Tuesday, 14 June 2011

“People assume there's a market for what they're offering. Sometimes you have to create the market —not an easy task #SocEntChat

The week started with a couple of tweets from @saymama1 by the @theeconomist the first on diaspora bonds could lead to cheap finance if followed to its logical conclusion but then business is about making maximum profit right ? wrong .

The second was an article on Governor Fashola and the work he is doing in trying to transform Lagos not an easy task .

Last weekend I had been in Surulere for a wedding and had travelled from my Ikeja base taking 3rd mainland bridge gone sailing at the Marina and then taking western avenue back home via the wedding all along the transformation was incredible there were gardens along the route and people enjoying these recreational areas and people employed in the upkeep you can’t get more grass root than planting grass.

Surulere is a village it was built to house the displaced residence of isale eko the original heart of Lagos and it maintains this strong neighborhood feel ,it is intimate in size and individual in character while retaining its homogenous nature due to the plot sizes.This middle class enclave became hell on earth to live in with the failure of the national electrical power company in the 80’s The sound of the generators providing power was nothing short of apocalyptic

People who could left , rents failed , upkeep disappeared ,the roads and drains were washed away you couldn’t get a better pinup for the state of the nation .

And then Democracy came calling and the roads have been fixed the drains are being replaced and the gardens and recreational areas redone it is impressive during the day, and you wonder when the landlords will get on board and start sprucing up their buildings to complement the governments work. Dusk arrives and the sound of the generators kicks in, the air quality deteriorates, and all of a sudden you realize why all the houses are so dirty as you are reminded of the effects of smug and acid rain and the look of europe in the 70’s and 80’s

As a kid we would leave colorful Lego like Lagos and go on summer trips to dull grey London looking now at places like notting hill and maidavale funny how things change .

In other news a pilot scheme is due to be started shortly providing 10megawatts of electricity from gas turbines in ijora to lagos Island to serve street lights in 24 streets and core government facilitys the hospitals etc after a hiatus of of 40 years Lagos Island which had an electric grid and an electric tram before the city of London will once again have 24hr light albeit in just a few places

Being part of the solution we have decided to start to develop a platform that can deliver complimentary services to the government and create jobs for the populace SME are the largest providers of jobs in a city and we intend to be fully in support of this sector by bringing creative solutions so that when the generators are finally silenced and the cleanup begins in ernest we would have created the market in the meantime aluta continua

http://bit.ly/miRzdg what robertdeniro thought me via @hnshah “if you are not part of the solution you are part of the Problem

Problem/why not

1, no basic infrastructure roads rails or efficient transportation to allow for distribution safe and quickly therefore ability to expand network expensive and cumbersome warehouse have to be established with huge sitting inventory to enable a large enough range of colors and products are carried no capital available besides it wouldn’t be the most efficient use of capital

2,No community of painters decorators interior designers and architects exsist no forum to target through trade media or events

3, No distribution network like large home improvement centers or department stores to handle facilitate national distribution which means there are typically at least 5 middlemen involved in even the simplest building material trade

4, no information as to price or quality readily available , costing a project becomes a nightmare

5, the constant smog from generators defeats the idea of trying to maintain a pristine external walls


6, lagos alone has a gdp of 46 billiondollars it is the 3rd largest economy in Africaand is a developing nation

7, technology to produce base colors means inventory can be reduced and tinting machines have been reduced in price making them affordable meaning you can develop color centres selling a business instead of a product

8, 1 million bb sets in the market! smart phone technology means we can introduce apps in to the market as our primary marketing vehicle

9 a recognised brand giving us legitimacy

10 capability and technology required to scale