Monday, December 29, 2014

Gbenga X-Adebija's Interveiw

“Quote: ” I am blessed to have grown up in a loving family and so my youth was very exciting because I had the best parents and best siblings anyone could ever wish to have.”

Gbenga X-Adebija is the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Ashton & Layton. After working for Cadbury and Federal Government, he founded a management consultancy company based in Nigeria with a growing list of clients which spans the business and private sectors inside and outside Nigeria. He is an alumnus of the University of Ilorin, University of London and the Lagos Business School. In this exclusive interview, he shares his business experience with FLIES magazine
 How is your company faring?   

From the very beginning, our organizational philosophy has been about creating a  differentiation for excellence because we were keenly aware that we were entering a business sector that was proliferate with very good players who were more established and had better resources. However, we have been able to achieve resonance with a growing number of clients because we are also passionately driven by an unwavering commitment to excel and support our clients to achieve superior performance standards for specific and overall organizational objectives. We are delighted with the current status of the company and constantly seeking for growth opportunities.
 Why should clients patronize Ashton & Layton?

We are all about creating unique differentiation in every aspect of our value propositions to clients so as to surpass stakeholders’ expectations because of the crucial imperative to establish a track record of excellence in performance standards that would resonate with current and prospective clients.
How long do you think it will take Ashton & Layton to soar like the big names in the industry and why would it take that long having got an impressive network of those who should make it happen?

Every company must pass through the normal phases of a company life cycle. Thankfully, we are currently in a growth phase. More clients, more business activities and all the indicators are on the upswing. We hope to be a major player in the business community by 2015.
If you were not in this line of business, what would you have been in life?

I would have loved to be a Roman Catholic priest. My younger brother is a priest and I am both so proud and envious of him!
You are a multiple award winner and a role model; share with us some of the awards   

I won the highest and most prestigious award in Cadbury in 2003, which is the Award for Excellence. I was also a member of the Best Performing Team in 2002. I have also been the recipient of numerous Awards and Honours from different organizations inside and outside Nigeria, including the Global Brand Excellence Award conferred on me by the World Brands Congress.  
 Who are your role models?

My father, Peter Adebija, my brother Clement and two other people, Mr. Bunmi Oni and Barack Obama.
What was growing up like for you?

I am blessed to have grown up in a loving family and so my youth was very exciting because I had the best parents and best siblings anyone could ever wish to have. My father was perhaps one of the most intellectual people who ever lived and thankfully I may have inherited some of his brains and together with my Mum. They instilled in us their children, enduring values of hard work, integrity and faith in God. My childhood was a very happy and exciting time and I could not have wished for a better family.
You are a widely travelled man but where is your favourite vacation spot?

 It is not the location really; it’s the company that matters. Therefore, so long as I am with my family, especially my wife, then it’s magical. In the last few years, it has been impossible to travel with the entire family due to work or school commitments. Therefore, we have had different travel configurations, the boys and I, my daughter and I, Madam and I. Sometimes, my wife travels alone on business and I stay home to watch the children.

 What would you like to change about yourself if given such opportunity?

Nothing serious really and that is because I am totally at peace with myself, flaws and all. I would have loved to be able to sing or play the keyboards or guitar.  To be a Roman Catholic priest also appeals to me.
How have you added value to your community?

I facilitate free seminars and retreats for youths especially and I try to make myself available to offer advice to individuals and institutions as may be relevant. From my limited resources, I try to help out people in need and ultimately my family and I plan to establish THE ADEBIJA FOUNDATION in memory of our parents to support worthy causes and projects.
 What is 'X' doing in your name?

 Only my wife knows the meaning of the X in my name and that’s how it is going to be. The children will be told much later when they are of age.

What inspires you to excel?

My parents instilled certain values in my formative years which have endured until now such as hard work and a determination to succeed. I am also inspired to establish a legacy my children and successive generations of my lineage would be proud to be associated with.

What are your interests?

Hanging out with the family, especially my wife, we can gist all day and all night. I watch football, boxing, wrestling but I hardly go out without my family.

Your musical tastes

I have a wide and varied musical taste...the music of King Sunny Ade, I.K Dairo, Victor Uwaifo, Rex Lawson were the soundtracks to my childhood. Now, my preferences are  very  eclectic and  I listen to heavy metal, rock, rap, R & B, hip-hop, fuji, indigenous South African music and so on. My favourite singers of all time are Peter Tosh and Michael Jackson but I also listen to Phil Collins, Snoop, Steve Winwood, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Def Leppard, Hugh Masakela, Youssou N’dour and Shania Twain.
What do you regret most in life?

 Well, I believe everything in life happens for a reason and that our steps are ordered by the Almighty. It would have been nice though to still have my parents and sister alive and well.  My Dad would have loved the internet and the Google search engine especially because he had such an insatiable thirst for knowledge and information.

Who would you like to meet most?

I would have liked to meet Peter Tosh when he was alive and to have seen him in concert. Andrew Tosh, his son who also sings reggae and I are in contact and I plan to go to Jamaica someday in future. I am also hoping to, one day, meet Glenn Hoddle, my favourite footballer from when I was a young boy. Barack Obama is however top on my list of people to meet; as someone who did his best and stretched himself to the fullest, giving full expression to all the talents and capabilities God endowed him with.
Thank you for your time
You are welcome

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