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Meet John Ologunleko, the rising building supplies entreprenuer.

Updated: Jul 13, 2020


John Ologunleko

I met John back in 2013, in Lagos NYSC camp and he was a very cool guy but mostly easy-going. We continued relating after our time in the camp, and he invited me over a couple of times to his house, during which times we talked a lot about business - he was very enthusiastic about investing in a new business and I pitched him a couple of my ideas, among which was a food-truck idea. This is a follow-up on our Instagram Live session, where we talked about his business journey.


A little background.

John Ologunleko, 39 is from Ondo State but have spent most of his life in Lagos. He started out working as a broker in Nigerian Stock Exchange, during which time he saved up a lot hoping to start his own business someday. While working, he started a fishpond (catfish) with a partner but that did not work out; he attempted running a pig farm with his brother in charge, that also did not work out; In addition, he did something in fashion and transportation business, but none of these truly gave him the breakthrough, until he finally met a friend that introduced him to the real estate business, and this was where he made his first big break - flipping properties for commission. Having built such a huge network working as a broker, he was able to bring in over 50 persons to lease and rent properties, earning him agency commission. Notable among these was a property in Osapa London, with a face value of N40m which John successfully flipped for over N70m and another property in Banana Island for over N300 for which he got his agency commission. The monies made from deals as these helped him acquire his own properties, one of which I visited back in 2013. Properties that he now earns rental income from. He soon left the NSE to work for a Telecoms company, Ascort Int'l, while still scouting for other businesses to start considering that the real estate was a part-time thing.


John's drive.

I believe this was our attraction at first, considering how business drive John is and how innovative and enterprising I am. John's goal from his first days at the NSE was to leave some day and start his own business, this goal informed everything he did, how much he saved, which businesses he started, which failed and which succeeded. He mentions how he was unable to complete payment on the first property he bought, but reached a payment plan with the owner, and was able to completely pay off the mortgage over a few years from incomes he received. Risks according to him, must be taken, fears must be overcome, and ideas must go from concept to implementation. Have the plan, ideate, go out there and implement it. If it fails, iterate and try again. Repeat this process till you breakthrough. This is John's formula.


Rosanna Wears.

While working for Ascort Int'l and still scouting what full time business to start, John reconnected with a childhood friend at a wedding, who introduced him to the sanitaryware (bathroom and kitchen supplies) business. John's friend expressed doubt that John could survive in the business considering John's cooperate background, but he was in for a surprise. Fortunately, John's friend was open to teaching him about the business, this saw John taking a leave from work and spending 6 weeks interning at his friend's shop in Oduande plumbing Market, Coker Orile Lagos. During this time, John learned all he could about the business, the processes, dynamics, prices, supplies, and the market, all to the surprise of his friend. At the end of this training period, he rented his shop in the same market, a mini warehouse across the market, and with the help of his friend got connect for supplies. Look at some inventory;




On Covid challenges.

He noted that like other business sectors, theirs was also affected considering that markets were fully shut at some point and allowed to open only thrice a week recently. There was also a fall in demand, cashflow issues, and challenge with border closure, and logistics. But they are thriving and surviving through the challenges.


The future.

8 months down the line and Rosanna Wears is gearing to open two more shops/branches and launch their own branded line of products. John is now fully focused on building the business and expanding. He believes the market is stable and open for anyone willing to enter and take the step. His story is one of resilience, drive and consistency. I hope to speak to him again in 6 months to talk about his progress.

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