Tourist and agriculturist who is passionate about Nigeria, Mojèrè Adejare is the Chief Executive Officer of Lagos-based Mojere Popcorn. In this interview with ADIGUN TEMITOPE, the graduate of English and Literary Studies from the University of Ibadan, speaks about his journey into entrepreneurship
What is Mojere Popcorn brand about?
Mojere Popcorn is an innovation in popcorn production, packaging and distribution across Nigeria. The business serves Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states presently. Specifically, Mojere Popcorn is served at weddings, birthday parties, naming ceremonies, shopping malls and cinema halls. Its goal is to widen production and distribution scales with different popcorn recipes for better prospects across the country. We intend to take our products to homes and offices.
Did you intend becoming an entrepreneur after university education?
Yes, I have always wanted to become an entrepreneur, even before leaving school. I engaged in several businesses just to make a living while on campus. I could recall my friends consulted me to enlighten them on the business they could venture into. Even till date, I still share business ideas with people, advising them to go for businesses that suit their personality. All my business ideas are on things people consume daily. Mojere Popcorn is just a subsidiary of a bigger innovation coming soon – Mojere Megalink Global Company comprising Mojere Farms, Mojere Bamboo Kitchen, Mojere Frozen Foods and others. I started the popcorn business due to paucity of fund; but as we grow, we expand.
Why are you still working with Agrotech?
I have been asked such question over and over. I took the job to learn, explore and network. It is very essential to build one’s capacity before looking for investors. I believe that I have brilliant business ideas that investors will be interested in; but I ask myself if I have that number. I don’t believe in taking loans to start business. So, I took the job to hone my skill and get fund along the line.
Why did you abandon your discipline, English and Literary Studies, for popcorn making?
(Smiles) Is popcorn-making a crime? Hell no! I venture into business to make money. I do any business that won’t tarnish my reputation in the society. Na guguru (corn) we dey sell o! Na English I use, as I dey call myself popcornpreneur. ‘Bobo oni guguru ni mi’ (I am the popcorn guy).
Did you encounter any challenge when you started the business?
Humans are destined and designed to face challenges in life. The moment you aim higher, the more challenges come your way. Starting a business in Lagos is not easy; to get location is hellish, and exploitation from Lagos ‘area boys’ is a daily routine. You need to have a bit of street madness to survive in Lagos as an entrepreneur.
How are you mixing your job at Agrotech with your popcorn business?
Work has been taxing, with targets to meet. But I separate my business life, personal life and paid job. I give each a different approach and treatment.
To where do you intend to take Mojere Popcorn?
Mojere Popcorn is intended to be a household name. I want to expand my reach, as I am ready for competition because I have studied their strengths and weakness.
How has the support system from your family and others been?
Words cannot describe the support I got from people. I have built a very strong personality and networking space on social media. Social media brought me to limelight.
What difference do you see between an employee and an entrepreneur?
The difference is clear. Entrepreneurs do not get worried when their salaries come late because they have another source of income. But we all can’t be entrepreneurs. There’s a gap between an entrepreneur and an employee.
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