Gelmine Consulting – Helping African SMEs with Brand Development in Nigeria
Gelmine Consulting is a Brand Development, Marketing Communications, and Corporate event management consulting firm. The company works with leading companies in the Nigerian market helping them build, maintain and achieve effective organizations.
1. Tell us about yourself and your business
My name is Jasmine N. Onyemachi, a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Lagos. I am a single mother, a devote Christian and by the Grace of God, the managing partner of Gelmine Consulting Limited and Co-founder of Brandr by Jazmin. Gelmine Consulting Limited is a multi-talented creative agency fluent in brand, marketing, communications, event management, digital and print design.
We are in the business of helping organizations derive greater value by showing them how to “re-think”, “re-focus” and “re-engineer” their communication materials by focusing on their customers, which is every businesses reason for being. At Gelmine, we are committed to delivering the Triple Crown effect to organizations which is providing value for money, Offering superior quality service and Build customer loyalty through consistent professionalism and delivering beyond expectations. We truly believe in that the only way to grow is by adding value to our customers, as our growth is totally dependent on their success.
2. How much did you need to start your business and how were you able to raise that capital?
My first motivation was money (won’t lie about that) but later I decided to bring my dream of establishing a company that partners with organizations in the execution of projects and events tailored and unique to their brand to fruition. I became passionate about creating, organizing and bringing to perfection every aspect of a project from conceptualization and strategy of design, theme, branding, venue ambiance, clients objective, target audience of any event being executed.
Truthfully, I started the business from scratch and didn’t take a loan. I left my position as General Manager VNXL Travel & Tours a subsidiary of XL Management Services Group. I pushed headlong into an industry where some international events management subsidiaries held sway over the years. My first break came when I was asked to organize the end of year party/Merger celebration for then Standard Trust Bank now United Bank for Africa (UBA) following the successful completion of the merger with Standard Trust Bank (STB).
It was an event to remember also the Outsourcing Development Initiative of Nigeria ODIN organized a conference sponsored by World Bank which took place in Abuja and was well attended by the ex-president and other economic stakeholders. Since then, the company has organized a series of team bonding events for Banks, consulted on brand management for clients, designed websites for travel agencies and pharmaceutical companies.
We have grown the business by ploughing back all the profit made from projects while denying myself certain luxury which I still do. Today I have a partner who has brought in cost saving initiatives that allows the available resources to be utilized effectively and efficiently.
3. What are some of the challenges you face in your business and how do you overcome those challenges?
The industry in which I find myself is a pressure cooker world of intriguing business maneuvers and feverish million naira moves. I walked into this world with only the knowledge of what I had learned from the corporate world and the notion that it was a man’s world. As I progressed, I realized that the biggest barriers are ‘general norms and cultural practices’, masculine or patriarchal corporate culture’ and lack of ‘female role models’ who are willing to mentor the upcoming ones.
Knowing myself and my love for challenges, I decided to work twice as hard. Working with my partner, we developed ideas for events/projects that gave a unique feel for each client. In all this, I didn’t stop being myself, never tried to change my basic beliefs from where I derive my strengths and believed in who I am. I believe in myself and know that I don’t have to be a man to play in this industry. “I have not compromised myself, my values or my faith.”
4. Where do you see your business in 5 years from now and what steps are you taking today to reach that objective?
Given the dynamics of today’s Nigeria and the global environment, it is only wise for any business owner to look at its operating environment and take critical decisions based on assumptions and future prognosis. In light of diversification of the company’s services offerings and scope is something that is currently being looked at. In addition, we seek to empower intelligent, innovative and driven young professionals in Nigeria and beyond with entrepreneurial skills as this is part of our expansion plan. We are also working on spurning out subsidiaries that will carry on our mantra which is to always ensure that our clients are given nothing but the best regardless of the ratio of financial commitment because any business we undertake is given utmost attention across all facets.
5. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to start a business or invest in Africa?
For entrepreneurs, there are many opportunities out there but you have to find and decide on the one that best suits you and goes hand in hand with your skill set. Always seek advise and most importantly, have a mentor that can provide you with the guidance, help you achieve your vision while ensuring that you stay on the path to success. For investors, Africa is a land full of untapped resources and Ventures. Seeking out the best partners based on expertise, knowledge of the terrain among others is key to ensure return on investment.
6. How is your business participating to the development of Africa?
To support young men and women pursuing a lifetime of productive work, we must focus on two strategies – Promote entrepreneurship and employment. Out of choice or necessity, many of today’s youth are engaged in mixed livelihoods, moving from self-employment to a job in the informal economy and back again, or both at once. Skills young people gain through entrepreneurship are useful not only to those seeking to launch or run a small business. Everyone seeking employment in today’s competitive job market needs to be creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial if he or she wants to get ahead.
With the community based events that we help promote and organize, we provide a platform for upcoming entrepreneurs to showcase their talents and wears to high net-worth individuals within these communities with a view to convince them to invest or give then ideas/advise on how best to proceed.
Website : www.gelmineconsulting.com