We recreate old labels into modern-day brands – Fawaz

Muh-FawazAbdulganiyu is a multi talented entrepreneur and the Chief Marketing Officer of GMB Agency, a branding company he co-founded with two of his friends during his NYSC year. In this interview SAMSON BENJAMIN, the entrepreneur speaks on his passion for launching new businesses into the market and re-branding old labels to fit into the modern-day system.

Tell us about yourself, family

I am Muh-FawazAbdulganiyu from Ilorin, Kwara state. I attended Thomas Adewumi Int’l College Oko before proceeding to University of Ilorin to study industrial relations and personnel management. Asides the work I do, I am an avid reader and sportsperson.

I am from a pretty large family and I am the 7th child of my father. My dad is a public servant and my mom was a health practitioner.

What do you do?

I run an agency that is into advertising and marketing, and I also have a couple of investments.

What are your fondest childhood memories?

I have a couple of childhood memories but two stand out; i. playing and watching football with my dad while growing up, ii. Every second spent with my darling mother.

Who is your mentor?

First and foremost, the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) has been my mentor right from time; then followed by my older brother, AbdulquawiyOlododo, with whom I’m very well pleased.

What does advertising and marketing mean to you?

My belief is everything and everyone needs awareness/publicity and the sector I happen to find myself in gives me the opportunity to explore my creativity beyond my comfort.

What inspired you into venturing into advertising and marketing?

I have always been passionate about recreating new brands and seeing what they will look like if they are eventually put out to the market, so during my NYSC service year, I figured I was not ready for a 9-5 job so I wrote down a couple of ideas I believed I could execute perfectly. Advertising and marketing stood out to me as I saw the vast opportunity in the sector and the room it gives to think outside the box. So I called two of my friends and that call birthed the GMB agency.

What does GMB stand for?

The name implies what we aim to achieve for all our clients, that is (Growth, Marketing, Base). It also stands for our name initials.

Who are your partners?

Let me start by saying we were all close friends before we became business partners. Their names are Abubakar Gunu Najeeb and Akande Bolakale Waliyy, the former is in charge of the creatives and also the MD, the latter is in charge of copywriting, media and lastly I am in charge of networking and client servicing.

What challenges have you encountered so far?

Lately, for everyone and every business, I believe the economy has been a great challenge. Aside from that, there has been a challenge of getting new clients and funds to execute bigger projects.

What are some of the projects the agency has worked on?

Within the space of one year the agency has been able to execute numerous projects on different scales. We have worked on some projects for various arms of government, restaurants, manufacturing companies, and so on. We also take great pride in launching new businesses into the market and rebranding old brands to fit into the modern system that we are in.

Any regrets?

I’m not big on regrets because I feel every setback is the fuel I need to attain success. “Ease is a greater threat to success than hardship” – Denzel Washington

What makes you happy and sweeps you off your feet?

I am at my happiest when I achieve my goals and when I think back at the loving memories my mom and I shared.

How do you unwind?

I play football with my friends and also play video games. I also love sightseeing!

What genre of music do you listen to?

I really don’t have a favourite genre but I listen to all kinds of music depending on the mood I am in.

What is your highest point and where do you hope to be in the nearest future?

As time goes by, I would like to acquire more knowledge to broaden the reach of my company, GMB agency. I would also like to attain a sustainable level of financial security.

What is your advice to Nigerian youth in general, especially in this trying period?

Every Nigerian youth should see failure or hindrance as a stepping stone to achieve their goals and follow their dreams fearlessly.

How would you rate Nigeria in terms of projecting young people for positive impact?

Honestly speaking, considering the fact that the Nigerian environment is not particularly conducive for young people, a number of young Nigerians over here and in the Diaspora are still excelling in different sectors such as the entertainment, sports and FINTECH industries, but we still have a long way to go.

What stereotypes do we need to change to enable young people to break glass ceilings?

We should imbibe a mentality that no person is too young to champion a groundbreaking course.

Level of progress made so far by your agency

The agency just turned one some days ago and within that space of time we have been able to build a reasonable clientele base and carry out numerous projects. So I will say the agency is moving on the right track, the journey never ends, and so there is room for improvement.

How flexible is the agency in terms of collaboration?

In order to grow and make a massive impact in the sector that we are in, we have made our system so flexible that we can partner or collaborate with all kinds of businesses in any sector, be it ministries, government agencies, private companies and brands, other digital marketing agencies as well as individual brands. So we are very much open to collaborations from various sectors.

What role have you played in the system to change the narrative?

As I said earlier on, there shouldn’t be an age barrier towards attaining success and growth, as a person I have made myself open to learning and collaborating with other people of different age groups.

Your advice to young Nigerians on job-creation

I would advise young Nigerians to see the country as a land of opportunities. We must be very hard-working and ready to tap opportunities the country offers. Yes, the government may not be performing well but we need to see positivity in the country. Agriculture is one important sector we can tap into. We should begin to strive on what we can offer the country, not totally what the country can offer us. That is the reality of the Nigerian situation. I would also task young leaders in Nigeria to put pressure on the government to promote innovative ideas, that way we can have a bulk of progress in the country.