Ayomide Sobowale, a graduate of Computer Engineering from Covenant University, Ogun State, is an entrepreneur with a knack for marketing and branding. In this chat with TEMITAYO LUCAS, the Chief Executive Officer of Buga Foods notes that Nigeria is a land of opportunities, where thinkers make good money
What exactly is Buga Foods about?
Buga Foods is a food distribution brand with the goal of customer satisfaction. We have a website, where you can go and order whatever you crave, and it would be delivered to your doorstep. We also have a unique combo and dishes you can always get at affordable prices.
What inspired you to start the business?
I have passion for marketing. So, I link consumers with available products. As a Covenant University graduate, wherever I find myself, I try to identify a problem and look for the solution. So, realising that Covenant University students were only able to get what they were offered, I decided to exploit my passion.
When you started the business, what were the difficulties you encountered?
Putting time into account, this is Lagos, and everyone knows Nigeria and the traffic situation. So, transportation was a difficulty I encountered when I started the business, because the food had to be delivered to different places, and the customers would not like delay.
How lucrative has the trade been?
It has been good. We have ambassadors, online content creators and designers that manage our social media accounts. The ambassadors have a referral code; so, every customer that comes through them would get a referral bonus and all of that.
How have you been coping with the relatively harsh Nigerian economy?
As long as you can think, you can make money. That is a given. For me, there is so much opportunities everywhere. So, as long as you can think and can identify problem anywhere you find yourself, you can make as much money as possible.
Do you have a mentor? If so, what have you gained from him or her?
Yes, I have a mentor. His name is Shell Daniel. In 2018, when I wanted to start my entrepreneurial journey, he was the one that guided me.
What is your vision and mission in the business?
My target is to satisfy the food needs of students in private universities, and in the long run satisfy Nigerians, who order food from the comfort of their homes.
Is the increase in food prices affecting your business in any way?
Basically, we adopt the restaurants’ product prices. So, let’s say, if KFC, Chicken Republic and De Place increase their prices, it affects us because we buy the food from them and deliver to people. So, our charge is relative to their prices.
Does the security situation in the country affect the business?
The business has not experienced any problem relating to insecurity. We put in our possible best in ensuring that the food gets to the customers. We provide good services to our customers, so that they would not have any cause to regret doing business with us. We motivate them to always call us back.
Where did you draw your inspiration for the food distribution business?
The desire or passion to create an institutional service brand inspired me to create Buga Foods. I was in a confined environment with a monopolistic market, where students could not get what they wanted. That inspired me.
Do you have plans of taking this business to public universities too?
Operating in private universities is a short-term goal. Operating not just in public universities, but the whole of Lagos, Ogun and some other states in Nigeria as well as Abuja is part of my goal. Ultimately, I want to cover the whole of Africa.
How do you plan to make that happen?
I have some innovative ideas close to my chest. We have asked Buga Foods to revolutionalise the food distribution market, which is unsaturated in Africa. In the long run, we plan to use these innovative ideas in Buga Foods to expand.
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