Obedihs Enterprises Limited: Ndiho Sean Obedih
Company name: Obedihs Enterprises Limited Website:www.YnotPlast.co.uk Founders: Mr Ndiho Sean Obedih Age: 29 Based: Birmingham Staff Numbers: Me and 1 part-time Date started: July 2007 Turnover: Projected to reach £2.5 by year 3 of trading
Tell us what your business does: Ynotplast is Britain’s first and only multi-ethnic brand of skin-toned first aid products that includes plasters, bandages and first aid kits. These products are aimed at those with African-Caribbean and Asian skin types as well those that enjoy a tan and they are available in five different shades.
Where did the idea for your business come from? I visited a friend of mine and his son came home from school crying. He had been bullied by other kids for wearing a white a white plaster across his forehead after sustaining an injury in the playground. “Can’t you find one that matches your skin tone?” they asked. We couldn’t find any in any shops or pharmacies and I realized I could change this.
How did you know there was a market for it? I did some thorough market research and the results I got convinced me that it was a worthwhile niche to fill. I looked at what’s available and realized that I could improve the concept and take it to the next level and the public’s reaction to our products was amazing.
Have you always wanted to run your own business? I have always been selling, even when I was in primary school! Starting my own business was a question of when and not if. I am very impatient and I am always coming up with new ideas and new ways to do things.
What planning did you do before you started up? I had to research the industry thoroughly, speak to various experts and I still work with some of the consultants who helped me to shape the business.
How did you raise the money? I couldn’t get the cash from traditional sources of startup finance so I resorted to using different ways of raising the funds needed.
How did you find suppliers? First aid is an old and established industry so I found it hard to convince manufacturers to take us seriously, but eventually we found a manufacturer in Italy and they have been superb.
What challenges have you faced how have you overcome them? Issues like stock management and cashflow, are the usual suspects for any startup but the main issue for us so far has been finding the right people to work with. It is a constant battle building a first-class team.
How have you promoted your business? We have been featured in the Knowledge fountain magazine www.knowledgefountain.co.uk and some other online forums but the word of mouth has been our greatest weapon so far! I am also an ambassador for the Make your Mark campaign so I speak to kids at local schools and colleges.
What has your growth been like?Our figures are projecting a modest figure around £2.5 million but we are a very ambitious company.
What would you say the greatest difficulty has been in starting up? The greatest difficulty has been to find the energy to keep going against all odds. I started with no money, just faith and determination to bring our product to market.
What was your first big breakthrough? When the manufacturer decided to buy into our vision I knew that we had something special.
What would you do differently? As an entrepreneur there are times when no-one will come to your rescue: you have to take charge and learn to the art of decision making.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?Dig deep to find the real reason behind your desire to start a business. If it is compelling enough then don’t worry about what you don’t have. Use what you do have and stay focused on the big picture.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time? In five years time I want to see the YnotPlast brand established in all the major supermarkets, and pharmacies across the UK. We plan to improve the product range and keep growing in international markets.