I don’t see myself as woman –Adebimpe Giwa, Group MD/CEO, Tripple Gee & Co. Plc – The Sun Nigeria

By Tony Manuaka and Henry Uche

Mrs. Adebimpe  Giwa, Group Managing Director/CEO, Tripple Gee & Firm Plc., is an achieved  marketer and administrator. She emerged as chief government officer of the corporate in 2019, shortly after the passing of her husband and founding father of the corporate. Inside a couple of years, she has put the as soon as ailing firm again on the trail of profitability. On this interview with Each day Solar, she gave an account of the duty of rebuilding the corporate.


While you returned to Tripple Gee in 2018 and subsequently turned the group managing director in 2019, what did you meet, what was the state of the corporate?

Once I resumed responsibility in 2018, the corporate was on the lowest ebb, and I knew that was a process for me. Then I feel the turnover of Tripple Gee was round N250 million or N300 million. And I used to be like, look, I would like to show this round. And that gave me the spur to go on. Proper now I can let you know Tripple Gee is over N3 billion. It’s not little one’s play, given the circumstances, however then I can say that, with dedication, onerous work and persistence, we’re the place we’re in the present day however we aren’t but the place we’re alleged to be. So it’s an ongoing factor.

How huge is the corporate in the present day by way of figures, dimension and capability?

I’d begin with the dimensions. Then, the complete employees was about 70 or one thing, however now we’re about 200. And by way of equipment, we’ve acquired so many machines as a result of, in manufacturing, particularly in printing, in case you don’t have the required machines, you’re losing your time in that enterprise. So, we tried to re-equip our machineries and, proper now, we’ve got three main machines, we’ve got a Velocity Grasp – 5 colors, we’ve got Muller Martini – eight colors, and we now have the Nilpeter – an 11-colour machine, which was launched final yr. It’s the second in Africa and the primary of its form in Nigeria. We’re the primary to deliver Nilpeter into Nigeria. It’s an 11-colour flexo printing machine. The peculiarity is that it will possibly print on any floor.

In different phrases, you’ve got introduced into the printing business what your rivals don’t have?

As of now, Tripple Gee is the one one which has Nilpeter 11-colour flexo printing machine in Nigeria.

Earlier than you returned to Tripple Gee, following the demise of your husband, you labored in different fields, together with the oil and fuel business. How did working in these areas put together you for the duty of working the corporate?

One factor about me is that, no matter I got down to do, I attempt to put in my finest and to be one of the best there. So, every time I’m going by means of something I like, I’m prepared for the problem as a result of I do know that nothing good comes simple anyway. So, earlier than I even joined Tripple Gee firstly, I used to be doing oil and fuel, and that ready me. Then, what I had was Ambos Oil, which was my very own firm. Once I obtained married to Chief Giwa, I joined the corporate, and I nonetheless had Ambos Oil Nigeria. Ambos Nigeria is mainly into importation and processing. So it’s prefer it’s within the worth chain. As a result of we service corporations that produce, we deliver within the threads and course of for the top customers. So, we’re in between the worth chain. Then, at some extent, we diversified into one other type of thread, we name it the embroidery thread, for these folks that produce Aso Oke (Yoruba conventional put on). However we needed to shut down that facet of the enterprise throughout the COVID period as a result of there have been no events. However then the thread and the filter paper are nonetheless on. We nonetheless have a buyer base and we service them.

Data present that if you took over in 2019 because the GMD, the corporate’s turnover elevated by 149% throughout the first six months. What technique did you undertake to realize that?

