Goodmorning people,this interview is a huge source of concentrated inspiration. After pondering on the touching and genuine responses,a quote by Albert einstein, a german born physicist came to mind and it goes thus '' Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible''. Its our sincere pleasure to present to you in this special edition an achiever of the impossible. A creative firework par excellence, an industrialist and a pathfinder. Satisfaction for him is the next port of call after an accomplishment. We present to you our Abuja based Agroprenuer chimezie uwandu. Just Tape
Uwandu Chimezie M.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am an Agropreneur under the groundnut value chain, processing and packaging groundnut into tasty, crunchy and edible groundnut cookies called KULIES but locally known as KULI-KULI. I also am the M.D/C.E.O Karago Bakeries and confectioneries.
Am from a village called Amaokpu Nkpa in Bende Local Government area of Abia State Eastern Nigeria. Born on 10th April 198?. I come from a wonderful family of 5, I am the 1st and only boy blessed in the midst of 4priceless angels. I attended my nursery primary education at Police children’s school Enugu then moved to command secondary school Enugu state
in eastern Nigeria, the Government science secondary school Pyakasa Abuja from Where I got admission into federal University of technology Minna where I read mathematics Education. Presently I am running another course in entrepreneurial and small business management at the National Open University (NOUN) Abuja. I love making good friends especially those I can learn from, and also work and play hard, Driving is my No.1 hubby. I love keeping fit, reading things that can improve my business and spiritual life, I play badminton and also soccer especially (FIFA or PES) on the computer. Hehehe , just kidding. I use to be a computer hardware engineer, still and video photographer, graphics designer, D.J, until I finally got into agriculture.
WHAT INSPIRED KULIES?
1, A drive to create value 2, A creative Mind 3, A burning desire to do things differently and be successful @ it. I had always resented the idea of a 9-5 job, so I kept on praying to God for divine inspiration of a business that could fetch me steady and constant daily money on graduation from school for self dependency and not join the rat race. One day in my final year @ school, I passed the night at a friends place of northern extraction in Niger state and was served one of their staple foods PAP and KULI-KULI for breakfast. While I enjoyed the pap served in a very big bowl, I didn’t like the taste, chewing strength and aroma of the KULI-KULI. At that point, it struck me. I asked myself questions. why people get to a certain age of their lives and stop eating KULI-KULI, and why was I not enjoying it?
I then found out that if I could answer these questions, and address The issues surrounding them, then I am in business. So I set out on this epic quest and finally Kulies was born. I started the business with N500. After various trials and failures,
I finally got my recipe right. After selling the 1st batch and was convinced, I then sold my cameras, and some other equipments to fully buy small equipment's to start the business.
HOW MANY YEARS EXPERIENCE?
WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
(i) Love for what I do.
(ii) A burning desire to be the best and succeed in what I do.
(iii) Drive to create value and to meet the daily human needs.
(iv) I love standing out of the crowd.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL WORK DAY FOR YOU?
Usually hectic and tasking but with proper planning and delegation of duties, I usually have few stress free days. From home to the factory just to ensure that things are going well, if there’s need for distribution. As the 1st and only boy in the family, I try to mix my business with the families business and also family task from my parents. Actually isn’t easy for me. The secret has been to take one day @ a time, list my To-do before I set out. This helps me not to forget certain things and achieve a lot.
WHOSE YOUR ROLE MODEL?
Definitely the richest man in Africa. Alhaji Aliko Dangote. I read up a lot about him and his approach to business. I then learnt that he’s an April Baby and so am I. it made the like him the more because now I know people Born in April are destined for greatness.
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF QUITTING?
Yes I have a couple of times. But I have a family that’s strongly believes in what I do an it’s prospects so they encourage me in very difficult times. My Dad is my number 1 mentor and marketer. At 1st was scared to tell him about the business, when he got to find out, he was happy and praised me for it. Since then, we have been in this together. I shut down my factory once and the next week, I got a breakthrough call so I came back to business. Since then, I have never looked back.
ANY MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH?
So far has been with the Nigerian Army where I supplied it to their soldiers on foreign peace keeping mission in Mali as their dry pack snack.
HOW DO YOU TRAIN YOURSELF?
I read a lot of business books, columns in the dailies to be up to date with existing trends, attend seminars and business meetings. I also try when I can to apply myself to the things I learn. But my biggest teacher has been the real World experience peculiar to what I do.
HOW ABOUT YOUR NEW PRODUCTS?
Yes I do, but would want to leave it as a secret for now until it hits store. All I can tell you about the name now is the Name: KWIKIE. We are constrained by funds now, but by God’s Grace will soon get a break.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS?
We can only propose wishing God approves of our heart desires. In spite of that, we have got big plans to expand the factory to meet demand and supply. We hope that five years from now, KULIES and KWIKIE will be sold in every part of this country and west Africa, we also hope it becomes a household name and I will be a big employer of labour.
WHATS YOUR IDEAL LADY?
hahahahahaha! Crazy. It all depends. I really don’t know what I want in a lady, but I know I want a lady that has the fear of God, smart, creative, hard working, charming, business minded and thinks matured.
HOW DO YOU HANGOUT?
I don’t hangout a lot, but when I do, I love begin around trusted friends and brothers that loves having fun. If Ladies join us, no wahala, after all, we all having fun.
MOST VALUEABLE ITEM?
Hmmmm….. Thinking………My Cell phone I guess. Cos I panic a lot when it’s not with me. I do a whole lot with it and it’s my business tool.
Get married, Bear kids, travel to great places to see the world, make plenty money, to touch lives and above all be a role model and source of inspiration to people someday.
ENCOURAGEMENT TO TEENS AND OTHERS OUT THERE?
If you’re young schooling and in business, take your studies serious. Don’t let it suffer because of the big business dreams you have. When you’re out of school, then you face business.
There’s a reason why you had the urge in the 1st place so it means it’s in you like peak milk would say. You have to love what you do to be successful @ it.
*Don’t go into business because a friend is doing it or you heard it’s lucrative financially, chances are that you will not succeed at it.
*Learn financial discipline
*Perseverance and focus is key in business. If anybody tells you that it would be easy at the start, it’s a big lie. But when you remain focused the sky is always the stepping stone.
*Think Big and Start Small so you can minimize the risk of loss.
*Finally, I would say DEVOTE YOURSELF TO AN IDEA. STRUGGLE ON IT, OVERCOME YOUR FEARS, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, SMILE, AND DON’T YOU FORGET, THIS IS YOUR DREAM, GO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
VOTE OF THANKS TO ABJRICHTEENS?
I want to thank you a lot for this rare privilege and opportunity to share my story with you and encourage younger entrepreneurs. I pray God gives you more grace to carry on and provides
All your heart desires. Thanks, God bless, and see you @ the top.