[INTERVIEW] “AT UPLADA RESOURCE, WE PROVIDE INFORMATION FOR YOUR 360 UPGRADE”, CLARKSON IKWUNZE, CEO, UPLADA RECOURSES
With N6,500 which he invested for his first importation, he has been growing and waxing stronger in his entrepreneurial journey. To better serve people and reach more people with 360 degree upgrade, he launched Uplda Resource this year. In this interview with Brojid.com Editor, JOSEPH DINWOKE, the CEO of Uplada Resource, CLARKSON IKWUNZE shares how he started, his challenges as an entrepreneur and how he runs his business.
Let’s get to know you.
My name is Clarkson Ikwunze; founder and CEO of Uplada Resource.
How did you come about starting a business? What’s the motivation?
Business for me is like trade, so to speak. By trade I a mean it’s about giving back to people and then eventually you get something in return for it. But my major focus wasn’t getting something in return for it. I just had to contribute to the world in my own little way. It is a natural play in the system of life that when you give something out you end up receiving something. Eventually I got something in return which some people may call money or some stipends. We started expanding in some little ways and making it more professional.
We are adding value. It might not necessarily be tangible product; just services. One hour her, two hours there; you educate people and add value to human life and one way or the other something comes back to you.
But we decided that to reach more people and so put the branding into it. That’s how we came about Uplada Resource.
What is Uplada Resource all about?
Uplada Resource is currently running as online repository for information products by that I mean we want to build a community online where people can have easy access to information of all kind that can take them up the ladder in any sphere they find themselves. That’s how the Uplada Resource concept came in from.
We want to take people from the level they meet us to the next level in their different careers and fields by providing them resources like e books, software, audio and video contents of all kinds.
For instance, if you are a designer and you visit Uplada Resources, which is still under construction to bring out its fullness, you will find plug-in of all kinds and tutorials and most of them are going to be for free. So, it’s not a money driven thing; but it’s service driven. At Uplada Resource, we provide information for your 360 upgrade.
If it’s not money driven, how do you sustain your business?
By not being money driven, we mean that money is not the focus. We are committed.
What prepared you for entrepreneurship?
Everything prepared me. Life prepared me. I have been through quite a lot. One of my foremost entrepreneurship is not making money. People think that entrepreneurship is about making money and not working under somebody. But I believe it is solving problem. You can an entrepreneur under somebody; all you have to do is to keep solving problems and one day you will find that you are under yourself.
There is an African youth who wants to start their business but have fears. Please talk to him directly.
we want to build a community online where people can have easy access to information of all kind that can take them up the ladder in any sphere they find themselves.
One thing I want to tell you this: everything you want in life is outside your comfort zone. If you are still within your comfort regions, you won’t get much done. You must be willing to take risk; entrepreneurship is a journey of risk takers and hard workers.
While Brojid.com was researching on you and your business, we saw that you are organizing a seminar. How do you go about it?
Sometimes, we could have trainings in the form of podcast and webinar but in the mean time, but we have found that many people want to have one on one encounter with people for training.
What we try to do is to create a forum where we can pass this information live to people. They get trained and ask questions live. If you are reading and e-book, you can’t ask an e book a question. But if it’s a live interaction, you can ask questions and get answers on the spot. So, that’s why we also hold live trainings.
So, is that what the Nsukka Business Seminar is all about?
Nsukka Business Seminar is about business. But for now, we are focusing on importation business. Over the years, importation has been what everybody wants to be involved. But the skepticism around it is that it capital intensive like you need to have like 10 Million naira, go to wharf and meet custom people. But we have found that you can start from where you are with what you have no matter how small and build a very great business.
We decided to share this information so that we can help people who don’t have so many move from where they are to the next level. In other words, importation has become so cheap, let me not use the word cheap. It has become so simple that you can start importing things for as little as N5,000.
Five thousand naira?
Yes, five thousand naira. Recently I got something through the platform I buy from the platform I buy online which I showed in the book and will be sharing in the seminar. I bought it for N100 which if you find in a shopping mall around, you may get them for more than N1000. It’s for my personal use but you see I can buy them and sell and make more than 100% profit.
What we are trying to do is to bring Nigerians out of poverty so that they can start maximizing life the way they can.
Who are the target audience for the seminar?
It’s targeted towards everyone with particular focus on those who think that they are tired of their level financially. It’s for those who seek some level of financial independence and those who want to leave their low income and move up the ladder in their income. Do you want to earn more than you currently earn on your job, the seminar is for you. You want to earn some more money beside your regular income, the seminar is for you.
