The Real Estate industry in Nigeria, with housing being an essential need and a luxury, is a major contributor to the economy. It is a million dollar industry which boasts of some of the best minds, concepts and innovators. The Grand Nigeria Business Magazine caught up with the leader of one of the prominent players in the industry, Ayodele Fayoshe of Bluemool Limited. He bared his mind below
LET’S MEET YOU?
MR. AYODELE: My name is Ayodele Temitope Fayose, I am the MD of Bluemool limited.
TAKE US THROUGH YOUR CAREER JOURNEY?
MR. AYODELE: I studied civil engineering at the then Ondo state Polytechnic now Rufus Giwa Polytechnic. I started my career with Eleganza Construction department from there I moved to Brookhill properties, then Gami Consult to Lama construction LTD and thereafter to transcontinental energy and finally Eko home solutions before I decided to take the bold step into the world of Entrepreneurship by setting up Bluemool Limited.
Working in several places help me greatly in preparing me stronger for the task of taking Bluemool to the promise land and am happy that I had the opportunity to gain ample experience before setting out as an entrepreneur. Sometimes some employees don’t pay attention to details when they are working for another company. They simply have the mindset that it’s not their business but when they later in life have the privilege of setting up a similar business they will surely find it difficult to succeed because they failed to pay attention to details in order to understand the intricacies in the Business that will help them work around certain related challenges in future.
WHAT’S YOUR REAL ESTATE BACKGROUND & HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?
MR.AYODELE: I started 15years ago, but I was born into the industry, my dad has been in the business before I even went to school so it was a deliberate act. I knew what I wanted to do initially before I started. Thus my father played a vital role in my career choice as well as my formative stage. I used to join him in some projects and that indeed helped in shaping my mindset from the beginning that real estate is a serious business.
ASIDES REAL ESTATE, WHAT OTHER BUSINESS HAVE YOU TRIED?
MR. AYODELE: Absolutely nothing different from construction, though construction is also a part of real estate. I’ve been into construction, procurement and real estate generally. The company is registered with a lot of blue ship companies, oil servicing companies and major oil companies.
BLUEMOOL IS A RENOWNED ENGINEERING FIRM WITH SPECIALIZATION IN REAL ESTATE, CONSTRUCTION AND PROCUREMENT. CAN YOU FILL US IN MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU REPRESENT?
MR. AYODELE: You’ve said it all, what we do but we’re adding one more which is Power. We just procured license for 10megawatts to generate power in commercial capacity. So it’s a new line of business we will be exploring majorly to enable us power all our estates before looking at third party engagement.
DOES BLUEMOOL PROVIDE LOW INCOME HOUSING?
MR. AYODELE: Of course, that’s our core service. That’s why you have not seen us in banana island, Ikoyi or Victoria island yet. Our focus now is to make home ownership affordable to the generality of low income earners before looking at other high class needs. No doubt we have the capacity to provide for the high class but that will come after we have given at least one thousand housing units to low and medium income earners. Because of our concern for the low income earners, we created a payment plan that can run for a period that is affordable to the client. All you need as a prospective client is just to talk to us and we can work things out for you.
WHERE ARE YOUR ESTATES IN LAGOS & HOW MANY ARE THERE?
MR. AYODELE: For now, we have four but the fifth one is coming up soon. We have Brookhill park phase 1 at Abijo GRA, Brookhill park phase 11 (the maples) at Abijo GRA, Coastal city Ibeju-lekki and Brookhill park phase 111 monastery road Sangotedo. We have also secured some parcels of land in Abuja, Portharcourt and Owerri but yet to start construction.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER REAL ESTATE COMPANIES OUT THERE, WHAT METHODS OR STYLE DO YOU THINK GIVES YOU THE COMPETITIVE EDGE?
MR. AYODELE: Our design is unique. I’m a professional, so you don’t expect me to do it the way every other person is doing theirs. Another thing is Integrity, if we tell you we’re going to deliver within two months, please come and meet us in two months and we’d give you your key. So, that’s what sets us apart and like I said, I’m a professional and the integrity of our structure is second to none. Also, the company is insured with a very reliable insurance company so your money can’t get lost with us.
HOW DO YOU STAY AFLOAT AMIDST STIFF COMPETITION IN THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY?
MR.AYODELE: Integrity. We’re true to our words and that’s one of the major reasons we’re able to keep our customers. They are our great ambassadors, whatever we do they’re always following us.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST BREAKTHROUGH SO FAR?
MR. AYODELE: Sustaining the company. It’s been a very crazy journey so far. The environment we operate in Nigeria is very difficult so when you are able to navigate it and survive for three years then it’s an assurance that you can do better.
TELL US ABOUT A TIME YOU FAILED AND HOW YOU SURMOUNTED IT?
MR. AYODELE: I’ve failed so many times. I think I remember the very first project failed. In as much as I said I had a bit of experience when I was delving into this field, its different when you’re working with someone and when you’re starting all over, some information weren’t at my disposal when we started so we weren’t able to meet up. But, we were able to come out of it through commitment and resilience, we lost money anyway.
WHERE DO YOU SEE BLUEMOOL IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
MR. AYODELE: I see Bluemool being a household name in reducing the housing deficit the country is currently facing nationwide especially in commercial cities like Lagos. We have a target to deliver 1,000 units in the next 12months.
LET’S GET YOUR OPINION ON THE REAL ESTATE SECTOR IN NIGERIA, WHAT CAN BE DONE BETTER?
MR. AYODELE: A whole lot, like I was talking to somebody today, if you can survive business in Nigeria, especially in Lagos then you can survive anywhere. The ease of doing business in the country is very unfriendly, the Governments at various levels are not helping too. Our mortgage system is terrible and more reason we have our own in-house mortgage plan, then inflation which nobody can do alone, then technology, the industry (construction) has gone beyond the normal way we’re doing it now. Technology has brought in a lot of smarter ways to do construction, it’s not just about brick and wall, there are lots of cheaper and smarter ways of construction but most of those information are not available to a whole lot of real estate developers. So with more knowledge & information, we can get it a bit better but the government need to play a whole lot of role majorly in the aspect of inflation control and mortgage.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
MR. AYODELE: The major project we’re working on now is called ‘The Maples’ in Abijo. Like I said initially that we just secured license for a 10megawatts power. So, we’re going to be the first estate in this part of Lagos to have a car park where you can charge your car. We’re also a promoter of green energy which is a very clean energy.
TELL US TWO THINGS YOU DO NOT TOLERATE?
MR AYODELE: Laziness and lies.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE, HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
MR AYODELE: I sleep and I read. I’m not an adventurous person so I don’t like traveling either.