Only five years since its founding, Katawa Properties is already a leader in Nigeria’s very competitive estate development market. In this interview, the CEO of the company,Engr. Taiwo Kadri, traces the company’s journey so far…
Katawa Properties has extended its arms out of Lagos and Ogun states seriously. What would you say activated this great headway?
It’s God. When you are doing good things, people will surely recommend you. People hearing about what we have been doing, they will also want to be a partaker. People in Oyo State for instance, they give us a call: ‘Ah! Katawa, come to Oyo State, we really want to partake in your properties, since you’ve given other states good payment plan that they can spread for a year or two; that’s exactly what you’ve been offering Lagos and Ogun states – come & offer us’. So, that was the reason we are in Oyo State.
Would you say, now that you are in Oyo, Ogun and Lagos states, are you satisfied or is there any other state you are looking forward to extending your gigantic mission?
Yeah! I am not satisfied yet, according to our vision, ‘To provide qualitative and affordable land and housing for people and masses’. We are still extending our tentacles to other states like Ekiti, Ondo and also the East. As you can see, we still have a long way to go. But we will not relent until Katawa Properties gets to that zenith it has set for itself.
Now, Katawa Properties is one of the agencies involved in management at the peak of Estate business in Nigeria. What are the challenges so far?
We have challenges, so many I could not finish if I should start mentioning. But, we thank God that we’ve been able to overcome some of these challenges. One of the challenges we face is that of touts (omo onile) and we know that sure, we have to face it and we must do that as a certified developer, so as to create a convivial environment for our engineers that work at the sites and, most importantly, for us as a reliable Estate agency, to have final say over our properties. But, all the same, God has been giving us the grace to overcome.
Nigerians believe that all businesses are crumbling due to the economic downturn. Are you saying all these things are not affecting your estate agency?
It really does, since we are all in Nigeria. We only pray that God should help us resolve it. We believe it will be fine soon.
Who are your competitors in the industry?
(Laughs) I don’t call them competitors. Since we are developers, I call them colleagues.
What would you say are the qualities that make your properties company number one among its peers?
When you have foresight and vision, and you have a destination you are heading to, definitely you will get there. Another very important thing is determination. When you are determined to achieve a goal the sky is your beginning. Don’t be biased in your dealings. When you don’t lie to people, you know being honest to people shows you’re a man of integrity and that will make them recommend you.
We learnt that Katawa Properties added another year to its existence as a Housing firm, making it one of the oldest estate management firms in the country. What are your operating systems like?
In our chore value, A stands for ‘Absolute dependance on God’, so the foundation of Katawa Properties depends on God. That’s why things are easy for us.
How old is Katawa Properties now?
We are over 5 years.
With this huge success, how do you do it?
As I said earlier, it’s God. We depend on God, We allow God to lead us. Our vision is to make land and houses easily available, just like GSM.
People say you run the Katawa Easter Fiesta Promo; how effective was the promo?
Wow! It was huge; we had many more clients that subscribed. We thank God that when we started Katawa Easter Fiesta Promo, people really appreciated it by subscribing to it. By the grace of God, we shall soon commence another promo.
Have you ever been harassed by any customer?
No, we have never experienced such, since we satisfy them. Ever since we’ve started Katawa Properties, we have never experienced a challenge where our client would give us a court notice or bring armed forces to our office. It has never happened, so we thank God.
Is there any plan to expand or diversify at Katawa Properties?
Into another business like entertainment or …?.
No! We are planning to extend Katawa very soon, but let me keep it to myself, don’t let me burst it out now, it will be known when the time is ripe..