Why Entrepreneurs should invest in Real Estate

By The Citizen
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An expert in the property market has described the real estate market as investors' haven as the industry holds great potentials for operators in the country.

Speaking on 'Growing a diversified group of businesses' at the Fidelity SME Forum, a weekly radio programme organised by Fidelity Bank, Chairman/CEO, Genesis Group of Companies, Ichie Nnaeto Orazulike said that the property business is one area where investors can expect to recoup their investment within a short period of time because of the high return on investment (ROI). He advised Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs (SMEs) desirous of growing their businesses to make conscious efforts to tap into the huge property market in the country even as they plough back the excess funds into their business. 'Naturally, as you grow your business and develop it, the best thing to do with the excess which the business didn't absorb is to invest it in real estate', he said.

Orazulike who veered into business immediately after his National Youth Service Programme (NYSC) essentially because he wanted to do something different said that the real estate is an investment he would advise every entrepreneur to take on. 'Real Estate, as far as I am concerned is the best of value. It will grow over time, out last you and generations to come'. He advise operators to be smart, quick and articulate as the business requires people who have head for numbers and who are able to think on their feet. He, however, cautioned them to move into areas of potential high yields. 'I will always put a caveat: invest in prime property'.

The Genesis Group started in 1990 as a small 25 seater restaurant. Today, the business has grown to become a conglomerate with interests in oil and gas, hotels, industrial catering, family entertainment, steel and real estate just within two decades of the life of the organisation. Orazulike explained that the secret behind the success of the group is quality service delivery. 'For us, we say we are selling service and we also strive to sell the service properly. It is either that we are selling a hotel room or selling you bread or we are selling you cinema experience or we are selling you food or we are selling you service in an offshore location which involves a lot more of supply logistics, it is always service we are selling', he said.

He advised SMEs to invest in human capacity development and create structures that will support the growth of the business. 'Creating a structure is very important. You need to create a structure that will support the growth and employ good quality people and invest in training them and supporting them to run the business with a sense of ownership in each individual business so the person running it will have a sense of belief in what they are doing and run it like their own'.

Orazulike, who is also a director in Fidelity Bank Plc., stressed the importance of culture in any organisation as it makes for easy adoption of company values and ideals. 'If you create a culture, after a while people will see the way things are done and they will be compelled to follow suit'.

Fidelity SME Forum is a deliberate attempt by the bank to resuscitate the Small and Medium - scale Enterprises (SMEs) and create a new generation of entrepreneurs with the 'I can do' spirit in Nigeria. This is not only seen as the bank's believe in SMEs as a growth catalyst but also a clear commitment to efforts aimed at revamping the Nigerian economy.

The weekly radio programme, essentially seeks to empower Nigerian entrepreneurs with knowledge, know-how and expertise that will help them build successful businesses. This it does by bringing renowned entrepreneurs to the show on weekly basis to share their experiences and encourage potential and existing entrepreneurs. This is aside the other financial, legal and business advisory services the Fidelity Managed SMEs Business renders to customers.