As a marketer, I do know that even you probably have N20 billion debt with a financial institution, in case your machines are working, you’ll pay your money owed. That’s my technique. So the very first thing I did once I assumed responsibility was to say, okay, let me exit advertising and marketing. So, I went all-out advertising and marketing, to the east, to the north, in every single place. Previous to once I left, I had this sturdy clientele base, however once I left the corporate misplaced them. I needed to go deliver them again and inform them that I used to be again. That was how jobs began coming in, and we begin throughout at a quick tempo, provides and all that. And that’s simply the technique, to be sincere. There was no explicit system that I might say, this was the system I adopted from LBS, no. I simply knew that in case your machines are working, you may flip this place round, that has been my technique to date, and that’s nonetheless my technique. As soon as your machines are working, you may flip round wherever it’s. So, it’s mainly my advertising and marketing expertise that I put into it, plus the Almighty God that topped our efforts, along with the purposeful machines that helped us earlier than we began bringing in new ones.

There will need to have been some targets you set for your self if you began. Have you ever been in a position to obtain these targets?

Sure, the targets I set for myself then have been simply three. First: to show the corporate round by way of income; to place the corporate on a profitability stage. Second: to extend the shopper base and, third: to do a re-engineering of the outdated system, which was accomplished, let’s say, in max of 1 yr. So, one other goal has been set. It’s to reposition Tripple Gee within the inventory market, which is on-going; to place it again into the limelight and to make Tripple Gee a family title, which is on-going now as a result of I do know that lots of people are saying that the corporate has folded up and stuff like that. However you may see we’re shifting on.

What have been your main challenges working the corporate?

The main challenges, I feel, one, entry to international alternate, as a result of our main uncooked supplies are imported. Several types of substrates and different supplies. Accessing funds is one facet of it, accessing foreign exchange is one other facet. It has been a serious problem as a result of there are such a lot of options which have been regulated by way of, you may simply have your personal cash that you simply need to switch out of your accounts, that has been blocked, all the pieces has to undergo the CBN and it’s been lots of bottlenecks, that’s, the processes. We’re compelled to purchase from the black market, which has impacted negatively on our profitability as a result of what you need to get at N400, you might be getting it at N700. As your paper is touchdown, it’s already costly. And there’s a restrict to what you may move over to the top customers. So that you take in it, a minimum of the main a part of it, and cut back your revenue margin. That has been a serious downside for us. The second downside is infrastructure deficit. As of in the present day, we don’t have huge vehicles or autos anymore as a result of the price of upkeep is simply too excessive. What we do now’s to outsource. And even that outsourcing, the price for haulage round Ikeja could also be N30,000, however to  come right here, (Lagos to Badagry street) they cost about N100,000. Third is the personnel. I do know that it isn’t peculiar to Tripple Gee; it’s an total factor. To get high quality employees nowadays, loyal, devoted and hardworking employees, is a serious problem. So these are the main challenges I feel we’ve got: funding, foreign exchange, infrastructure, and personnel. They’re huge challenges.

Of all of the hurdles you face within the day-to-day working of the enterprise, are there some that you’re unable to scale over since you’re a girl managing a giant organisation?

Oh, I don’t see myself as a girl. So, I don’t suppose like a girl. I didn’t place myself as a girl. Within the manufacturing business, someone simply instructed me like two weeks in the past, you understand that we’re the one ones on this area? And I mentioned, “How can I be the one one on this area?” The opposite individual is digital printing. So, I haven’t seen any problem. Actually, I let you know that only a few males can face up to the challenges I’ve handed by means of and scaled by means of. I can say it any time, any day. And for individuals who know me, they know what I’m saying. So, I don’t see myself as a girl. It’s not an obstacle to me in any respect. I’m not constrained as a result of I don’t see myself as a girl. And the best way I work, folks that work with me would say, this one doesn’t see herself as a girls and I really feel so dangerous when a girl places herself in that place: “…as a result of I’m a girl.” I’d say, “What are you speaking about?”

With what you’ve got achieved to date and the brand new targets you’ve got set for your self, the place do you need to take this firm to within the subsequent 5 years?

