By Adedoyin Adegbite
Christian Ibe, a 400 level Economics student of Babcock University is the CEO of Comrade Kris Visuals. He started graphics on his own in 2012 at age 17 and since then he’s business has been experiencing tremendous growth. Acada magazine recently had an encounter with him where he spoke about his challenges and his motivations. He seems to be a great man of good insight for his career.
What has been your experience so far running your business?
To be honest it has not been easy. But then nothing good comes easy. So far, it has been God's grace that has brought me this far. And the experience has been remarkable; I got to learn something new every day regardless of the circumstances.
How do you joggle business and schooling?
It's been quite a hassle, there were times when I have pending jobs with clients asking that I deliver in a short time, I also have to read and prepare for exams, so most time, I don't even sleep because I try to make ends meet. That is delivering to my clients on time, keeping with school and still preparing for exams.
What are the challenges you have been facing as an entrepreneur?
There's the issue of electricity and poor Internet connection, but it's something we're all used to now, then there's client that are quite difficult to please. But for every challenge I take the blessings and learn the lessons.
Are your parents in support of what you are doing?
Of course my parents are in total support now, knowing I could balance my personal business and my school work. Though at first it wasn't easy convincing them to see or understand my vision as an entrepreneur. Like every Nigeria parent, they wanted me to be through with my education before focusing on business.
How do you source for funds?
What I do basically doesn't require me sourcing for funds because I'm a graphic artist and an IT consultant. But if I get to the part where I have to generate revenue I engage in other business trade, in return get a percentage profit from the proceeds.
Why did you choose this type of business?
I choose graphic designing because of the passion I have for colours. Also, it needs little or no capital to start. All you need is a good laptop and a creative mindset, and then you are good to go.
How do you get people to patronize you?
As a designer, your work speaks for you. If you're good at your craft, people would come seeking your services. Also from time to time, I tend to advertise on networking platforms. Digital marketing basically has been the backbone in which this business thrives on. And it success is dependent on it as well as creativity, likewise I maintain a close good relationship with client, that way I get more referrals from them.
How is the business doing so far?
So far business has been doing great. Although, there are times when I go days without having a client but every business has its ups and downs. The important thing is that I keep pushing.
What are your short and long time goals?
My personal targets are 2 degrees, a couple of IT certification including SAP and then I intend to take the Comrade Kris Design brand to international standards. Besides our current workplace at River Valley estate in Lagos, we should have at least 6 branch offices nationwide.
What motivates you?
My family, friends, and maybe good books but I think the best motivation comes from your own goals and ideas. Books tend to guide you to think a certain way, while entrepreneurs need to think without these boundaries.
What was your mission at the start of your business?
The mission is to be the biggest graphics designer all over Africa and also the best graphics designer from an African descendant.
When did you start your business?
I started 6 years ago in 2012 then I was 17. Funny enough I learned graphics designing on my own through Google came in super handy, *laughs *.
What is special about your type of business?
Well the fact that you need little or no capital to execute jobs as a graphic designer makes the business special. The business is very lucrative. *Smiles *
What is your advise for other younger entrepreneur?
You need to enjoy what you do. If you view your venture as something solely for purpose of amassing wealth, it will be more difficult to truly enjoy. But most importantly believe in yourself.