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.

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