MEET THE ENTREPRENEUR: LANRE AKINLAGUN

CEO Drinks.NG
Born and bred in the United Kingdom, Lanre Akinlagun, is a graduate of Guildhall University, UK, a digital marketer and founder of fast-rising e-commerce drinks store, Drinks.ng. In this interview, he speaks on his venture and gives insight into when to start a business and how to overcome some of the inherent challenges.

 Kindly tell us a little bit about your foray into business?
My core skill set is digital marketing and I have done this for 12 years now.  I worked with IBM, which took me to Silicon Valley frequently, and this is where I first caught the entrepreneurial bug and confidence. I joined the iROKOtv team as an early executive member, which initially brought me back to Nigeria occasionally. It was on these trips, I spotted the opportunity to start drinks.ng.


Tell us about your experience so far?
Over the course of the last two years, we have faced some unique challenges, especially during the last elections and even for months after. Some days believe me, I just feel like quitting; and some time I wished I was here 10 years ago. The one thing that has gotten me through the last two years is the tremendous level of hope within the nation no matter the challenges.

In your opinion, when is the best time to start a business?
There are only two times I think you can consider starting a business. One is when you spot an opportunity and the second is when you feel ready. There is no perfect time, no perfect place or feeling; nothing can prepare you for running a business and giving up the safe security of a salary.

What were the challenges i.e. raising capital?

I was extremely fortunate to have been able to raise my initial capital from spark.ng, which shares the same co-founders as iROKOtv.com. I was informed of their fund early on and quickly capitalized on the opportunity by presenting my proposal. These guys have supported several other businesses over the last three years and given great support in all aspects of entrepreneurship.

Source: IT Web Africa
Who are your role models and why?

 I have quite a number of role models both dead and alive.  I will like to mention a few. These are Ashish J. Thakkar, Aliko Dangote, Pascal dozie, Brian Voakes and Chief Joe Asien. All these men have touched my life in one way or the other, some more directly than they realize, but they have excelled in their fields and raised the bar to new heights for us as Africans.

Where is this business going to and when are you getting there?

The story of our business is still being written and we plan to grow the largest beverage company in West Africa. We have the support of the industry leaders, the marketers and we have built a trusted company, one that people can trust and believe in. As for when we will get there, when the time is right, but we plan on moving and growing fast.


What has been your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge is time; we wish we had more time in the day to get things done. Within the internet world, time is everything and speed of execution is what makes the difference between winning and losing.


What is great about running your own business?

I can quite easily say that I wake up every morning doing what I love doing more than anything.  It feels great being able to dedicate myself to something without feeling like I have not given anything up and I feel like that daily.
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2 comments:

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