SUCCESS DOESN’T COME OVERNIGHT: INTERVIEW WITH ODEBODE ADEMOLA, CO-FOUNDER OF REPAIRAM.COM
26 year old, Odebode Ademola, is a co-founder of NerdBevy, an Information Technology driven company with a special drive to provide solutions geared at providing maximum productivity in Nigeria’s IT ground. In 2014, Odebode and his partner, Onibokun Ayobami, launched RepairAm.com, Nigeria’s first online gadget repair service. And just recently, these duos bagged Creative Innovation Awards in the just concluded Nigeria Creative Industry Awards 2015, for their innovation and the great work they are doing with RepairAm.
Tell us about RepairAm.com.
RepairAm.com is an online gadget repair service which enables anyone to make repair orders online. It is a very simple idea as users/customer are required to go to the website and make a repair order for their faulty gadgets like laptops, desktops, smartphones and any mobile device. Once the person makes an order, which will have all the details we need, we pick up the device, fix and deliver back to the customer.
RepairAm.com is a product of NerdBevy Limited. Tell us, who are the brains behind this great company?
RepairAm as a service is a product of NerdBevy Limited. NerdBevy Limited was founded in 2014 by Odebode Ademola and Onibokun Ayobami, 2 graduates from Covenant University, Nigeria.
What exactly inspired you to start NerdBevy?
Well, back in school, Ayobami and I worked together for Dashawn Enterprise, which was into sales and maintenance of computers and gadgets for the entire university community, both student and staff. Upon graduation, we noticed that when people’s gadgets get faulty, they just keep it somewhere and don’t fix it. Some people get replacements right away, and some others just keep them in their homes. The reason for most of these lies in the fact that a high percentage of them don’t know where to get them fixed, and some who know do not trust the people they know.
Tell us, how have you been able to provide your customers with exceptional repair experience that exceeds their expectations?
Well, at RepairAm, we strive to give the best in quality for our repairs. What we want to achieve is the easiest ways to get gadgets fixed. We take the burden off the gadget owners and make the whole process seamless and easy. The only thing any RepairAm user needs to do is to make an order on our website. We offer pickup and delivery services which takes the stress off the customer as he/she would not have to go anywhere while we complete the repair order. Also, we make use of the best technology in parts in getting our repairs done.
What makes RepairAm.com different from its competitors?
What makes us distinct is the fact that you hardly ever need to make any effort. The only effort you make is to make the order. We also do all the running around for you, you would not have to sit with a repairer, to get your gadget fixed. You would not need to worry about the kind of repair quality you get as we always give the best in all our repairs. Also, you can track the status of your repair from our website using an Order ID which was automatically generated for you when you made the order. This keeps you in the loop of whatever repairs we are doing on your gadget.
Great! Which other products does NerdBevy have out there? Could you please tell about them?
Yes sure, we have different projects we are working on. For example, we have traffic solution which would be really awesome as it would be useful to everyone that uses Nigerian roads.
What are the important things you learned so far from running your startup?
What I have learnt is success doesn’t come overnight. There is always a process it takes, from starting up to actually getting new clients and making progress every day. It takes a lot of patience to grow a start up. I read stories of great entrepreneurs today and the kind of perseverance they had will make you carry on, trust me. When we started, we didn’t have like a huge sum of money in the bank, we started with what we had, and things have been going smoothly. Of course, a huge sum of money in the bank helps a lot, but what I am saying is that, if you know what you have to offer to people, and you have a strong passion for it, everything will fall into place.
What excites you the most about what you do everyday?
What excites me is the fact that I will be solving problems. Be it for NerdBevy or RepairAm, we get new and recurrent problems to solve everyday, hence it is exciting.
Have you always dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur?
Not really, when I was younger, I wanted to be a lot of things, a pilot, an aeronautic engineer, etc. I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. My entrepreneurial skills started when I was in the university.
Tell us, how do you keep a positive mindset in difficult situations?
Hmm…let’s see….I keep my eyes on the end goal. When we have new projects and ideas we work on and we encounter blocks or setbacks, it is always a struggle. I think about what the solution can do and I see it will leave a very positive impact, so we just focus on the end goal.
What were the biggest obstacles, problems you had in starting NerdBevy?
Finances and the right human capital definitely. When we wanted to start, we needed to build a team. My partner, Ayobami decided we needed the right people to start with, which involved getting funding for at least 6 month to cater for salaries and other expenses. That was the most challenging part.
So how did you overcome these challenges?
We were optimistic, took it one month at a time. The whole team kept working hard to achieve our deliverables. We did really well starting up.
How did you get the right people to help you translate your dreams and ideas into reality?
This was quiet difficult, but we did at the end. When we were about to start, as I said, we had to build a team that could be in sync with our drive and motives. We finally did through referrals mostly. I think we were lucky to get the right team.
Tell us, how do you personally define success?
Personally, I believe success is when you feel a satisfaction which comes from the fact that you have been able to achieve what you are capable of achieving. Is this even possible? I doubt it…but that is my definition.
By this definition, would you say you are successful?
No, not yet.
What do you think about Under35CEO?
I think it’s a great platform for entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs to put their business/business ideas out there. It serves as an inspirational platform for start-ups owners to learn from each other.
What’s your advice for young/aspiring entrepreneurs reading this blog?
I advice young entrepreneurs to be patient. Once you have your idea, get a team to work on it. Success doesn’t come overnight or as fast as it looks. Be patient and take your time, things would fall in place.
To present users of RepairAm, we want to say a big thank you for trusting us and using our service. RepairAm is poised to revolutionalize the way repairs are done here in Nigeria and Africa, long term. We are dedicated to our clients and we are here to stay and make an impact in moving our country forward.
Are you a young entrepreneur under the age of 35 with an interesting story of success (or failure)? If yes, then the Under35CEO community has something to learn from you.
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