Within the subsequent 5 years, I’d have taken my go away as a result of I don’t anticipate that I’d be doing this hectic job until I’m 60. And so there’s a succession plan in place now. I have already got a successor whom I’m grooming. And he or she’s studying quick. We share the identical imaginative and prescient. So, I can see Tripple Gee within the subsequent 5 years because the one-stop enterprise in Nigeria for any type of printing. That’s one. Two, we’re additionally not going to be in Nigeria alone. Proper now, we’re in different African nations. There’s nothing stopping us from printing for Italy or anyplace in Europe. The distinction between us is equipment. If I can get that machine, there’s nothing stopping me from increasing. So, within the subsequent 5 years, I see Tripple Gee in not solely West Africa however a world enterprise partnering with world corporations.

Is that to say that you’re establishing branches in different West African nations?

Proper now, we aren’t establishing, however we’re supplying. We’re in Ghana, we’re in Senegal, we’re in Niger Republic and we’re additionally in Sierra Leone.

So you’ve got enterprise companions in all these nations?

We’ve individuals who usher in jobs from these nations, particularly secured jobs, high-level, secured and labeled jobs.

Inside Nigeria, what share of the safety printing market do you management?

You recognize Tripple Gee has numerous sectors. We’re into secured printing. We’re into packaging. We’re into versatile packaging. We’re into card providers, and we’re into IT. We’re additionally into business printing (not the calendar kind of business). We’re into promo playing cards. As an illustration, for the previous 4 years, we’ve got been those dealing with Dangote promo playing cards since they began, and others like that. For secured printing, after all, Tripple Gee is primary as a result of we’re the primary indigenous firm that began printing cheque books in Nigeria. We’re CBN-accredited, and we set the tempo, share certificates, and dividend warrants. We’re primary in secured printing. We’re those printing your automobile licences, the ICAN, MAN, and all of the certificates. Then, we’ve got the packaging part. For the flexo packaging, we’re doing nearly all of the oil labels for engine oil corporations. We’re those printing tags. For versatile, it’s new to us. Although not completely new to us, we now need to play huge within the versatile packaging. And I’ll say, for versatile, we’re like quantity seven out of 10; for flexo, we needs to be quantity two or three out of 10; however for safety printing, we’re primary out of 10.

For business, as a result of our business is restricted, we’re simply in our world. We don’t actually name it business, we name it card providers. After which for IT, we’ve got an app, which is known as True Information. This app, we’re the primary to deliver it into Nigeria. And I don’t suppose we’ve got one other firm. However that app is to forestall counterfeiting of any secured doc. We use it for Dangote first time, however we modified it. We do it for under labeled, secured paperwork that want safety and topnotch safety. So it’s not one thing that’s on the market for everyone. For those who comprehend it, they arrive to us and we serve them.

What sort of coaching do you give your personnel contemplating the type of high-level safety printing you do?

As a result of we’re CBN-accredited, there are some stipulated coaching that our employees, particularly these working in factories, should bear. And we additionally ship them out for programs below MAN as a result of the Producers’ Affiliation of Nigeria normally organises coaching for various testing, for safety, for High quality Management, for logistics, we guarantee that they go there. Then there are one or two corporations that we additionally accomplice with outdoors. We’ve two in Dubai and one within the UK. However we ship our employees within the safety unit, particularly the OPM, our head of design, they go study one thing new after which come again to impart it. We do that like quarterly. So as a result of there are new issues, each time there are new issues that should be learnt. That’s how we’ve been in a position to keep above our rivals.

When it comes to getting the type of gear you utilize for these specialised jobs, do you’ve got international technical companions?

I’ll provide you with an instance. There’s one thing we name numismatic – it is likely one of the options that we adopted from the cheque printing. We simply enhanced it and added it to true knowledge if you need some safety features. It doesn’t require us to go outdoors. What we would have liked was a specialised type of printer, which we’ve got in-house. As an illustration, we’ve got additionally upgraded our Laptop To Plate (CTP) system, and we simply purchased a brand new one – the newest so that after the product goes by means of the printer, it will possibly switch, you realize when one thing goes by means of the Beta, it will possibly switch the picture the best way you need on the paperwork. I gained’t say greater than that as a result of it’s our promoting secret.

