Mrs. Shola Otis is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Otis Fragrance who, in this exclusive interview with our Editor-In-Chief, LUBEM GENA, has emphasized that her products are for everyone. She spoke on the beneficial mentorship received from Prof. Adesoji Adesugba and the impressive journey so far. Excerpts:
Let’s briefly meet you as far as Otis Fragrance is concerned?
My name is Shola Otis. I am a graduate of Human Kinetics from the University of Lagos. I am a wife, mother and a perfumer at Otis Fragrance
What are the circumstances that led to setting up this brand?
When I left my job with Legendary Gold Limited in 2010, I was jobless and looking for what to invest my time with so I started dealing in FM product. FM is a European perfume company that has their franchise in Nigerian. After a while the opportunity came to learn how to curate perfume. I took it and brought my knowledge and experience from FM to Otis fragrance.
Since establishment of Otis Fragrance, what would you say is the general market situation around your product? Has it received wide acceptance?
Yes there has been a huge acceptance because our products are affordable and they can compete with any brand in terms of potency and sweet fragrance. There is an open acceptance so far because most people that buy our products always repurchase
Apart from the Nigerian market, which other jurisdiction has accepted your product?
I have a some customers in America, Boston precisely. They always make positive comments after each purchase .
How is the market situation over there?
We are still working on increasing awareness and more acceptability over there and America as a whole. It is work in progress but so far, I can say, so good.
Do you have mentors who introduced you into this business?
I have few mentor though they did not introduce me to the business. They have however been very helpful. On the top list is Prof Adesoji Adesugba, the Vice President in Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) responsible for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as the Provost of the training arm of the chamber known as Business Entrepreneurial Skills and Technology (BEST) center. He has been most helpful in terms of resource, entrepreneurship advises and encouragement.
Mrs Mercy Makinde has also been helpful in terms of constructive criticism. She pushes us to go the extra mile .
Also, do you owe your success to any mentor organization and how has that impacted on your organization?
In terms of success, I will say we are still a work in progress, as time goes on we will get there.
Do you belong to any particular skill group or a chamber of commerce. If so how impactful has they been on your company?
I don’t belong to any of such right now. But looking forward to belonging to one in the nearest future.
What would you say has been the major track record of achievement of your company and where has it taken your organization to?
I will say our consistency in terms of pricing and quality is outstanding. Our aim is to get to as many people as we can get to in terms of affordability ,hence our slogan “Perfume For All’.
What major issue has your company solved?
Bringing perfume to the middle class and lower class at affordable rate and yet good quality is a no mean milestone of achievement and we are proud of this.
Will you be unveiling more of such innovative products in the near future?
Yes. We are looking at the production of roll-on and car fragrances, all in due time.
In the next 10 years or so, where would Otis Fragrance be?
We are looking at being a household name in terms of production and acceptability of our products.
What would you want the public to do so far as your organization and your products are concerned?
They should keep an open mind and embrace the made in Nigeria culture and the patronage of same.