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The Rising Sunrise Clears The Way

Sep 30, 2008, 7:54 AM | Article By: Augustine Kanjia

Sunrise GSM, a shinning example of GSM repairs and provider of original mobile phones and accessories from overseas especially from Germany has come to help the society by solving problems concerning phones with their fantastic machines found no where else in the sub-region. Lamin Jallow, the owner and manager of the Sunrise GSM talks about how he started, the struggles and how he is helping to create employment for Gambians in line with the Millennium goal or Vision 2020, above all his plans for the future and customer satisfaction. Society and Development goes further to find out and made Lamin Jallow to go deeper into his business and advises youth to start from humble beginnings instead of going through the sea to Europe. Read on and find the difference between Sunrise GSM's boss and others who claim to know mobile work.

S&D: Could you please say something about yourself as a person?

Lamin Jallow: I was born in Talinding and lived with my grand mother. I attended the NusratSeniorSecondary School and graduated in 1991. I proceeded to the St. Augustine's SeniorSecondary School where I got my 'A' Levels. I was employed just after the coup d'etat of 1994 at GAMTEL at the marketing section. I then got married to a lovely lady and we went to rent for two years.

S&D: When did the idea of this business come to your mind?

Lamin Jallow: It was when I was working at GAMTEL. I started the business in my cousin's name with a telecentre. The first one proved good then I tried to open two more which I was running quite well until I resigned on health reasons and carried on with it until GSM business started. After the introduction of GSM to the market, calls at my telecentres started to drop and my sales dropped too. Then I decided to get into mobile business, selling mobile accessories. I got them from Dakar and during one of my trips, I saw my host unlocking phones and servicing them with the computer. From there I decided to be doing such as there were only Senegalese repairing and they refused to give any clue to anyone as to what cable is used or what to do.

S&D: So, how did you make a breakthrough in the telephone and computer world?

Lamin Jallow: I decided to search, I went to the internet and searched Goggle to see mobile phone solutions. This opened more and more doors and insights. I searched for mobile problems and solutions I read many sites as possible on mobile phones and got what I wanted.

S&D: Since then has the Sunrise GSM grown?

Lamin Jallow: I think to be fair, we are growing. We were at Super Bird, the place was not easily accessible but when we moved over here we started getting more and more customers, the place is accessible and our work is concrete. With our growth I started selling phones and good and durable phones for that matter.

S&D: Have you made a good name and are you known in society in line with the services you provide?

Lamin Jallow: If you talk about being known is due to the services we provide. We can do everything and I do what I can do and what I can't do, would rather ask you seek another advice. I try to be very honest to my customers and their properties. If we do a piece of work for a customer and that customer is not satisfied we return their money and this has earned us a very good reputation. We have rather created a good image and attracted many customers.

S&D: How would Sunrise GSM rate itself among other GSM workers?

Lamin Jallow: The first difference with other dealers is the quality, not only to sell and make gains. But we provide quality for our customers. When you enter our shop you see quality at work and our competitors can attest to that including our customers that come.

S&D: Who are the winners then as you mentioned your customers, competitors and your company?

Lamin Jallow: I don't win alone! My customers win all the time in our business. Some of our competitors gain from us so they too win. We are here for the people, let them just come they will win. Their satisfaction is our concern.

S&D: Are there phones that give you headache?

Lamin Jallow: A few of them. Those we can't do may be due to the fact that the machines are not available and are quite expensive. It is sad to see a customer return with his or her phone not repaired due to lack of material. WE are solving about 80 percent of the phones bought to us. Our customer satisfaction edifies us and we are glad that it is like that and we all like it.

S&D: Do you trust all repairers?

Lamin Jallow: I trust my company workers. We are not in like crooks in business. We give back your phone as you brought it and we have a good reputation for that. I believe cheating does not make any body grow.  People bring their phones to us that has stopped working and we make it work again but the loud speaker or the screen does not come on or something different is wrong but the fact remains that the phone has worked. When we ask these people whether they had taken their phones to another mechanic or so they say yes, where the mechanics removed or changed something that culminates to the phone's parts not working but other parts work.

S&D: Any plans of expansion from where you are today?

Lamin Jallow: Yes! I am thinking every day of my next move. Imagine from telecentre to GSM repairs and now sales. I have plans and good ones for that matter they will come let us ask Allah for guidance and long life.  There are so many things to do here, I would be watching keenly and observing carefully but I remain committed to the GSM, to improve on customer satisfaction.

S&D: What are your highest points?

Lamin Jallow: I believe in doing the right thing. I hate to be greedy. I believe in honesty. I am calling on all with mobiles to come to Sunrise GSM there they will meet the reality I am talking about. 

S&D: Have you any edge over others in this business?

Lamin Jallow: Yes brother! Whatever phone we cannot unlock the sub-region can't unlock it. Senegal got into the job before us and they also would not be able to unlock what we can't unlock. When our competitors destroy their customers' phones, they bring them to us, they give them time like come tomorrow evening and collect them and then they bring them to us, we do the work.

S&D: What have you done for your customers that they not forget?

Lamin Jallow: We have reduced our unlocking prices and phone prices too. Imagine we order phones from Germany. Well, I will continue to encourage my customers that they will continue to receive satisfactory job from us. Those who have not come yet and have phone problems or want phones from overseas should come and see negotiable prices. We have the best materials here to service phones we have everything for servicing them. In fact we have customers coming from Senegal especially for unlocking. I want to create more employment for Gambians.

S&D: Any advise to young people?

Lamin Jallow: Make use of the opportunity you have, from school ask your self what are the opportunities ahead of me. If not, check and start somewhere. Learn a skill and start a job. There are so many opportunities in The Gambia but it is only non-Gambians who reap it. Youth should make use of the internet. Look for things that are not in the market and do something. Many Gambians leave such opportunities sit and drink 'Attaya' during the day. I agree with the president that people should change their attitude especially the young ones. It is only those who are paid by month that people can know their salary but those who work for themselves is never known. Youth should think of getting something that is not here, e.g. vegetables and more. If not available plant some customers will look for you.

S&D: I must admit, it has been a good time with you, I thank you for granting the interview.

Lamin Jallow: I am delighted! You are welcome. Customers come!

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