“The hospitality trends and the demands of customers are constantly changing and failing to adapt could result in a dramatic drop in success. The industry has been abuzz with the growing need to redefine the notion of luxury to cater to an increasingly diverse clientele.
“Gone are the days when enjoying a luxurious experience meant indulgent in-room candlelight dinners and a rose petal-filled jacuzzi; today’s travelers seek authenticity and experiential travel in its true form.”
Ogochukwu Henrietta Erilim, CEO & Founder, Vido Café Limited (Boutique Hotel, Café, Lounge and Gym) who shares these sentiments while speaking with PLEASURES Magazine in Abuja, Nigeria during an exclusive interview averred that hospitality to her means experience.
Experience, according to Ogochukwu, starts from the very moment a guest walks into a hotel. She noted that the reception in a hotel means a lot, as it makes clientele feel relaxed.
Ogochukwu said if a person who is far away from home, gets to enjoy the same facilities and comfort as he gets from his, then he or she is bound to get attached.
‘’All this is encompassing so, if you are in a new place it should not make you miss home in any way rather it should make you catch your cruise and enjoy yourself in a new way.
‘’To be in the market you must acknowledge that the hospitality trends and the demands of customers are constantly changing and failing to adapt could result in a dramatic drop in success,’’ she said.
She noted that travelers want to spend money in places with purpose, adding that tourism can be so much more than a quick capital injection to the local society.
The hospitality and fashion expert stated that the Vido Café leverages African arts and designs to open the heart and minds of guests to possibilities that fuel African imagination.
She added that this is because guests are becoming interested in investigating the roots of their destinations.
The CEO averred that design encourages innovation, creates competitive advantage, and drives growth.
Speaking further, she explained that understanding that customers are also loyal to other brands and companies in other industries, and being able to work with them to make your most high-value customers’ lives easier is a goal.
”The café provides a serene environment and a luxury experience to its guests,” she said.
She said amid the COVID-19 pandemic hygiene and cleanliness and food and staff safety measures became important points in the resilience plan of any hotel that wants to have a loyal customer.
On her life as a hotelier, she said, since April 2021, ‘’It has so far been nice working with a great team and also being a good manager. Because as a manager you must be in charge and coordinate all activities of the business in line with global best practices.’’
Ogochukwu, who said her mother is her biggest motivation, noted that she gets her daily inspiration from her mother to do more for herself.
She said: ‘’My mother inspires me daily to do more for myself and I can say she is one of my biggest motivators. She is a woman that has brought me to where I am and besides her, I try to improve on myself daily and influence people around me to do better, and to me, it is like. Never give up.’’
Ogochukwu noted that her vision for her brand is to expand to other African countries and in showcasing that she wishes to have a place where people can shop in her hotels.
‘’My vision is to create awareness for my brands and to let everyone know that this is a place to stay. I am also expanding this place.
She said her typical workday starts as early as 6:30 am. ‘’I wake up, say my prayers, as a trainer, catch up with my clients. Go home, refresh and ensure that I am returning to work with Optimism. First, I go to the hotel, once I am done, I then proceed to the clothing store. To ensure that all sales are accounted for, track our shipments, ensure we have clothes for the season, and I basically shuttle myself between both businesses.’’
Ogochukwu who doubles as the CEO of Vivido Fashions, Nigeria said she has all kinds of apparel, adding that she source her clothes from New York for sale in Nigeria.
‘’I track trends, monitor peak sales period; monitor expenses and exchange rates for best possible purchases. I purchase and preview them to ensure my customers get the best,’’ she said.
She continued: ‘’We focus more on female outfits. For casual outfits, you can get blouses, dresses, pants, and skirts, etc. We also have party dresses and dinner gowns of all sorts, such as ankara, jeans, leather, shoes, so basically, I provide a variety of everything for you need to look good and unique.
‘’Fashion to me is everything, fashion starts from how you take care of yourself is fashion. What you eat is fashion, looking good according to the popular maxim is good business. So typically, when you dress perfectly you become more comfortable. Fashion gives great confidence either at work, church, or dinner fashion gives great and unique energy.’’
She also advised all girl children globally not to give up and keep affirming their dreams.
‘’Don’t give up, and the reason is you are the person that has the key to your future. You are the person that can change those negative narratives.
‘’So, I am telling you to keep affirming your goal and keep working towards it. Be it buying and selling, cooking, make-up, or an industrial cleaner, never relent.
”Keep doing that thing you love to do, and I believe the sky will be a stepping stone. I hope that in the next ten years I will be able to help more people,’’ she said.
In giving back to society, Ogochukwu said she has had a charity organization called Mother Welfare Group (MWG) which caters for the welfare of the less privileged since she was 20 years old.
‘’Although I won’t talk about it. I have been doing this since when I was 20 years old. The Group works with less privileged kids and basically caters for their needs such as housing and feeding. It is what I enjoy doing,’’ she added.
Ogochukwu Erilim in brief
Ogochukwu is the CEO and Founder CEO & Founder, Vido Café Limited (Boutique Hotel, Café, Lounge and Gym) and also doubles as the CEO of Vivido Fashions, Nigeria.She is a highly versatile professional with six years of experience in a variety of roles in the financial and biological industries. She holds a B.Sc. Economics and Biology from Albright College. She has worked at Well Fargo bank as a personal banker in 2017 overseeing personal accounts for business clients. Ogochukwu is a self-starter and highly motivated individual. Hardworking, determined, goal-oriented, and independent. She is also a certified personal trainer and health coach. She is Enthusiastic and eager to get things done. Works well with others even under stressful or difficult situations. Concerned with clients’ needs. Looking for a position in a corporation with upward mobility. She hails from Anambra 27 years old.