The name Saheed Lawal might not ring a bell to many in Ibadan, but at the mentioning of Bubbles Plus everybody knows what it stands for, as a leading Lounge/Night Club in the ancient city. Bubbles Plus, located at Olusanya Bus/Stop on MKO Way (formerly Ring Road) Ibadan, has within a period of five years redefined the night life in Ibadan, especially on that axis where it is situated. It has, no doubt, become the most lively and popular club in Ibadan. All these he was able to achieve through the hard work, determination and perseverance. The young energetic businessman, Saheed Lawal is the CEO and the brain behind the constant changes at Bubbles Plus.
City People’s DARE ADENIRAN recently engaged the brilliant dude doing wonderfully well for himself in business, where he spoke extensively on his success story, what brought him into night club business, the secret behind his success and many other interesting issue. Enjoy the excerpts.
You are one of those who have re-awakened night clubbing in Ibadan, especially at the Ring Road axis. How did you achieve that?
I must confess, it has not been easy, but we thank God for His wisdom and knowledge through which we have been able to excel in our lines of businesses. Because I do other things aside club business; I run a Boutique (Infusion Extremity) with branches in Ibadan too.
“Nevertheless, what I have been doing in the past years basically is to think deeply and differently. What are the things people want as far as lounge/night club business is concerned? What are the things others are not doing right and how can we improve on our services? Why many clubs opened and within a short period of time folded up? All these were critically put into consideration when I wanted to start the place.
It has also been our guide since inception.” So I think the zeal, determination plus positive mind are what is responsible for all you are seeing today. That is why everyday we keep ourselves updated; upgraded and renovating the necessary areas. We make sure we provide best services to our patrons not only for them to enjoy their money, but to appreciate every little time spent with us.
I found that people get tired easily of seeing the same thing time and again, so we make sure there are changes from time to time. There must be fresh ideas, innovations and we don’t joke with security. We have also established good relationship with our patrons. All these plus the grace of God are responsible for our success story.
So, from the time you started this place till now, especially with so many innovations you have introduced into the business, would you say its been encouraging? What has the experience been like in terms of patronage and turnover?
There is no business that doesn’t have its up and down moments, but what we have been able to do here is to learn through both times and adjust or make amendments accordingly. We have faced many challenges and we have conquered many as well, that is the beauty of a working business. The point is that I have never got tired of what I believe in; I don’t give up easily. “We strive to be the best everyday and until that is achieved we are not going to rest.”
How long have you been in the business?
It’s been more than five years now.
What were you doing before this business idea came up?
I can say categorically that I have been taken through the rudiments of business and it has been like that since I was a little boy. “I learnt the art of trade from my mum, who is into textile business.” So, that is what I was doing too until I diversified into boutique business and now this one. And I have other things such as property business as well. I am a businessman to the core.
What now prompted the idea of going into Lounge/Night Club business as you will agree with me that cloth selling and club running are not in the same line?
You know entertainment generally is a show business and to really be involved in it, there are some things you must have, which dressing well is part of and that is where I come in as a boutique owner. Number two, if you are a boutique owner, you must somehow be outgoing. So, basically, I have visited so many lounges and clubs around before going into the business. And as a businessman. I noticed some areas where I could make changes; I did my calculation and humped on that. Here we are today, thank Allah for His mercy.
Do you plan to make your property business bigger as you have built Bubbles Plus into a mega business or what is next in line for you?
I will take it one after the other in order not to fail in all, that is my way of doing things. “Apart from Lounge/Night Club I’m into Haulage and Auto businesses (heavy trucks) too.” But we are going to get to the top in as much as we don’t give up and we have God’s support; we are going places. But for now, I have to focus on my night club business because there is a serious competition right now. Unlike when we first started because we can say without fear of contradiction that we are the one who brought back night clubbing to Ring Road. “Before we came here, you hardly see pedestrian movements around once it was
But for now, I have to focus on my night club business because there is a serious competition right now. Unlike when we first started because we can say without fear of contradiction that we are the one who brought back night clubbing to Ring Road. “Before we came here, you hardly see pedestrian movements around once it was 8pm. That, we have changed, you can now move 1am-4am and feel secure.” We are proud of that. We have made Ring Road even more lively than what it used to be back then. Today, we have many clubs around here, but thank God we are part of the success story.
Apart from the lounge and the night club here, you also have residential properties, what informed that too?
That is part of our initial plans, to make the place many things into one. We have 10 rooms accommodation and we are still working on how to expand. We give entertainment, food (both local and continental), finger licking foods, peppersoup, barbecue and accommodation and there is also a boutique. So, you can see it is, indeed, all in one place.
What differentiates Bubbles Plus from others?
The fact that we always make our patrons feel at home. We have plans for people to enjoy themselves no matter their financial capacity. Talk of class we have got it; there is a VIP Lounge, even in the club (Club Infusion). But, we have made sure there’s place for people with low income too. Even if you have #500, we make you feel like a king.
What would you attribute your success story in business to?
Hard work and the grace of God. I can also say my mum; she trained me well on how to make it in business. Though, I still have a long way to go in business, but we are tirelessly working towards achieving the set goals. Her advice and encouragement are the best. She is a strong woman, very hard working. She always remind me of the fact that I have to be focused. The fact that I must not relax on little success I feel I’ve achieved, so that I won’t be left behind in life and business. So that one would not be referred to as “olowo ana” (once wealthy).
What do you fear most as a businessman?
Failure; I don’t want to be a failure in life that is why I always put in my best. Whatever I have decided to do in life I must bring the best out of it. I can’t afford to fail. I can’t afford to disappoint myself and at the same time betray the trust which people have put on me.
Tell us about your background?
I am an indigene of Ibadan, I was born and bred here. I attended Okebadan High School. Then proceeded to the Polytechnic, Ibadan for my Ordinary National Diploma in Accounting. I did my HND in the same school and also did Accounting. I graduated in 2005 and served in 2006 in Port Harcourt.