RAP Bank

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Unemployed Graduates Should Seek Self Employment! Uche Amadi; CEO of Virgin Veil Classic Events Speaks

If you had seen the movie ‘Just a Night’ in the early 90’s, you would remember the young chubby guy who drove a coaster bus at night after the bus driver was attacked by strange forces while on an excursion from school. It’s been donkey years since we saw after our Secondary education. I must say Uche Amadi has done well for himself; he is a full time business man engaged in Event Management, Interior Decoration and Makeup-Artistry. So I made him create time for an interview; he spoke about his business and advised unemployed graduates to endeavor to start up their own businesses and become employers of labor. It was exciting experience learning from him about his business, challenges, failures and success. Listen to him. 

Let’s Meet You! 

Smiling, he introduced himself as Uche Amadi the CEO of Virgin Veil Classic Events. I hail from Imo State. Virgin Veil is an indigenous event Management Coy located in Lagos State. Virgin Veil was established in 1995 with the intent of planning and organizing events such as wedding receptions, birthday parties, get together etc. Apart from managing events, we also engage in Makeup Artistry, Fashion Designing and Interior Decoration of homes and offices. We ensure the smooth running of events by planning, strategizing, designing and implementation of all activities during the events. The Makeup aspect of my business was integrated so as to effectively handle the overall appearance of the bride and/or celebrants; this makes it easier for us to have everything under our control. 

 How Did it Start? 

 My Mum has been in the business for over 10 years; as a young growing man I usually accompanied her whenever she had events to handle, my desire to learn about the business increased each time I had to opportunity to join her during business hours. My first practical learning experience manifested one fateful day when my Mum was disappointed by her staff; I had no choice but to assist her in ensuring the job doesn’t turn out to be a flop. We did well and it turned out fantastic; so I said to myself, ‘why can’t I take this as a full time business?’ Ever since then, I started taking jobs for myself and registered my own Company to kick start my business. What’s the Minimum Requirement to Start a Makeup Business? You don’t need millions to start; the most important thing is to acquire the skill through adequate training. You can start makeup business with just N50,000; the said sum is for purchase of makeup kits which include like brushes, foundation, eye liners etc. The good thing about this business is that you do not need a shop to startup. Most makeup artistes are freelance; you just need appropriate networking and good quality of work. 

What’s the Minimum Requirement to Startup an Event Management Coy? 

There are different aspects of event management and I really can’t say precisely how much it would cost to startup as the business includes several aspects and would also depend on the kind of events that you are handling. A registered company name is imperative and also adequate knowledge of the business. Have You Ever Experienced Failure? Chuckling, he said ‘honestly I don’t think so’, but my worst experience was when a couple didn’t show up after I had successfully planned their wedding event. We had worked tirelessly just to put things to make the wedding ceremony unique. It was all hyped and the environment was awesome. We did the decoration both for the Church and the reception venue. But something was missing; guess what? The couple did not show up, I really don’t know the reason but they didn’t show up! Everyone was well seated waiting for their arrival, after a while I called and there was no response from the couple. Some minutes late I got a text from the groom informing me that the wedding had been called off. 

How Did You Handle The Situation? 

Laughing… Well, we employed the ‘whisper and pass the message method,’ before we knew it, everyone started leaving one after the other and that was it. I got the pay for the job but somehow I was not happy. The couple called some months after and told me they had rescheduled the wedding for a later date; they paid again and this time around they were available for the wedding ceremony. 

How Do You Handle Competition? 

There are lots of people in the event management and makeup artistry business, how do you handle competition? Uche speaks – On this issue, like I earlier on mentioned, your quality of work has to differ from that of your competitors. I started this business because of the passion I had for it; it’s fun having to put things in place for people’s occasion, it’s more like footballers who play because they love to play and make money while they do what they love. If you implore this mindset, you will over deliver; competition wouldn’t be an issue because the quality of your work will naturally sell you. Competition is normal in every business, you just have to strategize and find out what works best for you. However, competition shouldn’t deter you from starting your business. Do business for the passion first and not for the money; when you start getting referrals through ‘word of mouth’, money will keep rolling in because people would naturally recommend your services. 

What’s Your Advice to the Unemployed in Nigeria? 

I have never been a ‘work for anybody’ kind of person. I knew what I wanted; I had the platform and I leveraged on it. My sincere advice to unemployed graduates is to acquire a skill and start from somewhere, business grows and gets better as you practice and forge ahead. You don’t need all the money in the world, starting on a small scale will help you better understand your business and also reduce the risk of heavy loss; just in case. Money is not the problem here; it’s the lack of skill and adequate planning that is lagging in the quest for Entrepreneurship. You need to find out what you can do that gives you joy, then acquire the skills on start up.

What are the Challenges of The Business?
Hmmm… Well, my major challenge is clients over expectation from jobs. Sometimes you do a wonderful job and you think you have nailed it, not for someone to come up and tell you to do it the other way round. It could be frustrating sometimes but then you have no choice but to satisfy your clients because they are the reason why you are in business. You just have to get it right!

The 30 minute interview ended and I thanked Uche Amadi for his time. I began to wonder, what if we had thousands of unemployed graduate with an Entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to succeed. There are lots of programs out there advocating self employment but the problem is with the youths themselves. The ‘ get rich quick’ mentality has impaired their frequency of reasoning, most people get into business with the mindset of making millions in the first 1-3 months and when this doesn’t happen, they get frustrated and quit with money going down the drain. This is a wakeup call for the unemployed, stop complaining about the situation of the country, open your eyes as there are lots of opportunities waiting for you to tap into.
Uche Amadi also offers consultation and training services. You can visit his website on  
Phone: 08038440996, 08123789891


Post a Comment