By Goke Ilesanmi
It is yet another September 16, that is, the WORLD OTUNBA ODEYEYIWA DAY set aside to celebrate a silent but passionate humanitarian icon whose lifestyle demonstrates rare and practical humility, hospitality, credibility, cordiality and ingenuity.
OTUNBA ODEYEYIWA KAZEEM OLAYEMI is the MD/CEO of REPTON GROUP, a successful GROUP that parades profitable subsidiaries such as Kazab Heritage, Success Link, Defrost Ventures Limited, Ibile Motors and Continental Vision. Repton Group is mainly into distribution, logistics, farming, construction and general trading.
By way of marital profile, OTUNBA ODEYEYIWA is the Romeo of the amiable, sociable, hospitable and humble Juliet called Yeye Otunba (Alhaja) Odeyeyiwa Adesola Mutiat, a Director of Repton Group. The visionary businesswoman has equally built a thriving business empire as a major distributor of Coca-Cola and Seven Up beverages in the South West.
Honestly, as a Language and Communication Expert, I had often thought that I completely understood the meanings of the words “humility”, “hospitality”, “credibility”, “cordiality” and “ingenuity” until Otunba Odeyeyiwa’s rare lifestyle practically proved me wrong.
To buttress my assertion, on Sunday, July 9, 2023, he and his family invited guests to a get-together in their palatial home. Right from the main gate of the estate and security posts, the consistent cheerfulness, positive disposition and spontaneous attention of the security personnel at the mention of Otunba Odeyeyiwa’s name readily confirmed the cordiality, humility and accessibility of Otunba, his amiable wife and family.
On getting to his house, the venue of the massive party, I was shocked by the large turnout of guests of different classes present despite the short notice of invitation. The impressive attendance underscores the fact that Otunba Odeyeyiwa and his family have high level of social credibility and are massively respectable. What’s more, despite engaging the services of enough chefs, caterers, ushers, butchers, etc., Otunba and his wife displayed exceptional hospitality and humility by standing all through, ushering guests to their seats and catering for their needs.
He and his wife were moving from table to table to ask guests what they wanted to eat and drink as well as ensuring prompt supply by caterers, ushers and others. They equally ensured that guests were repeatedly served food and drinks of different types. The hospitable couple also ensured that departing guests equally collected massive take-away packs. In fact, it got to a stage that guests started making passionate appeal to them to sit down and rest but they would not bulge.
At a stage, I began to learn a great business lesson from the actions of this exemplary couple. The persistent commitment with which Otunba and his wife attended to guests and ensured total satisfaction readily confirmed to me one of the major reasons for the remarkable success they have recorded in their businesses over the years. That is, exceptional customer service and satisfaction. I began to think that if the couple could give guests invited for enjoyment total attention and satisfaction like that, definitely, they will replicate the same in their dealing with customers, both internal and external. Internal customers refer to employees while external ones are those who pay for services or goods. Customer, they say, is king. Without enough loyal and satisfied customers, no business can survive in the long run.
Also worthy of note is Otunba’s perpetual thirst for knowledge acquisition, which explains his business ingenuity and strategic business success. To avoid intellectual complacency, he has continued to undergo different professional programmes every year. Early this year again, Otunba bagged a Professional Certificate in Advanced Management Programme in Innovation Through Design Thinking from the prestigious London Business School.
With all these attributes, it is therefore not surprising that Kazab Heritage, the Group’s trading arm for cement business became the National Largest Distributor of Lafarge Cement and National Second Largest Distributor of Dangote Cement in Nigeria in 2020. In 2017, the same subsidiary had emerged the National Largest Distributor of Lafarge Cement and National Fourth Largest Distributor of Dangote Cement in Nigeria.
His special attributes have made him to be honoured as High Chief and “Babalaje” (i.e. Successful Business Man) of Itori Egba Land, Ogun State; Otunba Bobagunwa of Modakeke, Osun State and “Baba Adinni” of Ewekoro Central Mosque.
As I once said, his special attributes have natural explanation and are therefore divine as explained by his zodiac sign of Virgo. Futurescope Astrology, an international organisation that specialises in the interpretation of zodiac (sun) signs and dates with associated attributes says, “For people born on September 16, the zodiac sign is Virgo. Virgos are usually helpful, they are the first to offer themselves to do favours and they are very modest people. They are hardworking, honest and reliable.”
These Virgo attributes, especially hardwork and intelligence, naturally offer explanation about Otunba’s great thirst for multiplicity of quality academic and professional qualifications. For instance, apart from being a holder of an MBA degree from the Business School of the Netherlands and another MBA degree in General Management from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, this encyclopedic corporate pacesetter is also a Certified Information System Auditor.
Otunba is a multiple Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria; Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria; Nigerian Institute of Management; Nigerian Institute of Marketing and Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria. He is equally a Full Member of the Institute of Directors, Nigeria and an alumnus of the Prestigious Lagos Business School, Nigeria.
What’s more, Otunba is a member of Lagos Island Club, Lagos Country Club, Ikoyi Club, Ikeja Golf Club and Abeokuta Sports Club. He is also a member of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Business Club of Ikeja and Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry as regards Business Advocacy groups.
Repton Group is one of the most loyal and supportive high-profile clients of our firm Gokmar Communication Consulting in terms of persistently offering us profitable projects to execute since our inception. The Group was the first corporate organisation to offer us staff training this year again as usual.
As we celebrate WORLD OTUNBA ODEYEYIWA DAY today Sir, we at Gokmar Communication Consulting want to use this medium to wish you Happy Birthday and thank you for your persistent support over years. We pray that you will celebrate many more years filled with greater accomplishments in peace, sound health and joy Sir. Congratulations Sir.
Goke Ilesanmi, Guest Speaker at the University of the West of Scotland’s Sixth International Conference https://twitter.com/CAREED_UWS/status/1486702966241431553?t=_LwgiSHkIp8c3yMdmH-YIw&s=08 is the CEO, Gokmar Communication Consulting, Publisher, www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng, International Platinum Columnist, Biographer and Professional Public Speaker.