Saturday, August 8, 2015

What shocked a man who wanted to show love to his family

Is it asking for too much for a young man to be given the opportunity to give his family a treat according to his taste? Definitely not. But it is one thing to wish and another thing to have what you wish. (Dr Nnaeto Orazulike, GMD of Genesis Group, with wife, Dr Ngozi Orazulike, at the dinner)

A young husband and father living with his family in Port Harcourt wanted the best for his family. He and his wife were blessed with twin boys, vibrant and adventurous.

 During weekends, especially, the man wanted to take them to places where they could have fun and bond as a family. But there was a snag. Such places were hard to come by in Port Harcourt. It was frustrating, demoralizing and even shocking. So what were the options available to him? Make do with the unsatisfactory places around and keep complaining? Stay indoors always and live a boring life?

 Fold his arms and pray for somebody to do something?

Well, the man of ideas Nnaeto Orazulike decided to be the change he wanted to see. And The Genesis Centre was born.

This is not fiction.

Have you been to Genesis Deluxe Cinema either in Lagos, Port Harcourt or Enugu before? I am sure most of us who have must have been captivated and immersed in the wonderful ambiance than to think about how it all started. I am sure this will interest you.

As a young couple, living and working in Port Harcourt was real fun for Ichie Nnaeto Orazulike and his beautiful wife Dr. Ngozi Orazulike. Life and business were just seamless and God blessed them with two wonderful boys. There is always the need for busy families to create time to bond with their kids especially on weekends. However, as the boys were growing up, it dawned on him that family entertainment destination was almost nonexistent in The Garden City. As is typical of the business maverick, Orazulike needed no further research to reveal to him the quantum of opportunities in that hospitality category, given the abundance of middle- to high-income family segments in the Port Harcourt city.

And pronto: an idea was born. That idea was The Genesis Centre Port Harcourt. It was conceived to provide the great city with a one-stop shop for family entertainment: A lifestyle centre where every member of the family will be engaged in different fun-filled experiences ranging from restaurants game zones, cinemas and exotic lounges.  As the development was going on, a similar opportunity came in Lagos at the Palms Mall: the birth of Genesis Deluxe Cinemas.

So it was the same experience of not finding a befitting place for an outing and the same drive in filling gaps in hospitality industry that fired Orazulike to found the Genesis Deluxe Cinemas in 2008. Genesis Deluxe Cinema is about the leading cinema developer and operator of multiplex cinemas in Nigeria. Since the launch into the Nigerian market in 2008 in Lagos, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas has grown to 4 cinemas with 18 screens and over 2,500 seats in Port Harcourt, Lagos and Enugu.

The journey into the cinema industry began with the belief that he could provide a unique entertainment experience, where the best international and domestic movie releases could be enjoyed within ultra-modern, friendly and welcoming ambiance. As is typical of Genesis investments, today one can say with confidence that Genesis Deluxe Cinemas is a market leader within the Nigerian cinema industry and is the brand of choice for commercial developers looking for a cinema vendor that not only drives traffic, but also brings extra value to the table.

According to statistics, Nigerian film industry, popularly called Nollywood, is rated the third most valuable film industry in the world behind India and the US. In spite of the giant strides Nigeria has made in the film industry, Nigeria has one of the lowest number of cinemas when compared to its peers in film business like India and United States. As such, cinema industry in Nigeria still has a long way to go.

Genesis Deluxe Cinemas has taken upon its shoulders the responsibility of driving the process of bridging the gap that currently exists within the cinema industry by opening 30 new locations and 120 screens within the next 5 years.

Genesis Deluxe Cinemas’ offers are tailored to appeal to the different segments of the family for maximum satisfaction. These include Extra Comfortable Seats, VIP Seating, Cosy Lounges, Game Zones, Dolby Digital Sound/Screens, 3D Movies, Discount Ticket Prices and Fabulous Student Pricing. GDC also offers Membership to its valued customers, offering points that can be redeemed against tickets and concessions.

The business has blossomed. Today, the Genesis Group spans different market categories like restaurants, hotels, catering, cinemas, real estate, bakery/confectioneries, facilities management and lifestyle. One hears of Genesis Restaurants, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, Genesis Fill-up, Genesis Bread, The Sojourner by Genesis, and more. The Genesis brand has gradually but steadily become a conglomerate that has spread across the federation, employing about 2,500 people.

In recognition of his giant business developmental strides and contributions to the Nigerian economy, Orazulike was recently honoured by the University of Port Harcourt with an award of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa).

In his acceptance speech on behalf of other honorary doctorate degree recipients, Dr Nnaeto Orazulike, who is the Group Managing Director of the Genesis Group, urged Nigerians to change their negative thinking about Nigeria. Orazulike noted that the fact that foreigners continue to establish new businesses or expand existing ones in Nigeria is a testimony that they see what we don’t see in our economy.

His words: “We need to change our perception about our country and start looking at the opportunities and how to harness them. I am not saying that the challenges are not real, but beneath every challenge exist legitimate business opportunities. It was this desire that inspired the Genesis Group.”

He listed some of the opportunities in Nigeria and how foreign companies are tapping into them, and ended the speech by saying: “My parting words to us today is for us to look at the brighter side of Nigeria and view it from a different perspective and be prepared to take the opportunities staring us in the face. This way, we can help in poverty alleviation in our country. If every Nigerian can commit to propagate one positive thing about this great country especially when we are abroad, our story will begin to change. Like I will always tell anyone who cares to listen, no one can love us more than ourselves.”

That same evening, a dinner was held in his honour at the highbrow Asia Town, Old GRA, Port Harcourt. Captains of industry and the crème de la crème of society attended the dinner. They included the current MD and former MD of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo and Mr Reginald Ihejiahi respectively; former Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh; Chairman of Seplat Petroleum,  Dr ABC Orjiako; President, South-East – South-South Professionals, Mr Emeka Ugwu-Oju, and others.

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