It is another Temmy Balogun’s blog Interview. We trust you are doing well.
Today, we feature our interview with an amazing man,Lukman Giwa, owner of Handyman Solutions,a facility maintenance and management company that render services ranging from plumbing,painting,cleaning,AC installations,repairs,fumigation and renovation to construction.
In this insightful interview, he shares the importance of maintenance and why people should have positive attitude to facilities maintenance.
It is time for cross-fertilization of ideas. Read on and enjoy!
1. Tell us about Lukman Giwa; Family, Ethnicity and Education
Am an entreprenuer with passion for facility maintenance,a graduate of Banking and Finance from University of Ilorin. I hail from and was brought up in Lagos state,Nigeria by Islam praticing parents.
2. As the CEO of Handyman Solutions, I believe you have much to share about
entrepreneurship , kindly tell us little about it….
An entrepreneur is someone who concieves an idea of either a product
or service (or both), have required skills, will and courage to take extreme
risk to do whatever it takes to make the idea conceptualised become reality.
Entrepreneurship is the journey of opportunity exploration and risk management to create value for profit or social good,entrepreneur is not just about coming up with an idea, but also important to know right from the start how you will reach targeted customers in an effective and affordable way.
3. You own a facility maintenance company, would you say people understand the importance of maintenance using customers turn-up as measuring parameter( Ceteris Paribus)?
Yes i would say a lot of people understand the importance of maintenance in
their home and offices but most decide to ignore until they experience a total breakdown of the facility.
For instance, most Handyman Solutions clients always tell me they prefer ‘Pay as you go service’ which is a partial maintenance where they only call on us when they need our services which usually could be intervals of months forgetting the fact that facilities need regular check up.
Many ignore the monthly package where we take total control of their facilities; inspect
monthly, give follow up calls and repair or replace any of the appliances found not to be in proper shape to avoid unforeseen occurrences and allow facility function at optimum capacity.
But its a norm here in Nigeria that if something is not totally shut down we dont pay attention to it . This is not a good maintenance culture and it can be corrected if the psychology of Nigerians concerning maintenance is set right.
4. How long have you being into facility maintenance? What are the challenges you’ve encountered so far?
Have being into facility maintenance for over 3 years. I started the facility maintenance journey as a consultant to non- governmental and private organisations before proceeding
to setting up my own facility maintenance firm .
The challenges have encounter in this business resolves around funding precisely on staff salaries.
For the business to be very effective and efficient,having few staff is not advisable, one needs quite large number of permanent staff who must be available at any point in time to attend to customers request immediately in various locations.
For instance you have 3 electricians, 3 plumbers, 3 painters, 3 carpenter and the rest on your pay role and all are out attending to clients in different locations, then another client calls for your service, it will tag your company as incompetent if clients are given excuses or turned down because apprentices or staff are not available. So basically i would say its funding.
5. What do you love about what you do? Would you say people have positive
attitude to facility maintenance?
As the saying goes always follow your passion and build on it,naturally, i dont like seeing things unkept ,when i see such i fix them immediately. When I concieved the idea of setting up a facility maintenance firm, I love the fact that its in line with what i love doing. I see it as a means of solving peoples problems whic i always love to do.
As regards if people have positive attitude towards facility maintenance, I will say only few who are safety cautious and knows they are taking higher risk when they dont maintain their facilities appreciate and are positive to maintenance. Some who can pay the bills also outsource their facilities to maintenance firms
6. What’s your typical day like? Do you feel customer service is of great
importance in your profession?
its always a busy week for me due to the nature of the profession, we work mondays to saturdays and sundays at times because maintenance issue could arise anytime, i wake up in the morning to several mails,have meetings to attend at times before heading to the office, getting to the office i have lots of files to treatw before heading for inspections on site.
Yes! customer service is of great importance because if you dont satisfy your customers most especially we that are into facility maintenance then you should be saying goodbye to those customers . In our organisation, we keep in touch with our clients; by calling them every two weeks and also do inspection every 60 days to ask for feedback as regards the job that was recently completed and also ask if they are currently not experiencing any issue in the areas of services we offer. A client once said we call her too often but when ever our call comes in she remembers to check round the house to see if they have any issues we are to attend to, so the call helps our clients put their facility on check.
7. For aspiring facility maintenance firm owners, what are the essentials to be considered before embarking on the project?
I would say they shouldnt setup the project because people are going into the business ,you must have passion for it , also do your research properly and make sure the service and manner at which you want to go about it would be acceptable ,also observe the environment at which you want to set up and know your target clients before embarking on such project.
8. What are the rules you work with?
My team know me for rules like;always give every request top priority, all request must be treated within 24 hours and all staff must be active on duty.
9. Where do you see Handyman Solutions in 5 years?
I envision Handyman Solutions services to have covered all states in Nigeria and countries across the world. I see a multinational firm five years from now.
10. Any role model (s)
11. Your words to aspiring Entreprenuer…
Believe in yourself dont try to be anybody. Always remain focused as there will always be obstacles, dont be discouraged , no road to success is smooth they are all still under construction no one knows when it would be completed *laughs*
12. Inspire youths in one sentence…
Dont do drugs, be focused and determined .
Thanks for sharing with us Lukman
You can connect with Lukman Giwa;
Telephone: 08184319834 or 014537811