Destination is More Important than Where You Started
Ubi Franklin has been in the entertainment and showbiz sphere for quite a while. He started Triple MG a few years ago with Iyanya, Tekno, Emma Nyra and a host of others and grew the company to one of the strongest music labels in the country. He recently started Instant Group with interest in laundry, transportation, housing and a lot more. Ubi shares his journey into music and business with Tosin Clegg
IUbi is a hustler ’ m an entrepreneur and I’m anything good, anything positive. One thing about speed is that there are some people who don’t care about the kind of car they drive; they believe they can catch up with a Lamborgni or with any fast car. No matter how fast it is, we are going to the same destination and I don’t think a Lamborgni can drive to an ocean and cross over but I believe we would all get to that point where we are going to stop. So, the most important thing is that where you are coming from doesn’t matter. When I have an opportunity I work around it.
The proper picture of where I’m going to hasn’t been painted
If you remember, we used to have those phones that capture images which turn out blurry. That’s what you are seeing now about me, but phones are getting better. The way they are getting better with everything falling in place is the way I am going. So, my pictures would be clearer and when I reach that point, everyone would start seeing things clearer. Before I become 50 years old, I want to be doing about a N100 billion turn- over yearly by God’s grace, while targeting becoming a Billionaire in dollars.
I have been in the music industry for a long time
What I realised is that we invest in people and after a short period of time they would turn their backs on you. Then I asked myself, ‘ what investment would I make that would make me have full control and if it is failing, I would always fix them.’ So, first, I said let me own a restaurant and we have been doing well with this. Then, I thought about a few other ideas, having travelled around the world and one of them was to start a laundry platform where other laundries would sign up and I would help them generate customers that would come on the platform and buy their services. I also thought about it that whenever I travel, I hate to stay in hotels. I said to myself, ‘ you know what, why not start Instant Apartments.’ So far, it’s been doing well. I also thought about transportation, then, I started, Instant Rides. I believe that there is always a space for everyone. But you know, for me, I don’t do something because I believe there is competition. I do it because I have a focus. It’s like when you are driving and you are on the phone, your concentration is divided. But when you are focused, you would see when a driver is trying to be funny on the road, and all that comes while driving. But when you are on the phone, you are concentrating on someone else environment; that’s why in most cases, people have crashes, because they have left where they are and forgotten they are driving. Right now, I am that driver that isn’t on the phone. So, I would keep driving and stay focused, regardless of what’s around me.
Helping people with start- up money
It’s been difficult for a lot of people to get N50,000 to start up a business. Then, I told myself, ‘ let me see if I can start helping people.’ But I did one last year and I found out a lot of people didn’t need money to do business; they just needed money to flex and live a life. I only picked out a few ones that I felt their businesses were good and I injected a few cash into it. I’m trying to restructure it and help a lot of businesses in Africa to grow. Imagine you owning 10 per cent in several businesses.
I have mentored a few people Mentorship is not only about people wanting to be mentored. They need to see that what you are saying is actually working. One of my good friends, Ray Ray Obaese, from the time we met, had always said to me that everything I told him changed his business. At least, stuffs like that keep me very happy.
I don’t always think I’m famous
I prefer saying I’m known. When you know me, it’s personal but when you are famous, you are just there and making money. I prefer making impact in people directly and when people reach out to me, I try as much as possible to respond. Recently, I started paying school fees for kids, and the reason is because I know how it feels not to have school fees. Now, I’m trying to launch my foundation, Ubi Franklin Foundation, to try and send a lot of kids to school. For me, I help who I can help and I’m not a difficult person. If it’s a brilliant message, then I reply but there are some people who say so many things I don’t subscribe to. Fame and wealth are about how you use them and I am still learning to build trust. I prefer being known than being famous.
People always say to me one day you would be a Pastor
I grew up in a home where we do morning prayers and devotions and preach. I have gotten used to that. So, when social media came, it was an opportunity for me to share my devotion not only with the people in my home but on social media also. Right now, I have over 458,000 followers and if I can have 5000 every day, I believe that somebody would be blessed. Anytime I put something on social media about Christ, someone would say this is for me. So, I’m using my social media to help a lot of people because so many people are actually depressed.
Structure and delegation keep my business going
When you delegate to the right people you get good feedback. So for me, structure is very important. In everything you do, you have to have structure first and when you do that every other thing will follow. Money also flows through structure.
Fatherhood is beautiful I love it and I have two kids, who are the most interesting people in my life. Fatherhood is good and I love it every day.