I got to chat with Elvis about Adelante Group, which is a cocktail of the legal & real estate service consultancies together with the spice services of the two: namely; project management, survey, valuations, architecture, landscaping and environmental health. Get to know what motivates him and the company’s plans for the future.
- Tell us about you :
I am Andiva A. Elvis, mostly known as Andiva. I was born and bred in Kitale, a born again Christian, a lawyer by profession and the Founder and President of Adelante Group. My Life’s mantra is Duty. Honor. God. My duty and focus in life is the service in what God calls me to do and it is an honor to serve God with this purpose. Two words that I have attributed my personality to are – Master Builder. I am passionate, hyper intuitive, highly creative and thrive in creating processes and being innovative. I love reading business books, the bible and biographies. I love travelling, football and family weekends; my two nieces and nephews being a major reason why I smile a lot.
- Your best social media platform?
LinkedIn takes it for me. It is the social media business platform I need and it is informative on the current business trends.
- What do you use social media for mostly?
I used to log in for humor but now I am looking for branding, business leads, what my competition is doing, partnerships, new business trends, training, entrepreneur biographies and business networks.
- What did you study?
I studied Law at Moi University then did a post graduate diploma in Law at the Kenya School of Law. I have since specialized my practice in Property and Real Estate Law. I have six years post admission experience.
- Tell us about Adelante Group.
The company is a cocktail of the legal & real estate service consultancies together with the spice services of the two: namely; project management, survey, valuations, architecture, landscaping and environmental health. We aimed at bridging the real estate gap where instead of investors having a service scattered practice, we merged every aspect of the industry need under one roof. This saves investors a lot time, money and their peace of mind. Adelante Group’s four subsidiaries are Adelante Legal for all Law related matters, Adelante Homes for real estate research and investment options, Adelante Capital for the spice services of the two and lastly Adelante Consult which is a platform for mentorship and partnership for young entrepreneurs who get kick started in the business world through our brand. It will also be the trade link for all Adelante Company’s all over the world who would want to trade in Kenya.
- What birthed Adelante Group?
That was when I lost the father figure of my life, My Grandfather in 2015. I wanted to form a chama for my cousins where each individual will be remitting substantial monthly premiums to it which would go to aiding my then alive grandmother’s upkeep and hospital bills, make investments as we would so choose and also be a source of loans for the members in their individual business and life quests. As all families, everyone got busy.
This idea then became an opportunity for me to impact the world and build a legacy for my mother, wife, my children and my generations to come. I had also outgrown the toxic employment practices. In naming the company, i researched for words that meant “Moving forward” and begun with my surname letter “A”. Spanish came in handy: Adelante meaning– ahead, forward. The group was then formulated in August 2016.While we have since evolved, we are proud of our heritage and continue to uphold the pillars and principles behind our success.
- The Entrepreneurship Journey?
This is by FAR the toughest thing I have ever done. My business was picking up then the election happened! I lost every business lead and had to start from scratch. You lose a lot including the things you cared about. Your weaknesses get exposed but the beauty of it all is that the lessons you learn from all that mess becomes your message. I have picked my pieces and grown so much that the sky is now my beginning.
- Future for Adelante.
Apart from changing the real estate narrative in Kenya and around the world, Adelante also envisions in making this country an exercising nation. With the rise of depression among men and deaths from lifestyle diseases, we intend to start a pattern where we will invest and involve fitness centers and personnel’s in targeted areas who will spearhead their areas to exercise routinely and eat healthy. We have also devised a plan in which the government will enact laws to assist us in this quest. We also want to change the narrative in our prisons where the spirit of correction is implored as opposed to the suffering and oppression that is currently being administered. We want to also help in aiding the elderly members of the society too.
- What are some of the challenges you face with clients?
Time: Every client wants their matters finalized tomorrow with undue disregard to procedures and structures that merge in the work place. To this end however, we have tailor made our services to now meet each client’s needs.
My Brand: We are still a young Consortium and most Clients give us the test jobs to gauge our efficacy and trust as opposed to the heavy projects which we are capable of. Working with a young brand is an advantage to any client because they will give you the undivided attention and service as opposed to the established firms where you are a by the way matter.
Payments: Clients who simply drag our payments do not know the kind of harm it does to an upcoming enterprise. Really Bad Corporate Manners. STOP IT!
- What is your take on mixing family or friendship with business?
I have a Yes and No opinion on this.
YES, I believe family businesses are the only way you create empires and dynasties. This however has to be nurtured slowly with the patience and trust it deserves.
NO because family and friendships dilute the seriousness a business deserves and it can be marred with a lot of jealousy or trust issues which runs the business down and dry
- What are some of the challenges entrepreneurs face in Kenya?
Capital: Financing in Kenya for SME’s is a major hurdle for entrepreneurs, a rip off and a money making venture for the financiers. Most businesses that started with loans have been wound up.
Taxes: The government is taxing the entrepreneur heavily!
Local Support: Friends and folks would rather share and like socialite images and gossip as opposed to sharing your business brand or even celebrate it.
Mentorship: There is little mentorship in the current workplace and most upcoming entrepreneurs who branch out to fend for themselves eventually give up on their tracks.
- How do you manage to keep your private life off social media?
Privacy is a peace of mind and peace of mind is success! I was raised up like that and I do lecture every person in my circle and around me to keep me off their businesses unless it does impact my life positively or it is for the betterment of the society. The world has invested time and money in raving bad news and the moment your private life takes its happiest peak in public, they cannot wait to break it down or celebrate your failures. Nothing annoys me more when people handle their dirty linen in public, having to explain yourself to people who have already made up their minds against you or your misfortunes being aired by the people in your circle. It has broken me once and it shall never happen again.
- Who are the Top 5 male entrepreneurs you look up to?
Richard Branson, Aliko Dangote, Daymond John, Patrick BetDavid and to some extent my former boss (name withheld).
- What advice would you give young you?
SEEK YE THE KINGDOM OF GOD, Forgive often, Keep Company that builds you, Heal your childhood traumas, save your money, Read more books, Avoid Alcohol and never chase a woman with no life purpose and vision!
- If you could be the president of Kenya what would you do differently in terms of employment creation and creating a thriving environment for businesses?
One: I will scrap off the Employment Culture and create a Consultant Culture. You only earn on what you bring to the table and effort. Employment makes our creative minds lazy and comfortable. If you knew that if you did not give your best, if you did not make that phone call, if you did not make that follow up you would not make that money, you will do better.
Two: I would make access to business capital and capital boosts more affordable and readily available so that businesses have longevity. New Zealand and Canada are such success stories.
Three: Formulate a curriculum that starts in primary school where children are trained and nurtured to be business men and women not the “soma upate kazi usaidie mama yako” battalion. Mastery in people skills, finance management, corporate etiquette and administration should be taught at that tender age.
- Kindly tell us your parting shot in regards to both life and work:
Take Risks even if it means you lose everything! Bet on yourself and jump off that cliff. And if you fall, try and fall on your back because if you can look up, You Can Get up! Oh, and do not forget to take care of your body, mind and soul.
See you at Work!