“The biggest misconception about entrepreneurship is that it is easy and glamorous” #LLA Meets Uju Rapu – Founder, Bel Fiore Medical Aesthetics
Dr. Uju Rapu is a medical doctor with post graduate qualifications in Clinical Dermatology and specialising in Aesthetic Medicine. She is the Founder of Bel Fiore Medical Aesthetics a clinic that offers skin care, non surgical and anti ageing cosmetic procedures. As our ladyboss of the week, Dr Uju shares how she got into her line of business, how she was able to make a success out of it and tips to upcoming entrepreneurs.
Hello! It’s great to have you on LLA, Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
My name is Uju Rapu. I am a medical doctor with post graduate qualifications in Clinical Dermatology and specialising in Aesthetic Medicine. I am the founder of Bel Fiore Medical Aesthetics. Bel Fiore offers skin care, non surgical and anti ageing cosmetic procedures.
Your business specializes in non surgical, minimally invasive cosmetic and anti ageing procedures, Can you share what inspired you to go into this particular business?
I found an area in medicine I was passionate and very excited about. It was pretty new and there wasn’t really anywhere that allowed me practise this. I found myself creating my own niche to be able to do what I loved.
When you launched your business, did you have prior knowledge on how you could run one? How did you make it work?
I had little knowledge on business or how to run a business. I had completed a 3 week Entrepreneurial Smart Camp at Imperial College London, which introduced me to the basics of business. I have definitely however learnt the most along the way. Having mentors has helped a lot.
Why entrepreneurship and what’s the biggest misconception about entrepreneurship that you’ve heard?
Entrepreneurship for me was a way of enabling myself practice in an area I loved. There seemed to be an absence of my line of work when I started, and so for me, it was creating for myself an avenue to do what I was truly passionate about. The biggest misconception is that entrepreneurship is easy and glamorous. Most people share more of their wins on social media than their struggles and failures. So most people enter thinking it’s easier than it is.
You’re known to run a state of the art demartological business, what new innovation have you introduced to your business and what product would you recommend ?
I am fortunately quite creative with ideas. If I have an idea to introduce, I do it almost immediately. If it works, Im pleased, if not, I try the next! Right now, we offer prescription skin care- treating skin conditions, anti ageing and non surgical treatments. The latest that I am quite excited about is the non surgical thread lift; a lunch time procedure that gives almost similar results to a surgical face lift, with minimal down time! Of course, most of the treatments I perform would still fall under innovative – non surgical nose reshaping, non surgical lipolysis for fat loss, PRP treatments to target hair loss, facial lines and wrinkles, permanent hair removal, vitamin injections and more.
As an entrepreneur, you must have encountered different kinds of people, what have you learnt most and what will you say has been the highlight of your journey so far?
Yes! I am still learning a lot about people management! I have always put a lot of effort into keeping my clients happy. I have learnt however that not everyone is my client and I have reached a place where I am not afraid to turn down treating certain clients. The highlight of my journey is seeing the changes I am able to make to peoples lives and confidence levels. This is my main source of encouragement.
What will you say is responsible for your success?
I am very focused with anything I set out to do. I never think I know everything, I love learning. I care about my clients and try to show them this, I keep mentors around and I have faith in God who I believe helps me.
In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going?
Yes, I believe I have come across landlords, government and bank officials who I feel have acted a certain way because I am a young female business owner. My passion for my business has kept me going. I hate the idea of failing at anything. I try not to wait for anyone to encourage me. I believe in getting up and pushing through to attain my goals/vision for myself and my business.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
My 5 year plan involves expansion out of Lagos and new innovative services.
Can you share some strategic tips for upcoming female entrepreneurs looking be successful in this path?
Keep your vision and goals clear. I believe in writing these down. Never lose the mental picture of where you see yourself and your business. Don’t expect it to be easy. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Stay in your lane and focus on being the best you can be. Focus on giving each client their best experience. Encourage yourself often.
Bonus question 😁Walk us through your best skin routine
I’m quite minimalist. My skin care involves twice daily cleanse with a soap free face wash, daily sunscreen use, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid and occasional Retin A use.
The LLA Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.
If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email email@example.com, and she could possibly be featured.