Nigeria is a busy country as many households have both the man and wife working and going through very hecticespecially in a place like Lagos. The traffic condition in the city makes it possible for people to leave their houses as early as 4am only to return tired and used by 12am.
This rushed life style makes it somewhat difficult to get good homemade meals. This is the problem Omoalata soups has come to solve starting from Lagos. The company is a food service brand focused on the production and sale of hygienically processed and packaged local Nigerian soups, spices and pepper. Omoalata soups makes them available in an attractive format that makes it easy to store and use to busy households and professionals.
Kasope Ladipo-Ajai, 29, is the solid brain behind the brand. She was the winner of the 2015; she leads Africa pitch competition and has been reported by Forbes to be one of the top 10 young promising Africans under 40. Ajai has a degree in computer science from Babcock University in Nigeria. She ventured into entrepreneurship as a result of sheer determination to be and do something more meaningful with her life. She worked as team lead in Air Nigeria, Taytom Group all as IT expert before deciding to take a plunge into the unknown world of entrepreneurship in 2012 with nothing but determination and faith.
According to woman.ng, Ladipo-Ajai said that her business interest and idea came from a place of personal calling to help reduce the cooking burdens of Nigerian women as she had no training in food related discipline. The business was self-funded until 2015 when she won the she leads Africa pitch competition.
Currently, the major aim of OMOALATA SOUPS is to ensure that its products are found not ony in all busy homes across Lagos but all over Nigeria. The products also sit in all major stores to ensure visibility and easy access to end users. Currently products are distributed in about 30 retail stores majorly concentrating in Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan. Considering the pace at which the business is moving, it is also obvious that the ‘she leads Africa’ prize money helped in expanding the business as it was funded from the personal savings of the founder prior to the competition.
Her resolve to quit the known for the unknown was met with much resistance as her family and friends felt she was making a big mistake. Notwithstanding, she stayed resolute on growing her business even when it seemed like an idea that was doomed to fail as the business was not making much progress and profit for quite a long time.
The success and sustenance of the business has been that of a lot of hard work and determination as the idea took some time to resonate with Nigerians as many people didn’t see the possibility of having a business that would be so valuable in providing them kitchen support just as they would need it. . Possibly, being the first-born child and only girl must have helped her to develop courage to dare and get results notwithstanding the obstacles.
The current success stories of the company and its founder is a strong demonstration that persistence and hard work can really pay.
* The name OmoAlata literally means ‘Son or Daughter of a Spice Seller” in the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria