Meet Okechukwu Ofili, Nigerian author, blogger, humanitarian and CEO of OkadaBooks, a company publishing African e-books in different languages on its app. Ofili has also donated over hundreds of boots to young kids in Lagos and is dedicated to also provide a roof over their schools.
Ofili is a serial-entrepreneur, poly-math, author of 3 best-selling books and a witty designer (he even owns a bike), listen to his journey so far and his plans for the future as an African brand leader. You can interact and follow him on twitter, instagram and facebook on @OfiliSpeaks.
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ISOKO AFRICA means African Market in the Swahili Language and our vision is to influence your habits to Shop Africa every moment. We deliver to you the best and most authentic of Africa's Brands from Pan-African Companies ranging from Startups, Tech, Products, Services and Marketplaces that are dominating the Local Market with the niche to compete globally. Discover Stories, Podcasts and Marketplaces on our platform and join our community @isokoafrica on every social media.
Women all over the world are standing up to be counted in all spheres of human endeavour. Tara-Jayne Manufor is one of these women! Her line of beauty products, Bougëë Beauty Cosmetics is independent brand to watch out for! In her own words: “Bougëë Beauty Cosmetics was created as an expression for everything glamorous. All of us women like to hold ourselves as ‘bad and boujee’. I wanted to create a line that incorporates this movement.”
Nigerian born Tara-Jayne Manufor, the CEO of the cosmetic brand Bougëë Beauty, is one of them. Tara-Jayne has always loved lipsticks, lip glosses and lashes so much, she wanted to create her own colours and have a brand where “everything is popping”! So she decided to create a brand that could cater for women in her category.The UK based CEO presently works in the property industry, managing properties and facilities. She co-owns the clothing line Amèn London and has a degree in creative writing. She is also a trained scriptwriter for films and theatre!
Bougëë Beauty Cosmetics was launched in London, UK in December 2017. It boasts of exquisite quality and long lasting, cruelty free Matte Liquid Lipsticks and 3D Real Mink Lashes. It’s a brand made for women who want to feel glamorous and take pride in their appearance while feeling their best at all times.
In the month of June 2018, Bougëë Beauty Cosmetics will launch its range of lip stains in Nigeria at all Hubmart stores. In the coming months, the African brand is looking at expanding their lash range and add more vibrant colors in the lipstick collection. The lip stain comes in six glamorous shades namely Loyalty, Badass Mama, Dazzle Dazzle, Brazen Beauty, Nudicious and Simplicity!
The Lip Stains sell for £12.50 each, while the Mink Lash is sold for £10 each. All products are available via the online shop www.bougeebeauty.com. Shipping is available worldwide. You can also connect with the brand on their social media platforms.
Facebook: Bougee Beauty
Bougëë Beauty Cosmetics is very particular about the standard of their products. The brand is against any form of animal testing and paraben-free. Tara-Jayne works alongside a lab in Europe to produce and choose all the lip colours and lash styles. She also tests all products herself so as to make sure customers receive the best value for money.
At the heart of the Bougëë Beauty Brand is the notion to create a brand that can give back to society! For this they have commited to donating 10% of all annual profits to nominated charities around the world.
Bougëë prospects massive growth this year. Tara-Jayne is saying she wants “more people to know about our products which will result in more sales. That will mean more money can be donated to those most in need. Being able to be a blessing onto others means a lot to me and is my driving force for success.”
Lucien Kancel is a Business Development Professional at ARBICO Plc, a full service building and civil engineering construction company with a franchise in NIGERIA. He’s been working in the construction industry in NIGERIA for 6 years and has developed several projects for various reputable companies. Lucien explains the Business Development market and how it influences building better companies that can sustain through time, political changes and generational habits. He also talks about the Construction industry and how one can succeed in Africa’s real estate business.
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Join Tope & Alec, the wizards of African business, weekly as they host industry leaders of foreign franchises on how to navigate and build better successful Pan-African companies. Each week will feature a professional in a certain industry sector of a company franchise that has successfully scaled to Africa. PALABRES, pronounced as palab[r] means Proverbial sayings and conversations in the French Language.
On this show, they talk about issues from Financing, Business Development, Bootstrapping and everything you need to structure and build a successful pan-African company.They are like the colleagues you never had helping you to navigate different subject matters inviting global thought leaders and entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses in the African environment.
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If you listened to this episode, we love to hear your feedback, comments or questions. Follow/Like ISOKO Africa on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter and leave us a comment. You can also recommend your favourite African brands & personalities to firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more on www.isokoafrica.com
Do you have a global mind set? When you started your Business/Brand, what did you have in mind? Did you see your brand beyond the shores of Africa? Did you envision your product on international supermarket’s stalls/stands? To build a global brand, it starts from the planning stage and inception of your vision. You cannot have a local vision and mind-set for your brand and expect globalisation to happen. It just will not happen. However, if you start your vision with a global mind-set, everything you do would be on a global level. It all starts from your mind and your vision.
You cannot have a local vision & mind-set for your brand and expect globalisation to happen.
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Here are some pointers on building a Global Brand
Know your numbers (deep understanding of your chosen international markets, sales data, market research)
How well do you know the international market you want to go into? Have you done your research? How intensive is your research about the market? Do you know if your product/service sells well in this particular market? You need to conduct a research and audit of your Brand to gain better understanding of the market you are about to enter. Always think from the customer’s perspective.
How well do you know your target audience? You primary target audience might not necessary be the same in a different country due to different culture, lifestyles etc.
Uniqueness of product/service
How unique is your product/service? Bear in mind that your service/product might be unique in your home country but note that it might not be in another. So research well and see how you can leverage on the differences. How can you improve or upgrade your service/product to differentiate itself in the global world yet meeting the standard requirements.
Quality Control is key! If you want to be global, the quality of your product/service has to speak for itself!!! You are not competing with local champs anymore. If you want to sit with the big leagues of the industry, then work on your QUALITY! Consult experts in this industry to find out what Quality is required in the territory you are about to enter.
YES! Don’t be hot today and cold tomorrow! Stop it! You need to consistently bring your A Game!!!! You cannot afford to be playing lukewarm. Due to the high competition in the market today, customers take time to build loyalty to new Brands so once they notice you’re not bringing it, they find the next best thing to satisfy their needs. To have loyal customers, you have to be consistent with everything from your quality, customer service, customer experience and the list is endless.
How well do you know your competitors? Watch what they are doing well and what they are not. Leverage on these things and make it work for you. What is missing in their formula that you can leverage on? Find it and use it! Use these secrets to beat their standard so they begin to look up to you for inspiration. Be the first to lead your league not the last to react.
In these times, the best way to reach a diversified audience is through digital media. Ensure you have your presence online well branded from your website to social media to images of your product/services to online communities etc. There are so many ways to create credibility for your brand. Be consistent across all platforms and focus on your target audience.
African nostalgia can be painfully myopic sometimes. I mean, you see Europeans, Asians and Americans talking about their history as far back as the 15th century, with well documented facts, figures and sometimes, pictures – and you just stand there, chanting “our history is rich” out of thin air. Truthfully, whenever anyone talks about “African history”, in vivid terms, what they really mean is the late 1800’s and the early/ mid 1900’s.
So Why make Books?
We missed out on most of the industrial revolution in Europe that gave rise to technologies that could churn out books en masse, like the printing press. While the Europeans were writing theirs, we had no one to to tell the African/ Nigerian story – one that could stand the test of time. So while we might have had great storytellers, we had no book makers or keepers. While that problem is long solved, a variant of it still exists.
Enter, Okechukwu Ofili – founder of OkadaBooks. According to him, for a country of about 200 million people, Nigeria has only around 12 major publishing houses, and about 33 serviceable bookstores where they distribute their content to. Imagine the kind of hustle it would be, just to get one book published and distributed nation wide.
That’s why Mr. Ofili started Okadabooks, a uniquely Nigerian ebook distribution platform. As a published writer himself, the bottlenecks of getting published, distributed or remunerated that he had to squeeze through, have become the basic tenets of what Okadabooks is servicing today.
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Basically, Okadabooks is an app that enables writers to leapfrog the traditional publishers, to write, publish their books, and get paid, all on a mobile device. The idea behind the name, Okadabooks, is from the fact that “Okadas”, which are commercial motorcycles, are able to meander around traffic where cars can’t even move. Basically, a metaphorical way of saying, we can help you get around these established publishers and achieve better results.
Using OkadaBooks App
The app itself is very easy to use. It can be downloaded on almost any mobile platform (Google Play, iOS, windows, Blackberry and Amazon). The App can also be used on web browser at okadabooks.com. After downloading and signing up, turning your blog/ manuscript into a book is as easy as ABC. Just go to the publish segment, copy + paste or upload your manuscript, put a price and voila!
You’re published. All this for 30% on each book.
Buying books on the app is also very easy. You can use your debit (bank) and credit cards, paga, diamond bank transfer and, wait for it…an MTN/ Etisalat recharge card. I honestly feel like this could be a high selling point as people usually have problems sorting payment out through the internet.
This app is a winner. With over 16k books, 185k users and 1 million downloads so far – and from projections, the numbers are expected to double next year – Mr. Ofili and his team have managed to lay to rest the already dead narrative that says that Nigerians don’t read.
With this app, much more than ever, the lines that separate storytellers and book makers are being blurred. Anyone can tell their story however they want on this platform. The industrial revolution passed us, but the Tech revolution will not.
Okadabooks, in making publishing easier, has become an inadvertent pen with which our great storytellers will preserve our past, compute the present, and script the future