You emphasize extra on machines as your technique firstly. Did you not give precedence to your human capital as a matter of significance?

In fact I did, as a result of I had labored in advertising and marketing and packaging for nearly 10 years, I do know the out and in of packaging. I didn’t examine printing, however my ardour drove me into studying about printing, and most occasions my husband of blessed reminiscence, even at house, I requested, what’s the cylinder? I had my word, I wrote it down, once I obtained to the ground, I’d say: “why didn’t you clear the cylinder?” I wished to know what the cylinder was in order that they gained’t know that I don’t know.  Most occasions, I’m going on-line, I learn, after which I’ll simply bulldoze my method on the ground. And that’s how I obtained all of the expertise. Somebody requested me a query: Did you go for a printing course? I didn’t go for a printing course. It’s simply now that I’m doing an expert packaging course. All the pieces that I do know was on the job. And since I knew about printing, I used to be in a position to make use of the manpower I had then. What I simply did within the quick was to do a refresher course for them. I despatched some to McCombs, a coaching outfit. Some went for MAN. We have been doing an in-house coaching; we have been doing it for a minimum of twice each month to refresh their minds as a result of a number of the machines have been out of date. So, you realize when there’s no exercise, it additionally impacts people. They only got here to work and ate lunch. However once they noticed the actions, everyone was gingered, and everybody was prepared to regulate. So, I simply made use of the prevailing personnel at the moment. Fortunately for me, nearly all of these I left once I was leaving have been nonetheless there. So it was simple for them to say, “Madam is again, motion!”  They name me Motion Lady. So, that’s how we fared. We needed to pair a number of the machines. We needed to replace them. I simply despatched for rollers, replace this and that. Work was in progress. As soon as cash began coming in, we began making use of them, shopping for machines, and all that. That’s what we did. Thank God, in the present day we’re shifting ahead. Not solely was the corporate lifted by way of income, it was lifted from loss to profitability.

What’s the present working situation in your employees like?

From once I took over, the working circumstances of employees had at all times been a paramount factor, to be sincere. My husband put in lots of faith into the enterprise. You recognize, in keeping with the Quran, you must deal with your employees very properly. So, he paid lots of consideration to that. Even when the corporate was working at a loss, there was nonetheless a canteen, employees have been nonetheless consuming one meal a day. Salaries have been being paid. However as soon as you might be utilizing the entire cash to pay salaries and you aren’t getting in revenue, there would come a time you gained’t be capable to pay salaries. So, in equity to them, the employees commonplace was updated. I simply improved on it. What I did was that I did lots of promotion to raise their morale and motivation. Okay, in case you meet this goal, you get this as a reward. Then we began Finish -of-the-12 months social gathering, the place money donations for the general finest worker was rewarded with about N200,000. You recognize that gingered the system. Then the meal ticket was elevated as a result of they complained that the meals was inadequate. It was elevated, salaries have been elevated. We introduced in a human sources agency to evaluate the system and all that. In fact, the KPIs, lots of issues have been accomplished.

As a corporation, what do you do in your host group as company social accountability?

Nicely, in our surroundings, they know Tripple Gee. As soon as something occurs, it’s Tripple Gee that may handle it. As an illustration, they need to repair the roads, or just like the transformer will get burnt. There was a time there was a fireplace incident like the subsequent home to us, it was Tripple Gee they have been wanting as much as. We needed to deliver out hearth extinguishers or name the primary service suppliers. After which when we’ve got jobs, we attempt to have interaction them. As an illustration, a few of them within the universities, as soon as it’s June, July, all of them know that positively there might be jobs for them, from there, they get some cash they usually preserve it to return to highschool. We additionally attend to Islamic organizations, church buildings, Motherless Infants Properties and all that. After which once in a while, for the reason that time of COVID, we attempt to influence our quick setting. We purchase rice; we bundle and share as a result of everyone now’s meals first. Within the Ramadan interval, on behalf of Tripple Gee, we cook dinner for like 300 folks every single day. That’s accomplished at Gbagada. We do it every single day for 30 days as soon as the Ramadan begins. And we’ve got been doing that since I took over.

