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INTERVIEW: 26 Years Old I.T Enterprenuer Talks About New Project -"EXZIE", Nigeria's First E-Book Publishing Platform.

''Talking about mighty hands operating from behind the scenes? Then
this gentleman's name should be mentioned. Quite young and in his
mid-twenties as a matter of fact, Oladipupo, a graduate of Accounting
from Bowen University is who we can call a business addict, one who is
attracted by potentials rather than sentiments or hear say. In this
interview, he opens up about himself for the first time and talks
about his new project, Exzie.

Interviewer; Who is Adagbada Oladipupo?
Adagbada;  An everyday Africa (laughs). Well, a busy and passionate
young man. A solution person. A go getter, a silver spoon hustler and
merchant of silver utensils (laughs). Pardon me, I am a simple and
straight forward entrepreneur.

Interviewer; When the Entrepreneurship journey begin?
Adagbada; 8 years ago. A N300 profit was the beginning of the journey.
Inadequate 'pocket money' during my undergraduate days prompted me
into business.

Interviewer; Give us a summary of the journey so far.
Adagbada; I started with trading. I sold all types of perfumes to
other students on campus, I later ventured in jewelries. I started my
clothing line,  that I did till I graduated from University.
Immediately after graduation I ventured into Sport Tourism,
representing and scouting for FIFA agents in major leagues from around
the globe. Because of my acquired skills in managing sportsmen, I
ventured into artiste management, before finally going into internet
business which has gotten my stocked ever since, asides my saloon of
course.

Interviewer; Don't you see yourself as a Jack of all trade, and master of none?
Adagbada; How then do you describe Aliko Dangote, my sister? Some
people are naturally good in multi-tasking, besides we cannot keep
limiting ourselves to only one field. If we are indeed created in
God's image, our capabilities are mind-blowing and limitless.

Interviewer; Looking at your background as an Accountant how did/do
you have the experience to run these businesses?
Adagbada; I learn very fast. When it's a venture with very attractive
potentials, I learn even faster no matter the field or industry. I
once single handedly came up with my own biscuit sample, it wowed
everyone. I am like that, glory to God.

Interviewer; How is Naijahustle.com, give us a brief history?
Adagbada; Fine thank you. Naijahustle.com went online in December 2013
with finance sourced from friends who held stalk in the platform. I
never came up with the idea because of profit, it was all about youth
development, and we put all our efforts into that. Three months after
its birth we had our first contract and five figure cheque. Ever since
its inception we have always strived to satisfy our readers and stay
relevant as an entertainment and lifestyle platform in the Nigerian
Blogsphere. Naijahustle is what it is today because of effort from
people like Tolu Akin Martins of TalkRoc' and Ife Oladunjoye. The site
is now solely owned by Shield Media & Publishing.

Interviewer; Would you say the platform is where you want it to be?
Adagbada; Ha! No o. As a 3 year old website, it has not done bad but
it can do better and it shall. We are in the middle of discussions
with various foreign platforms to give Naijahustle a broader and more
engaging user interface, so as to remain relevant and maintain a top
spot not just in Nigeria but in Africa and beyond.

Interviewer; Tell us about Nigeria2015elections.com.
Adagbada; Very massive platform. The idea was so big I could not
embark on it alone. I partnered with my brother's company and we
invested thousands of dollars in setting it up. The website housed all
wards, councils, LGs, and states in Nigeria each having its own parent
page, five sub categories and forum. We gave a voice to every Nigerian
who had something to say. We allowed everyone speak no matter the
location in Nigeria, every ward had its own forum, it was that huge.

Interviewer; Did Nigeria2015elections achieve the aim you desired?
Adagbada; Yes and No. Yes because it became very popular and relevant
during the elections. No because we did not break even talk less of
making profit from it despite the huge investment.

Interviewer: Guessing you made a lot of money at least from…
Adagbada; Unfortunately and to our amazement we did not make a dime
from the platform. Companies did not want to advertise on the platform
because they did not want to be biased. Our next focus was political
parties and politicians, and you know how the country is, you have to
know someone who knows someone that knows the big man. Besides, it was
a very tensed period and no one was sure what way to go or who to
follow.  As at that time we lacked the necessary contacts and were too
myopic in our undertakings.

Interviewer; Why was the website down when Nigerians needed it most?
Adagbada; A very big mistake, mismanagement and care-free attitude. We
were discouraged, we had thousands of people trouping in everyday to
surf and use the platform, we kept spending on maintaining the
platform but we were not making profit, and so we threw in our towel.
A very big mistake.

Interviewer; What should you have done?
Adagbada; Sell it! Since we were no longer interested in pumping money
into it. It was so valuable at that time, we had offers, but we kept
declining thinking we would earn more than what people were offering,
until it became too late to sell. Glory be to God.

Interviewer; How much would you have sold it?
Adagbada; We can it revive it and sell it to you o (laughs). Well, as
at that time we would have discriminated, but it would not have gone
for less than $100'000.

Interviewer; Exzie! How did you come about the name?
Adagbada; Exzie is a nickname I was given during my first year in
university. I doubt the friends who nicknamed me had any meaning for
it. I know people bare Exzie as birth names in some part of the world,
I'd research one of these days. Speaking of which, most people don't
know me by my real names.