With this business you can have multiple streams of income where you get money from different sources. When I say, it’s for everybody, one of the beautiful thing about this training is that even if you don’t want to import for commercial value, we provide you a platform where you can import things at so so cheap rate. In order words, you can start looking expensive while spending so little. So with this training, you can import things like wrist watches, power banks and foot wares at far cheaper rates than what you get it around you. Maybe once in a while if I decide to make extra cash, I can sell some at workplace even when I am not fully in to it as a business. Anybody can benefit from the business with just N3, 500 only, the seminar free.
Three thousand five hundred naira?
Yes. And you will get our business kit, High Point Business Success Kit. This kit contains seven books that will guide you after the training. If we were to do this seminar in Lagos, we will charge at least 20k but we try to bring it down so that people understand that it’s not about making from them; it’s about giving them value that will help them leverage upon that to take them to another level. As you can see, we are close to 2016, if you start planning for it now, you will have a fulfilling new year.
You talked about a kit that has seven books. Is it that I can’t get the book, if I didn’t attend the seminar?
Originally, we have been selling the book and people started because they felt they still need someone to show them the way around in practical terms. But if we charge them for the seminars, apart from the book they have already bought, it will be like killing somebody. Particularly to some that don’t have so much and have borrowed money to buy the book. We decided to give the seminar as a giveaway; if you have bought our book, you will attend the seminars for free. So, while we are organizing free seminar for those who have bought the kit, we made it open to those who have not. That way, if they pay 3,500, they will attend the seminar and get the book. So, it’s double package for just 3,500.
What is unique about the book, High Point Business Success Kit?
It’s a compendium of information you will never find anywhere else. It took time to get packed for to give value to the readers. It’s packaged for those who want to take change their financial status positively. In High Point Business Success Kit you will learn how to make, retain and multiply your money.
You will also find proven strategies on how to raise capital for your business. It’s not just about importation business. What we did in that kit is to give you what many people lacked in their importation business. You see what is common is that people teach you how to make money but the truth is that if your don’t know how to retain and multiply the money you lose it; because what we earn, we keep by what we learnt.
In teaching importation business which is a gold mine, we don’t just want leaves our seminar venue or read our kit and come back broke. That why we teach you how to rise capital do your importation and multiply the money you made to build bigger businesses.
Tell us more about the seminar. Where is it happening? Where is the venue?
It will be holding live on 28th November, 2015 at Nathan Ejeogu Building Menakaya Hall, Institute of Education, University of Nigeria,Nsukka. The place to make payment for the seminar is at Tripps Restaurant besides Glo Office; Just around the UNN main gate. Walk into the restaurant, pay your seminar fee and get an entry form. Then you will have a seat reserved for you.
Did you make any arrangement for those who may want to pay without going to Tripps because of time or where they stay?
We really advice you to go down to Tripps for record purpose. Someone called from Ebonyi and said she wants to attend the seminar and I gave her an account number and hopefully she joins us at the seminar. Or you can call us or log on to our website and see payment details at www.uplada.com/upladapay
Much talk about the seminar. Let’s get down to your business. How did you raise your startup capital?
No startup capital. You really don’t need anything to start. All you need is you and the willingness to start. Uplada basically began as an online platform even though we had something running offline. We had to work within our means. Doing things online takes 5,000 and 10,000. We didn’t have what you can call startup capital. We just launched, let me say by faith and all things became possible.
Tell us your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur.
One of the things we do at Uplada is training people. Sometimes, when we place price tag on our event people think we are trying to be mean on them. Sometimes you get invites over and over and nobody pays you. But the truth us that we get fulfilled because lives are changed. When you do career talks and development programmes for institutions you get fulfillment. But we need money to run our systems here. It’s a bit of challenge trying to communicate the value we offer to our people.
Where do we see Uplada in five years time?
Uplada is five years time; Uplada is the world largest online repository for information products.
You can say that again.
Many people who know you know you as a pastor and singer. But now, you own and run a business. Have you abandoned your first love?
I am still singing. As a matter of fact, in a couple of days I will be going to preach somewhere. So, I still go to preach. One the things I found out is that life is evolving and we have to evolve with it. Just because you thing you are this today doesn’t mean you can’t be that tomorrow.
I think I should say this: let’s be all we can be why we can be. Simply put: one of the biggest threats to becoming who want to be is conformity with who you have been. So, people want to be something but they still like their old self. So, that keep stopping them because waht God put in us not just one ability but as matter of fact when we try to do all these we still keep our mind at the central focus on the big thing about us. I can sing; motivate people but I have to work. People think music make money but if you are one of those who will do an album and blow tomorrow, you are a lie. While we still do music, we are working hard just like Apostle Paul was preaching and raising the dead, he was making tents.
Editor’s Note: For more questions for Clarkson Ikwunze, use the comment box at the button of this page or call him on 08139160664 or 0818836090. Please don’t abuse this.