Kolawole Onabanjo, is 30, is the Chief Executive Officer of Kollymo Farm Limited. In this interview with FEYISAYO POPOOLA, he talks about how his dissatisfaction with his monthly salary pushed him into starting a business
What services does your farm offer to the public?
We focus mainly on poultry farming. We grow broilers, cockerels, snails and others. We also sell eggs, live and dressed chickens to customers.
Did you study agriculture or any related course?
No. I studied Political Science at the University of Ibadan. Before then, I studied Insurance at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo. I have no background in agriculture or poultry farming.
How and when did you learn about poultry farming?
I learnt a bit about poultry farming at the Daystar Business Academy. I was enlightened as it gave me a platform to build on. When I was younger, I had a huge interest in animal husbandry because that was what my father did for a living.
Do you have any work experience?
Yes. I worked at Shepherd Insurance Brokers, Ebute Meta, Lagos, during my industrial attachment after my National Diploma programme. Thereafter, I joined Cornerstone Insurance, where I worked for about six years before I decided to start my business.
How long have you been in business?
Not too long. I started my business in 2016. This is my second year in business.
What motivated you to start your own business?
The major reason was my pay at work. My salary was not encouraging at all. I also passed through enormous stress, waking up as early as 4 am but not getting to work until around 8:15 am. I used to get home very late too. I was robbed on two occasions. So, everything just made me realise it was time to start my business.
How much was your initial capital and how did you raise it?
I started with about N50, 000 which I raised from family and friends.
What are the major challenges you have faced in business?
The major challenge is that the business is capital intensive. It requires a lot of money and because I am into the business fully, it makes it harder as I have to plough my profit back into the business.
How do you get customers?
My most loyal customers are members of my family. I get customers through them and also through advertisements.
How do you advertise the business?
I advertise through the social media using platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
Has there ever been any time you thought of quitting and getting back to paid employment?
I made a determination after I quit my job that I would never go back to paid employment. It has not been easy, but I keep encouraging myself that I can do it and that there is no going back.
Is your business registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission?
Yes, it is.
How profitable is the business?
Poultry farming is profitable but it is also capital intensive.
What other skills do you possess?
I love sports.
Where do you see yourself and your business in the next five years?
With God on my side, I see the business growing beyond where it is now.
Do you have any employees?
For now, no; but I have the support of my sister. She helps me in running the business.
What would you say is the most influential factor in your business’ success?
The most influential factor in the success of my business is the passion I have for what I am doing. I believe the sky is just the beginning for me.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out; what would it be?
Do not follow the trend of what people are doing. Follow your passion because passion is the key to the survival of any business.
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