers quality, unparalleled educational services. These services include entrepreneurial education, financial management education, middle school education, high school education, private tutoring, and renowned etiquette & grooming classes.
Pearl Kreations is the collectibles company which manufactures, retails and supplies superior quality pin back button-badges for a variety of corporate events and personal purposes.
Ransrive Realtors is the property management firm which provides temporary and permanent accommodation through the letting and sale of commercial and residential properties.
Suave Clothing is the unique clothing venture which retails luxury accessories from reputable brand names, manufactures and sells its own line of bespoke dress shirts, dress pants and suits, and provides wardrobe consultation services. It also produces a biannual online style publication called The Suave Series.
Sylver Productions is the innovative firm which provides unique products and services that meet untapped customer needs. It developed, manages and operates proprietary services like CityMail™, TixItUp™, Datlik™ and Wefyl™.
Vecasyer Hotels & Towers is the collection of the most stylish hotels and resorts worldwide, which offer 5-star accommodation with first class professional treatment and services.

The SKA Group also has partial ownership of:
RCubed-Merit LLP – the outfitting firm which highlights and optimizes the potential for various living spaces by redefining the outlook of the rooms, offices, homes and work spaces through the reorganization and restructuring of their overall presentation. The SKA Group has fifty-one percent (51%) ownership.
Spinners Incorporated – the agency which provides expert advertising services and solutions to its clients. It also uses its ace designing skills and creative wordplay to make befitting logos, catchy names and impressive slogans for its clients’ businesses, events and products. The SKA Group has seventy-five (75%) ownership.

All subsidiaries operate independently, but are monitored and regulated from its headquarters, SKA Tower, under the leadership of the President/Chief Executive.