You Cannot Use Short-Term Loan for Long-Term Investment-Ubogu,Micura Services Ltd Boss

Spread the love

 

Stories by Godday Odidi(aguri_god@yahoo.co.uk)

 

Standing tall among a-list maritime entrepreneurs in the country is the founder of Micura Services Limited, Chief Michael Orobosa Ubogu,a young successful businessman and an astute entrepreneur whose success story is that of man who started small but now building a conglomerate, while employing and empowering innovative youths, widows and adults in his company.

In this interview, Ubogu discusses his pains and gains in his entrepreneurial pursuit. For him, his array of businesses, ranging from outsourcing manpower to stevedoring/marine services and real estate, and the rest, could not have been successful but for certain factors.

While drawing out lesson that these youths of today can learn from his success story, he also fields questions pertinent to entrepreneurship, security and SMEs growth.

 

Micura Services Limited’s Mission in Nigeria and Global World

 

First and foremost, Micura Services Limited‘s mission statement is to provide stevedoring and equipment leasing services to terminals, companies and factories with modest cost, effective skill and vibrant workforce. We are also trying to get our International Standard Organization (ISO) 1900/2015 compliance certification to open more opportunities for us locally and internationally in providing professional stevedoring services to clients. We discovered that in this stevedoring industry, no company is yet to have ISO certification and as a fast-growing stevedoring company, our goal this year 2019 to be ISO certified.Precisely,4years ago, we did some trainings with a Benin Republic company staffers where we did bagging of rice and fertilizers consistently for 6months.After the training, they did not continue with us because they also had their own registered stevedoring companies there and they wanted us to affiliate with any of their registered stevedoring companies over there. Since our template of assignment to train them has completed and we also let them to go.ISO certification means documentation, procurement of quantity system management, how to do things and when to do them and customers’ satisfaction. Our major goal, to engage on global productive businesses with result-oriented values and legacies.

 

 The Role of Technology in the Maritime Industry

 

Overtime, the role of technology has been playing a significant role in the maritime industry. Those days, we were using manuals to examine our containers but now we are using scanners which make it easier and faster but its adverse effect is reducing physical manpower. In bagging, we use Ipads, laptops and computer gadgets to make financial transactions and make information easier. Artificial intelligence falls on the role of technology and it has its own advantages and disadvantages but the former outweigh the latter. Technology has helped in making business easier in terms of optimization of resources. I can be anywhere in the world monitoring any financial transaction going on in Micura Services Limited. I can stay away for 4years or 5years, my company we be running, salaries will be paid in my absence. I can approval any document or proposal online. That is the standard we have set for ourselves. I resume work from 7:30am or 8.00am on Mondays to Thursdays except public holidays and my off day

 

For Any Private Business to Strive, Is it Necessary to Borrow money from the bank to sustain it?

It depends on customers’ services you are providing. Are you buying or importing? You must know exact business you are doing that will determine your borrowing from the bank. Though, when I started Micura Services Limited 12years ago, I did not borrow but I sold my building property to do some financial transactions. You don’t really need much money to start outsourcing manpower services but you need some necessary requirements to start up the business, like Outsourcing manpower license, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) license and other compliances to kick off professionally. Our diversified mindset has helped us greatly to remain in the maritime industry because sometimes government policies are not friendly at all. When we started we came up with a creative strategy, we don’t need to wait for our principals to pay us before we pay our workers.So, I sold my personal property to raise money and not to take loan facility from the bank to avoid huge interest rate. Different people with different mindsets, some take money from the banks to do their businesses with high interest rates. When you take money from the bank for short-term loan to do long-term business like building hotel in Dubai instead of imports or buying petroleum products then you are already in financial mess. Short-term loan is for short-term business while long-term loan is for long-term business.

 

Solutions to Poor Nigeria’s Economic Growth and Unemployment Rate

 

You know that Nigeria is more of importing finished products. The country needs to look into where they have comparative advantage over other countries of the world. If our rail system, roads and electricity are fixed, the drive for business growth will be realizable by both young and old entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The SMEs drives the economy, for instance, Agriculture is a leeway to economic growth, and nobody has able to identify that except few people. Everybody wants collar jobs without creating their own jobs. If you go into Agriculture, having a small farm, you can actually employ two persons. The major problem in Nigeria is not governmental corruption but individual corruption. What dissatisfied one customer is equal to 10? Once a customer is ill-treated in a company at the reception office, he or she spreads the bad news to others. The issue here is that honesty is scare now. If you decide to invest in a business and you give the company to somebody to run on your behalf, he or she wants to run aground. So, many businesses have folded up as a result of lack of trust on staffers that is when individual corruption comes in. Until we have generational attitudinal change, honesty pays in life. Most of the richest people in America are farmers. If you go to some of the clubs and relaxation places, the people you find there are farmers. Technology has really helped most foreign farmers to grow their crops and animals. You can use drones to irrigate your farmers while at home. I was watching an American farmer recently using drone to irrigate his farm that is the level of technology in the world. There are farms today in Western countries, the owner don’t need to be present to feed his or her birds because there is a technological system being programmed on the farm. Nobody wants to go into farming in Nigeria but that is where the real money is. For instance, In Israel, apart from providing sophisticated arms and ammunition to the world, they are into mechanized farming. Some countries are producing milk from goats but here we kill the goats for food consumption. We used to have National Orientation Agency that teaches and brands images of the country internationally. Late Prof.Dora Akunyili started it but after she left power, that agency died natural death. The problem of Nigeria is get-rich quick syndrome that has eaten deep into fabric of the society; nobody wants to follow rules, procedures, principles and objectives to greatness or success again. It is easy to generate money but it is hard to save it. You don’t claim what you are not in life. Expenditures outweigh incomes in this present business we are now and you can only be prudent to save for the growth of your company as a creative entrepreneur. The issue is that the decaying infrastructural system like bad roads, rail and insecurity have destroyed many flourishing businesses in Nigeria. There is no synergy between security operatives and government. Nigeria economy will grow when everybody start thinking in one positive direction.

