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Monday, 22 September 2014

You Need Commitment and Diligence To Succeed In Business - CEO Neo Pele

Meet Okoro Nduka Pele, CEO of Neo Pele International Concept, a Fashion Designing/Tailoring Company, based in Warri, Delta State. He is a graduate of engineering from the University of Port Harcourt who says to succeed in business, you need to be committed and diligent. Read excerpts of his interview with the Tribune below:

Tell us, how did it all start?
My parents are both fashion designers. So, my siblings are all fashion designers too. My father told me that before I can be a fashion designer, I have to earn a degree from a reputable university. When I graduated, I did not want to go into fashion but when I could not get a good job after graduating, I was forced to join the fashion world.

How has the fashion business been so far?
So far, I will say it has been nice. Though, initially it was very tough when I started in 2010 but I was not deterred and I was able to come to this stage that I am right now.

What is your dream for Neo Pele in the next 10 years?
When I was in my final year, they asked us what we wanted to become in future and I said I wanted to be the boss of my own fashion outfit. I did not know that in the next 5 years, something like that would happen. So, in the next five to 10 years, I would like to become a household name both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria.

What are the requisite qualities that guarantee success in this business?
The secret is that you have to be committed, resilience and diligent. Even the Bible said that you must be diligent in whatever you are doing because when you do, you will not only eat with ordinary men, but you will eat with kings. You must avoid partying, womanizing and drinking because when you start all that you will never achieve your goals.

What is your advice for youths who are out there waiting for white collar jobs?

My advice to them is that they should look up to people that they admire and try to be like them. For those youths who engage in community activities, what I will tell them is that they cannot achieve their dreams and train their children with community activities and gangsterism.

What is your advice to government?
My only advice for the government is that they should try and empower people like us who are trying to take a lot of the youths out of the streets by offering them employment. I have about 50 boys who are working with me and if these boys are allowed to go back to the streets, you and I know what will happen.

They should make policies in place that will allow us have access to credit facilities from the banks with ease. What the banks are offering us now is way above what we can afford. Some of them tell us that before they will give us any loan, we have to provide collateral in the form of a house. I do not have a house, so how do I get loans? They should also fix the electricity problem in the country.

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