Ahmed Sabi Abubakar of Rippinit tells us about empowering people in the areas of music, education, sports, and business during the Covid-19 pandemic.
How are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ahmed Sabi Abubakar: We are safe; a few of us did contract the virus; fortunately, no life was has been lost to it. However, I lost my dear older sister during the pandemic, but not to the virus.
Tell us about your career and how you founded Rippinit.
Ahmed Sabi Abubakar: Growing up, I never saw myself as a business person. But as I approached graduation from college in the mid-2000s, from observation, I had grown to understand that every company, no matter how big, the Coca Colas, Shells, P&Gs, and so forth were built by human beings like myself.
Also, it troubled me how little the generation before me had done to secure their children’s future. They left everything for the state to do, and the state had failed woefully. This birthed a desire for me to do things differently, which translated to a belief in myself that I could build something that would contribute to a better life for myself, my family, and as many as my efforts can touch.
I explored a bit after school, especially out of confusion, but after about 4 years of trying out a few jobs and businesses, I got a bit of clarity and founded Rippinit in 2009.
How does Rippinit innovate?
Ahmed Sabi Abubakar: We, first of all, are all about empowering people in the areas of music, education, sports, and business, by creating tools and platforms that would enable them to use the internet to improve their careers lives, or simply their circumstances.
To innovate, we constantly commune with people in our areas of focus, stay up to date through online courses, and keep our minds open enough to receive ideas whenever we come across them.
How did the Coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
Ahmed Sabi Abubakar: Initially, the pandemic slowed business down. Our most active product is our music label service and digital marketing agency, caveofadullam.online. Between February and May 2020, we experienced a sharp decline in client acquisition and had almost no revenue, but things picked up in June 2020 when most lockdowns were eased, and a lot of people and businesses saw the importance of having a digital presence.
From June 2020 till date, we’ve had the highest business activity in the history of our company.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ahmed Sabi Abubakar: Yes, we had to let staff and partners go. I had to resume doing most of the work, like designing websites for our clients, managing social media campaigns, copywriting, bookkeeping, etc., and so did my co-founder.
We learned to create many more streams of revenue, adding more drop services to our existing ones. We also learned how to thrive on a lean budget, how to identify what was necessary for growth and what wasn’t.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate the crises?
Ahmed Sabi Abubakar: For design, Canva has been blissful, so have Themeforest, remove.bg, and placit.net.
For payments and invoicing, Paystack.com.
For music distribution, DistroKid, and publishing, ROBA.
Plus many more.
Who are your competitors, and how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ahmed Sabi Abubakar: Our competitors are many, but we’ll continue to treat our clients with respect and keep our skills sharp. We also believe in having different products with different business models to always be able to navigate the unexpected. For example, as we have an agency that attends to clients on a project by project basis, we also are working on an app for a completely different set of clientele that would be able to run on autopilot.
Your final thoughts?
Ahmed Sabi Abubakar: Progress should be understood and appreciated on any scale, and so should your goals as a company or an entrepreneur. It helps to navigate the unpredictable nature of life more effectively.
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