You mentioned you don’t see your self as a girl. How do you handle your social life with l enterprise?

That’s a giant query. Actually, the chairman of Tripple Gee wonders. For those who see me within the boardroom, I’m speaking and performing. While you see me at (Owanbe) a Yoruba social gathering, you gained’t comprehend it’s me as a result of I can dance. Once I’m being social, I’m being social, full social, no matter I’m doing, I do it to the fullest, even once I’m giving, I give as a lot as a result of, my husband used to name me ‘Madam Alasheju’ which means I do issues overboard. I don’t know how one can do in- between. I do know that, and once I’m offended, I’m offended. You’ll know I’m offended, as soon as I’m glad, I’m glad and I’m dancing and having fun with my life. When my husband was alive, I cooked his meals recent as a result of my husband by no means ate subsequent day meals. He by no means even ate morning meals within the afternoon or afternoon meals within the night. Sure, for those who know me, for twenty-something years. Nicely, I loved it. I’d do breakfast recent, he loved it. In my packaging workplace, I’ve a kitchen. I’ll do his meals first, and he eats his meals recent. So, I’ll say I’m a particular being as a result of I’m multi-talented. I can multi-task. That’s how God created me. As I’m even speaking to you, I’m pondering of 1 or two issues in my thoughts.

Do your kids have these traits?

Nicely, I feel my kids are impartial. By the grace of God, none of them depends on me. As a result of that’s the best way I educated them. I educated them to know that look, life is filled with challenges. There’s nothing that comes simple. Nevertheless, you remedy your issues. You don’t suppose that there’s one mommy there, or there’s one daddy there. A while in the past, I used to be in Dubai, and I requested them to speak to me on any challenges they have been dealing with, however they wouldn’t. They arrive to me as their final resort. So once I see folks their age asking their father… my very own kids, the best way they’re educated is that life is filled with challenges, and you will need to face it.

Have you ever ever considered increasing Tripple Gee past Lagos?

Nicely, we used to have an workplace in Kaduna. Actually, we simply closed it down due to insecurity. However we try to construct an annex alongside the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway.

Are there some choices you’ve got taken in the middle of working this enterprise that, if given a second likelihood, you want to do in another way?

To be sincere, sure. Within the final three years, what I’ve learnt is that I mustn’t at all times take choices spontaneously as a result of I’m one one who doesn’t have an in-between. As soon as I’m upset, I take my choices, and that’s it. However normally, I feel I overdo it. Within the company world, as soon as you are taking a choice, to retrieve that call is at all times tough. Even supposing I knew that is an excessive amount of for this individual, I shouldn’t have accomplished it this fashion, so I needed to simply swallow it due to course, it affected me in some methods. So, sure, there are one or two choices, however I additionally know that I’ve been coaching myself to restraint myself on my temperament. I feel the usual I anticipate from folks is simply too excessive. So, as soon as they don’t seem to be in that commonplace, I’d be like, what’s fallacious with you? As an illustration, like someone is coming into my workplace, and he’s dragging his toes. Dragging your toes for what? After which my very own is, there’s nothing that’s not achievable, and there’s no scenario that has no answer. As soon as there’s a scenario, there should be an answer. So, I don’t really feel snug when folks inform me that the scenario in Nigeria … which scenario, when persons are constructing mansions. These folks which are constructing mansions have they got two heads? So, I don’t take no for a solution. My employees know me. As soon as I are available, it’s motion! And I would like my job accomplished now and now. I don’t drag something. If there’s a difficulty, let’s simply trash it instantly. For each problem, there’s an answer. I’m additionally prayerful o!


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