Founder and CEO, Delice Foods Inc
Tell us a bit about your career transition from being a Management Consultant to an Entrepreneur. What are some of the challenges and opportunities that you now face?
I believe life is about passion and purpose. You have to wake up every morning with the belief that you have important work to do and dedicate yourself to that work. For me that progressively became lost in the corporate environment. I no longer sought a career but a path to my purpose through entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is certainly a journey and not for the faint of heart. It can be a lonely, unrewarding journey with long grueling hours. My initial personal challenge was structure and isolation. Working 10-14hr/ days on average, 7 days a week and suffering from pretty bad insomnia, I required a schedule that would have me efficient and effective. I had tremendous help here from a life coach (yes, they do work).
Business challenges have to be viewed as opportunities. From financing, pricing, inflation, supply chain, currency fluctuations, human resources – the list IS endless. I am however thankful, we have been growing and achieved our strategic goals for the yr early. The rest of the yr will be focused on establishing presence, new product development, operational efficiencies and market expansion.
Do you have a piece of advice for aspiring young men and women who wish to launch their own business?
First, certainly go through the process of self-discovery in defining what success means to you – it will seed your purpose. Second, have a purpose that ties to your value system for this shall be the foundation upon which you build your business. Third, network and surround yourself with people who will challenge, guide, and nurture you. Seek out advisors/ mentors and pay it forward through the shepherding of others. Fourth, write a business plan in validating your assumptions making adjustments where necessary. Fifth, simply start! You will never have enough of anything. What you will have enough of is passion that will drive you beyond what is imaginable. Sixth, read/ study/ and immerse yourself in your industry, in the business of business. Take criticism constructively and understand everyone has an opinion but what matters at the end is yours. Seventh and most importantly, be kind and care for yourself. Remember it is a long journey so make sure to take time to replenish you. Seek solace in the Universe, a God, or whatever your disposition. Rejoice in the companionship of friends and the love of family for at the end of it all that truly is all that matters.
Can you tell us whether and how your background has been an asset in your career?
Absolutely! Being Nigerian and African meant at 17 I was hustling the streets of Lagos trying to raise money to close out cement deals off of ships. I was brought up in a system where possibilities where endless, where you were not constrained by a system of fear. I still believe in that, this was instilled in me pretty early by my parents who taught me that I could conquer infinity because I am something amazing. My Africa taught me elements of humanity and the importance of service.
Service drives the Delice mission of becoming the World’s leading innovator of foods focused on African Superfoods. Africa has much to share the World of its pure earth bounty and marvel of natural goodness. We are and will continue to be the 1st organic. Why do we not celebrate this? Why is there not a template for African food? This for me has to be the Delice contribution to not only the World but as well to the African renaissance, the reclaiming of our heritage through responsible stewardship.