Interviewer; Why did you choose it to name an online publishing platform?
Adagbada; Believe me, I wanted to go with a URL that was more SEO
friendly, but further research showed that the shorter a URL is the
better for its performance. We took a closer look at other e-commerce
website and we realized that most of them have five lettered names or
less. I did not have to think too deep before coming up with a five
lettered word, Exzie was just it!

Interviewer; What is Exzie all about?
Adagbada; Exzie is an online publishing platform that houses its own
team of writers providing Nigerian relative solutions to everyday
problems. These solutions are comprehensive and detailed and are
available in e-books, mp3s and mp4s.

Interviewer; Like our own Amazon you mean?
Adagbada; Yes and No. Yes, because like Amazon because its an e-book
e-commerce website. No, because all e-books and other materials are
created by in house writers and presenters. It's more like a search
engine. Once you are on the platform you can access to over 100'000
e-books, mp3s and mp4s in various categories and sub-categories. With
less than $5 you will download a well detailed, comprehensive and
relative solution to any given problem.

Interviewer; We are looking at hundreds of writers going by the
categories and sub categories.
Adagbada; Yes ma. As of now we have tens of writers, and we are still
recruiting, the standards are very high. But we are rapidly increasing
in numbers; it's still in its very young state you know.

Interviewer; What is competition like?
Adagbada; It is too early to bother myself with that. To answer your
question, non that I know or have heard of. Whether or not competition
exists, it is not our business, we are focused and we have a mandate
to deliver to all registered users on Exzie. If you are going to
embark on this type of project, be ready for business, it is
exhausting and same time adventuresome.

Interviewer; How do you source you materials?
Adagbada; It is 100% research based. We collaborate with data banks,
research institutes, laboratories, government agencies, universities,
and scholars on various issues. We also source materials from credible
researched based internet platforms, but this represents only 10% of
our content.

Interviewer; How long does it take to get a solution ready for publication?
Adagbada; Well it depends on how broad the subject is. We are not
rushing; our aim is to make people keep coming back for solutions.
From writing to editing and proof-reading, it takes 5 – 10 days before
publication.

Interviewer; Are we talking information marketing here?
Adagbada; Since we are selling information, then it's appropriate to
call it that.

Interviewer; What has the response been like?
Adagbada; So far it has been amazing and people are starting to get
used to the idea.

Interviewer; How did you raise finance to run the project?
Adagbada; Till this point it has been my personal fund. We are however
soliciting for angel investors and other kind of investors to come on
board.

Interviewer; What challenges are you facing?
Adagbada; Light is better than before, but we still spend a lot on
fueling, as we have to stay online 24hours a day. Finance is another
area more help is needed. More Nigerians should get used to buy
online, they should get their token for One-Time-Pin generation, it
makes it easy for us all.

Interviewer; Where do you see Exzie in 3 years time?
Adagbada; An online publishing platform solving major human problems
through its e-books, mp3 and mp4 presentations. By that time we should
only be updating solutions. We should have exhausted problems
(laughs).

Interviewer; How do you see the Nigerian cyberspace?
Adagbada; Unregulated and choking. Free websites and blog hosting
platforms are making the matter worse, but of course it is interesting
to see more and more people express their views and ideas online.

Interviewer; Rather than expand, you quitted about 4 businesses, why?
Adagbada; I did not quit them, they were just temporal stops, when the
appropriate time comes they will be revived if necessary.

Interviewer; Who and what inspires you?
Adagbada; The God force inspires me. My mother and every successful
entrepreneur inspires me.

Interviewer; Where do you draw your strength from?
Adagbada; Well I think it's just God. I hardly get tired, even after
sleeping only 3hours, I keep working. I am always active. It's God and
a positive outlook towards live.

Interviewer; Any awards?
Adagbada; No, not even one.

Interviewer; Does it bother you?
Adagbada; Bother me? How? I see no reason why it should. I do not do
what I do because of awards or recognition. It's about adding value to
life. In fact this is my first public interview, give me internet
connection and  a functioning computer, I am happy.

Interviewer; Greatest regret so far
Adagbada; No regrets at all. There have been several mistakes but no
regrets whatsoever.

Interviewer; Happiest moment in business
Adagbada; Every time I step into any of my business locations. Every
time I surf any of my websites.

Interviewer; How do people view you, what's your social life like?
Adagbada; Most people see me as an internet fraudster. Being a youth
who is quiet about his business ventures, people do not know the
source of my income. They see me concentrating on the computer screen
everyday and they wrongly conclude I make my money from 'yahoo'.
Sincerely I have been harassed by policemen.  I unwind and I attend
worthy social gatherings. Really I want to be more social, but no
time.

Interviewer; Advice to the unemployed and youths generally
Adagbada; Whether an entrepreneur or an employee, stay focused and
keep dreaming. Those who are unemployed should ensure they are first
employable by equipping themselves and seeking more knowledge. The
grade on certificate is becoming less important, welcome to the
Knowledge age.
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