•CEO, Princess KELECHI OGHENE Tells City People
Princess Kelechi Oghene is a philanthropist humanitarian and managing director and CEO of a group of companies GMYT Fashion Academy, Gahawards, GMYT Foundation and GMYT apartments.
She holds several degrees and qualification from notable institutions such as Lagos State University, Lagos Business School, London School of Fashion, and Havard Business School.
Being a philanthropist and in the last few years, she has used her platform to train and graduate over a thousand women and youth, who are now skilled in the fashion industry, providing thousand of scholarships to youths in the society.
In the last 9 years, she has also organised and awarded hundreds of individuals and organisations that are contributing positively to societal growth through Gahawards.
She is the complete definition of beauty and brains, and in this interview with City People’s BIODUN ALAO she talked about extensively on her GMYT Fashion Academy, her hopes and dreams for the fashion academy in the next few years.
Below are the excerpts.
Can you give us a brief background of GMYT Fashion Academy?
GMYT fashion academy is a fashion business school bent on creating the next generation of entrepreneurs. We have over 3,000 alumni communities some of which already own their fashion academies, ready to wear brands, bespoke, bridals, boutiques/retailing, etc.
The academy has received over 40 awards some of which are outstanding leadership award of excellence for outstanding fashion school of the year, Gmyt mentorship award, ranked number 3 amongst the top 100 fastest growing smes by business day and outstanding Csr organisation award, african fashion leadership impact of the year, leadership award for youth and empowerment, city award for the fashion business school of the year just to mention but a few.
Tell us about the products and services you GMYT Fashion Academy render and what is unique about your offers?
We are packed with a lot of training which includes, pattern drafting, manual illustration, business of fashion, fashion marketing skills, visual merchandising, basic & advanced tailoring skills, vocational skill acquisition, fashion business consulting, procurement of sewing tools, TR cutting technique training, styling, haute couture, bridals, avante garde, children’s wear, men’s wear, Aso-Ebi amongst other side skills that surrounds fashion. We offer numerous benefits to our students such as flexible payment plans, free business masterclass sessions, free mentorship, an online learning platform, over 120 documented videos, access to facilitators 9am – 6pm Monday to Saturday, and lots more.
What are the contributions to the Nigerian fashion industry?
GMYT fashion academy has made a tremendous mark in the Nigerian fashion industry through the GMYT foundation. We have trained over 3,000 students, each having a niche in the fashion industry. Our students have made their mark in the fashion industry as a lot of them now make outfits and style top celebrities. Some also own their fashion academies.
How would you appraise the activities of the Federal government in supporting the fashion?
I would say that the federal government needs to do more in spotlighting and supporting organizations that are writing Nigeria’s name in the sounds of time in the fashion industry. An organization like GMYT fashion academy has over the years, trained thousands of women on scholarships and empowered students with over 1,000 sewing machines.
What are the factors responsible for running a successful business in Nigeria with particular reference to your line of business?
Having a dedicated team who will run with your vision is important. The marketing strategy is another key for running a successful fashion business. A successful fashion business must have a policy guiding it. This will be a guide to a business owner and the customer. Capital is also a major factor in my line of business.
What are the challenges facing your business, and how can the government create an enabling friendly environment?
The high cost of materials is seriously affecting our students as they have to go to the market to buy items to execute their projects.
The Nigerian government should invest more in the fashion industry, provide more grants to enterprises, and assist designers. To give possibilities for our designs to be showcased on the international market and to encourage more global fashion shows.
Where do you hope to see GMYT Fashion Academy in the next five to ten years?
We hope to have GMYT University in the next five to 10 years.
What is your advice to Nigeria youth on career pursuit?
My advice to Nigerian youth on career pursuit is to learn a skill, not just fashion but a skill that is sustainable. A University degree is not enough in this ever-changing world.
Insecurity has been a major problem in Nigeria can you share how to solve this problem?
Because unemployment is a major cause empowering youth with the necessary skillset would curb insecurity in Nigeria, and this is our goal.
I am Princess Kelechi Oghene, the MD/CEO of GMYT Fashion Academy, Gahawards, GMYT Foundation & GMYT apartments. I am an alumna of Lagos State University, Lagos Business School, London School of Fashion, and Harvard Business School. I am currently a student on the executive MBA program of The Business School Netherlands to name a few.
I am a philanthropist in nature as I have used my several birthed platforms to train and graduate over a thousand women and youths that are now skilled in the fashion industry, providing thousands of scholarships worth hundreds of millions; some of which are the Empowerment of Women and Youths with Industrial/Electric Sewing Machine each through GMYT FOUNDATION. I also have another initiative which is the GMYT SME support scheme, with over a decade of providing free accommodations for students through the GMYT Hostel Apartment.
I love to play gold and I’m a member of the Ikoyi Golf Club where I have won over 20 golf trophies both local and international.