Read the beginning part of the interview HERE.
Most Startups sure have humble beginnings. Did you have to start yours from your room?
We did have our humble beginnings. I had to keep a job to work on Farmcrowdy after work hours and to fund it along with my co-founders from our salaries. Eventually, the business grew to the point when we could take the giant leap, but we didn’t necessarily earn a salary apart from benefits for the first couple of months into the business for some of us.
Agriculture, like every other business have risks. What if the worst scenario happens to a farmer where there was no returns on investments?
It’s true that every business has risk and Agriculture is not exception to that. However, we have learned to apply premium insurance with the likes of Leadway Assurance and AXA Mansard to secure our farms.
Beyond this, the way we source for our farmers is key to holding them accountable to deliver on the promise of what we require from them. However, we don’t neglect our farmers. Our farms are coordinated by our technical specialist and farm coordinators who mentor the farmers throughout the farming cycle – right there on the farm.
All of these is done from our end at Farmcrowdy to ensure we never get a season when there is no return after harvest.
There are still lots of Farmers without access to the Internet. Have you at any point made a move to reach them?
We are empowering the farmers we work with the training administered by our specialists on the farms. In scaling this operation, we are looking for ways to utilize technology to improve the reach of our farmers. As we do this, one farmer at a time, we would change the way they farm for the better with our technology.
What is your philosophy towards work as the CEO of Farmcrowdy?
Keep it simple, you need your team, value them and finally, stay in touch with the pain of the customer you are serving – in Farmcrowdy, our customers are Farmers, Farm Sponsors, Farm Followers, Farm Produce Buyers and our investors.
What are the best qualities you think an entrepreneur should have?
They will be five things I can remember now including;
- The ability to listen to your customers including your team, investors and external customers to understand their unique pain
- Build valuable relationships and nurture them, you may one day need to ask for favors or dig deep into your relationship currency to get going.
- Make many good decisions and make them fast.
- Don’t seat back to enjoy the great stories of yesterday, keep looking forward to achieve the next big achievement.
- Read good books that challenge your sense of reasoning to do more.
How do you recruit employees? Do you fancy a degree or just go for the simply creative lots?
I’m not such a fan of fancy degrees. In some cases, the degrees may first bring you into the door for an interview, but, if we find that you don’t fit our company core values and culture, we would shy away from employing you.
So, in most cases, I bring people in to prove themselves that they can do the job within a short contractual period and afterwards, more is given to them.
How about the very young and budding entrepreneurs, any word for them?
Dream about changing the world but first, craft a dream on paper and work on it daily. Too many people will end up in the latter stages of their lives regretting not taking a chance on themselves. As a young lady or man, you have the opportunity to create your own dent in this world with your dream. Don’t let anyone hold you back until you have tried it out. You don’t have to quit your job before you try out your dream, you just don’t need to waste your evenings when you should be trying out your dream.
Stay positive, dream big, start small and stay on it. One day, it will all add up for you and you’ll be a better person that you tried.
Finally, read good books and keep good friends that motivate you positively!