MEET THE BOSS: AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CEO OF FORST EMPIRE LIMITED TITILOPE ORIRE

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Whenever you see a successful business, Someone once made a courageous decision, CEO of Forst Empire Limited, Mrs Titilope Oludipe Orire have proven to us 20 times that she is the boss. Having been working as a crew member behind the scene for 13 years, producing films and writing scripts in the entertainment industry. The beauty with brains in an exclusive interview with Zivang talks about her Entrepreneurial journey as CEO of sub companies in Fashion, Media and Agric business.

 

 

 

Can we formally meet you ma?

My name is Orire Titilope, a wife, a mother, film writer/producer and an entrepreneur Born July 28,  I hail from Epe, Lagos state. Along with my Husband, I am the Managing director of FORST EMPIRE LTD, which is the Parent Company of four other enterprises.These include; Forst Engineering Services, Forst Food, Forst Thrift/Diva Store and Forst Media which was initially Silueta Entertainment.

 

 

How was your growing up Like?

Growing up was a bit tough, I was raised by relations. It can be hard for a child to live away from his/her parents at a very young age. At age 6, I was already in a boarding school till age 16. In some ways my experiences growing up spurred me to make something of myself. I’ve always been a driven, hungry for success. And always known that selling drinks in Apongbon was not want I wanted, I knew it was never going to be enough.

Did any of these affect your Life positively?

Yes, they had a positive effect, in so many ways.

 

 

How did your entrepreneurial journey start?

Growing up with relatives who were successful in their businesses, you pick up a thing or two. That was where it all began for me. My Aunt taught me a lot about business while I was with her selling liquor and beverages at Apongbon in Lagos. Sometimes, she would have me do “BARANDA” (a situation where customers request items we did not have in store, so we outsource), I would usually have to run to “Oke Arin” to get the items and add my own profit. I remember a year in December, she encouraged me to sell Christmas cards, I was 16 at that time, the venture was not a success, but that did not stop me. It only spurred me on.

 

 

 

 

Why did you venture into Agric business?

I’ve always known food is Life! My husband has inspired me in many ways. He is a cancer survivor and it’s a MUST for him to eat healthy, same as billions of people in the world. With the pandemic out there, I figured that taking the food to people due to social distancing would not only keep them fed but keep them safe and healthy as well.

 

 

So far, how have you been able to balance working in the media and Agricultural sector?

Contrary to what most people might think, both businesses are not so different. They both require all the little working parts in the system to work in tandem to produce the required results. Keeping a level head by delegating certain tasks also gives some measure of balance.

 

As a CEO of a media company what does creativity mean to you?

Creativity isn’t just Art to me, it is Life, it is soul, it is deep, it is everything. It requires a mixture of extreme imagination and technical abilities.

 

 

So far, how has Forst media maintained a good standard in quality of service in creativity?

Apart from the in-house creatives such as myself, we also on occasion hire consulting experts on various aspects of our projects to give us a wider more diverse perspective.

 

 

From research, Forst media focus on Movie production, can talk more on getting a good script writer to write a good script for a movie?

I am officially The Forst Media Script Writer and I’m proud to say that I am very good at it based on years of experience.

 

With growth in Nollywood industry, Which way have you been able to mentor upcoming creatives who are need guidance? (Talk about Forst media training classes to mention but a few)

We have inspired and helped some apprentices who want to do a thing or two in Nollywood, starting as a production assistants to the next and next stage. However, We are planning to have a training school anytime soon.

 

Any plans to have training institute in future?

Yes, we are currently working on mentorship programmes for entrepreneurs and professionals looking to supplement their income with the aim of building self-reliance in individuals via entrepreneurship.

 

What makes Forst foods stand out in the Agribusiness?

Our top-notch Brand, customer service, delivery speed and professionalism.

 

What’s your take on living a healthy Lifestyle?

As I earlier stated, my husband is a cancer survivor. As a result, a healthy lifestyle is very important in the way I conduct my affairs both at home and at work. In my opinion, one cannot put a premium on good health, it is invaluable.

 

In a competitive market, what is the unique selling point of Forst Foods

As earlier stated, we place a very high value on our near perfect logistics system. We understand the importance of speedy deliveries since most of our deliveries are perishable.

 

Let’s talk about Agribusiness and branding, how have you been able to showcase Forst brand within & Outside Nigeria.

In this regard, social media is been a very essential tool in the sense that it allows us to have a personal relationship with every customer, helps us gain a wider audience for our products and give us relevance in markets that would otherwise to break into.

 

What does customer service mean to you?

Customer service is very important to me. It helps the me get a feel for the customers’ needs via their reactions to goods and services thereby helping me strategize and re-strategize.

 

Online e -commerce platform is one of the fastest ways for customers to purchase food items, How have Forst Food team been able to manage Logistics since inception?

Logistics is a very vital aspect of the business and we are constantly exploring avenues to improve on our current structure.

 

How have you been able to keep up with business During this Covid-19 period/Lock-down period in Nigeria?

By adapting our mode of service delivery and following the guidelines to ensure the safety of my staff and clients

 

Is Forst foods affordable for an average Nigerian?

Forst Foods aims to close the gap between the average Nigerian and the food items they require for their sustenance. We offer Food stuffs at very reasonable prices delivered right to your doorstep quickly and efficiently. We reduce our customers’ stressful and sometimes unhygienic market experiences and in the case of the Pandemic help them stay safe and secure in their home.

 

Can you mention ways Forst foods is giving employment opportunities to unemployed in Nigeria?

Being a food-based business, we like to believe that we encourage the farmers and traders by creating a new and vibrant market for their produce. Our business structure also creates employment opportunities as we hire staff to fill various roles within the organization.

 

What have you Learnt that is not taught in Books?

The ability to anticipate the customers’ preferences and be on hand to provide the service. Working at Apongbon at a very early age help me to gain an insight into this aspect of business

 

Have you had challenging times when you thought of quitting?

Yes, I have had challenges, especially in my entertainment career, I have failed many times, I’ve thought of quitting, but I look back and remember how far I’ve come, and I realize that quitting is not the answer. Then I take the mistake or failure as part of my experience and learn from it.

 

Your favourite business quotes?

My favourite quote is “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”

 

What do you first thing in the morning?

I PRAY

 

How do you balance work and family?

The FORST EMPIRE is a based strongly on family, every member of my family has a role to play in the success of the business. When you have your family right behind you, balancing things out would be a whole lot easier.

 

Where do you see Forst foods in the next decade?

In the next 10 years, we aim to make Forst Foods a leading Food brand in West Africa by diversifying to all areas of the food market as we progress.

 

If you can turn back the hand of time, what will you do?

I will marry my husband again

 

As a busy CEO what do you to relax yourself?

Read novels and watch movies

 

A Lot of entrepreneurs are coming up now, what is your advice to them?

Success is not going to happen overnight, the going may become tough and it could seem like you are at the end of the road. However, do not give up. Just take a moment, focus and look closer, you will see the light.

 

COVER PHOTO CREDIT: JIDE POUND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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