Vodi Group At 19: No Hush No Rush
BY OLADAPO SOFOWORA
Legend has it that too many kids of the rich or poor do nothing of significance that makes a difference. They slither through life and the world, like the proverbial rattlesnake travelling across the rocks without any imprint or landmarks on the rocky plains. Seyi Adekunle with the sobriquet (Seyi Vodi) and fashion imprint ‘Vodi Group’ dares to be different from that stereotypical narrative.
From birth, he has showed traits of a great man destined for greatness. It didn’t took long after he bagged a degree in Geology at the University of Maiduguri before providence smiled at him. At first, his childhood dream was to secure a job in Shell, Mobil or any of the major players in the oil and gas industry. But providence and his passion for difference took him to the fashion world.
As super dandy and a fashion enthusiast, he wanted to replicate his fashion sense in the oil and gas industry but he was not given the opportunity to. He had to stick to his second choice of dream job which is banking and finance. To actualize that dream, he took a banking exam and eventually was not selected for the job.
The popular saying that a man’s destiny lies in his hands started to prevail in 2001 when he decided to quit looking for a white collar job to be an entrepreneur in fashion. He started off with sales of shirt and trousers to bankers within the Abuja metropolis. But the former street hustler and pure water seller from Osun State took his destiny in his hands and made the most audacious decision in his life: he floated Vodi Group.
From a burgeoning up and coming fashion label, which has now transformed to one of Nigeria’s biggest fashion imprint, many would wonder how he was able to attain such height. Most people are quickly to forget that he has sowed in tears and currently reaping bountiful with smile.
For students looking to bag degrees in any of the business related courses, should study the story of his staying power in fashion business for a project thesis. His Midas touch laced with extraordinary passion to succeed, helped him soar high like an eagle. Self discipline and sincerity of purpose also helped him stayed afloat. In trying times, Seyi is a focused man. Like a skillful sailor, he has been able to stabilize and navigate through the murky waters and tsunami storm directed at him in business. He was able to weather the storm standing stronger.
To flourish in the Nigerian fashion industry, most expecially, when most Nigerians are fans of foreign fashion brand, surviving 19 years in the industry with consistency; Seyi must have the heart of Hercules, the fearlessness of Achilles, the grace of Terpsichore, the memory of Macaulay, and the hide of a rhinoceros.
Just like popular scholar; Ella Wheeler Wilcox noted that; “No difficulty can discourage, no obstacle dismay, and no trouble dishearten the man who has acquired the art of being alive. Many people go through life but never truly live. In obeisance to the fear of failure, many people shrink from life’s invitation to rise to their full potential despite the difficulties inherent in the process.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “He who loses money, loses much. He who loses a friend, loses much more. He who loses faith, loses all.” Seyi capitalized on friendship and truthfulness which are also factors that has sustained him till date. He never compete with destiny. He waited for his time to come and he blossomed and bloom. Just like the popular saying; “Who God has Blessed, No Man can curse”, Seyi remains untouchable. Reason: He was never in a rush. He was diligent, respectful to his mentors and seek their advice till date. He also learned from their mistake to make him a better person.
With an heaven on earth office complex located in the heart of Abuja and one currently under construction, his state-of-the-art architectural masterpiece is a mecca of sort for most celebrities, politicians, captain of industries and fashion lovers. They trust Seyi’s taste and fashion acumen. He is a near perfectionist, who pays attention to every details.
Seyi’s is one of the few fashion brands that has a customised clothing accessories; from his buttons, zips, etc. He knows the fashion business like the back of his hand. He was equipped for every challenges ahead.
Like the man who sees the future, Seyi has a long foresight and has been able to redefine the Nigerian luxury fashion business.
As part of raising giants for the future, he also runs a Vodi Training Institute where he trains future fashion entrepreneur. Ask his staffs, he treats them like family. You would hardly know he is the boss, he relates with them like colleagues.
Vodi Group is celebrating 19 years of consistency laced with hardwork, standing tall with a reputation worth associating with. 2020 will mark his 20th anniversary but 19th is also a milestone worth celebrating. Most of his peers would have mixed business with pleasure and be washed off their feet with the splendor and opulence that comes with life. Some would have lavishly spent proceeds from their business without proper investment. But Seyi is a master business strategist he deserves some accolades.
Hearty Cheers to the cosmopolitan debonair that took a step at a time.