The Life of a Start-up CEO

SPRINGROSE, a salt distribution company started operations in 2010. The company is a major distributor of salt for Dangote Group and other retail chains in West Africa. The company is worth $60 million and its clientele include big brands such as Shoprite, Park ‘n’ Shop, Mega Plaza and many others. During a chatty interview with Sope Odun, the Founder/CEO of Springrose, he revealed his future plans for the company, his daily routine, his inspiration as well as the challenges he faces as a CEO.

He started by explaining how he came about the business idea and the name ‘Springrose’. He felt the need to fill a skill gap within the industry and to contribute his quota towards reducing youth unemployment. So, he started reaching out to people. As for the name of the organisation, he wanted one that would reflect the life that he was injecting back into many companies and homes. Salt gives taste, so the company is about creating an impact, building great teams, adding value and at the same time improving the bottom-line of clients.

When asked about his daily routine, he said that because he is a result-oriented person, the first thing he does whenever he arrives at his desk is to sort out pending transactions and e-mails from clients. By close of business, he makes sure he leaves little or nothing undone and if he didn’t have anything left, he takes them home. He keeps his family time sacred and makes sure his wife and kids get to see him before they go to bed. When they are fast asleep, he switches off daddy-mode and attends to pending official issues.

The surprising lesson he has learned from running his own company is that despite how difficult it is to run any company, he found it absolutely fulfilling and amazing how his little idea has turned around to change his whole life and story. Looking back, he says he can’t imagine how much the company has grown from trying to solve a problem and adding value to society.

Within the next five years, Sope plans to start inwardly by investing in smarter payment processes, improving customer relations, upgrading service delivery, investing in better equipment and enhancing security. Ultimately, he plans to set the pace for competitors within the industry and inaugurate a school for marketing professionals.

As a CEO, the most challenging part of his job is choosing where to spend his time and learning how to communicate with so many different people. On the other hand, the most rewarding aspect of his job is the ability to fit in the right person for the right job. He derives joy from recruiting the right individuals and building a great team.