 

Promotions, Retirement and Reshufflement of Workers in Micura Services Limited

 

Of course, we have Micura Services Limited handbook and promotion is based on three things; availability of space, credibility and ability to take additional responsibility as a staffer in the company.Micura Services Limited handbook addresses all issues pertaining to job security, recruitment, loan facility and others. We don’t short-charged you when you are due for retirement. We must pay all what is due for you as a staffer. We have not done any retirement since we started Micura Services Limited 12years ago. We have been prompt with staffers ‘salaries. We felt that those who started with us still have something to offer us than retiring them prematurely. We have come up with a loan facility that there is certain age in your life you need to build a house. We make sure our workers retire happily in life and we have Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to evaluate our workers and supervisors’ performances on monthly basis. These performance indices help us to add more responsibility and earnings to workers.

 

State of Insecurity

One major challenge is procurement and disbursement of arms and ammunition and funds to different security agencies in Nigeria. We have international treaties’ challenges preventing the total clamp down on the security problem in the country. If the insecurity issue is not nip in the bud, it would snowball into another Somalia crisis. This is how it all started and the kidnapping situation in Nigeria now is at geometrical progression.

 

Diversification and Customers’ Expectations

The dynamics of business is that you must diversify into virgin areas to create multiple streams of income to sustain the business. A businessman is the one that has ability to take risk. We are presently outsourcing to marine companies and others. Your first customer is your worker. My business is striving is not because I’m too competent but every workers’ contributions help in making the company grows bigger and stronger. It is job security and accessibility every worker needs in a company not just fat salary. A worker can decide to take home 40k salary a month from my company and rejects an outside offer of 60k; it all bounces down on job security.

 

Market Target and Competitors

Obivously, it is two ways, don’t allow your customers to have a second thought about your business or service. Your competitor is your customer. If you allow your customer to have a second thought, you are invariably given room for your competitors. If I’m working with you and you are satisfy with it, even though if another competitor gives you a low quotation, you will still keep to your first client. Don’t allow your principal to have a second thought, in otherwise, you must be up and doing in providing quality services to clients.

 

Awards

Most of the awards are commercial now. Some organizations just want to survive in life.  The purpose of award is to build capacity and motivating the awardee to do more for humanity and job creation as an entrepreneur. We received the best award as the stevedoring company of the year, that award has continued to propel all staffers of Micura Services Limited to sit tight for more professional services to our clients. The NIMASA award is among the best award I received so far in life.

 

Sustainability

One of the reasons we want the ISO certification is to create sustainable streams of income. We have over 5000 workers both direct and indirect in our payment voucher if you want to sustain your business; it depends on the level of competence and process you put in place as the sole proprietor. In the next five or ten years, the quality will get better instead of deteriorating. That is why we are having bigger business that is more challenging. Every day we keep tasking ourselves because we believe will can do better. Even though the owner dies, the business will still continue to strive.

 

Micura Services Limited Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) so far

Micura Services Limited Corporate Social Responsibility over the years has been sponsoring street football competition, trying to take many youths out of the street, giving writing materials/bags to primary and secondary schools in Nigeria, visiting NGOs and other services too. Our NGO, Lauretta Uloma Foundation is presently corroborating with Wazobia Widows Foundation of Ajegunle to empower widows and kids over the years. This dream of LUF was nurtured by my wife and me to help humanity in life.

 

Youth Penetration and Excitement in Entrepreneurial leadership in Africa

 

There is difference between a motivational speaker and a real life coach expert. You can motivate me to get end result in business or life but I need to see the result of the motivational speaker too. You must achieve first before motivating me.Unfortunately, many youths don’t want to work but carrying portfolios as MDs without office addresses. If you want to go to the next level, you need to sit down and create a process. Don’t ever assume that if you start a business today, you want to be a millionaire overnight and it does not work that way. Some people you are competing with in business are spending their profit while you are spending your capital. I cannot afford a Rolex wrist watch for $20,000 to $30,000 and it is of no use to me.Generally, it is your perspective about life that matters. Our youths make to believe that a man that walks with legs is not rich. I cannot advertise my cars and houses on the social media. Those who are rich do not portray wealth openly. It is the poor people that advertise their wealth publicly on the social media. You always see a short man always making noise in the means of tall people. If you are poor, you want everybody to assume you are rich. Every youthful entrepreneur must live according to their means.

 

Note: For your business interview or profile writing or religious activities contact Godday Odidi on 08063458693 for professional media services.

   

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.