Connect with us

Media

My Daughter Changed my Accountancy Dream to Make me a Food Processor - Erasung Hadijah

This is the story of a young lady who diverted her dreams of becoming an accountant to a food processor...

Published

on

My Daughter Changed my Accountancy Dream to Make me a Food Processor - Erasung Hadijah
Page Views: 1031

This is the story of a young lady who diverted her dreams of becoming an accountant to a food processor after she gave birth to her daughter. Find out how.

Background

Erasung Hadijah, the CEO of Isshdad Plus Enterprise, producers of Myda Foods-a local porridge made with rice, soya, and moringa leaves, was born in Wa on March 5, 1990. She is the first of seven children. She had her basic education at St. Andrews Catholic School. She then continued at the Wa Senior High School and went on to the University of Professional Studies, Accra(UPSA).

Hadijah, from her childhood, had a passion for selling. So even in primary school, she used to sell mangos, and toffees to her friends in class. But along the line, as she grew up, Hadijah developed interest in becoming an accountant and so she took a course in accounting at UPSA where she graduated with a degree in Financial Accounting in 2014.

But before she had the degree, she took a two-year course in Diploma in Business. Just after completing her diploma, she got married. she explains why.

“I wanted to remain focused in life and I felt getting married will help me overcome so many pressures”. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl later. That was when her entrepreneurial adventure began.

“My baby made me an entrepreneur”

It is interesting how Hadijah became an entrepreneur. After she had breast-fed her baby for three months, she observed something unusual in her baby.

“After three months of breast feeding, I observed that my baby was constantly reducing in weight. She was not eating anything. I tried all the baby formulas available in the market but I wasn’t seeing any positive results”.

Naturally, this situation will cause every mother to worry, even the experienced ones. So Hadijah decided to try her hands on something new to save her baby.

“I decided to do my own baby formula. So I researched on the ingredients I had in mind to know whether it will be healthy for my baby to eat. Then I did a mix of brown rice, carrots, and sometimes I added eggs. After giving her that formula for some time I saw some improvement in her weight. Then I was motivated to continue with the formula. So when she turned one year, I was impressed with what I saw. She had become ‘obolo.’”

Hadijah then saw a business opportunity in there. She reasoned: “If this has helped my child, then I am sure there are other mothers out there who are facing the same problem. So I decided to take it up.”

And take it up she did. She launched her product in 2014 at the UPSA auditorium.

She has subsequently added two products. The first product, Morin cart, is a mixture of rice, carrot and a little bit of moringa. The other brand, B-soya, is also made with brown rice, soya bean, and a bit of spices. The last one, which is the Super mix, is a mixture of the brown rice, soya, carrot and moringa.

How she markets her products

The uniqueness of Hadijah’s product mix makes people who see it for the first time wonder if it will taste good.

In view of this, she has adopted a strategy to answer all who have such reservations about her product.

“When I go for exhibitions, I prepare a sample of my product and take it along. Then I pour some in cups for customers who want to try my products. After they taste them, they realize how tasty it is and make orders.”

Hadijah’s business is located at Madina, a suburb of Accra, and so she distributes most of her products around community and its environs.

Due to the health benefits of the ingredients, a health facility known as Herbal Technology takes some and recommends it to its diabetic and stroke patients.

Her products can also be found in some shell shops.

She also gives a lot of free samples to people to test. Even though the initial cost of that is high, she argues it reaps benefits as people make orders after trying her product.

But no business goes without some challenges, especially start-ups.

Challenges

The most common challenge which affects all start-ups is the battle with capital. Hadijah had to rely on her mother to lend her some money to start her business when she was convinced she would take it up.

But after her mother’s support, sustaining the business financially has not been easy for her.

Hadijah also wanted her products to look very unique to those available in the market. So she had to devise a plan that will help her achieve that. The only way was to brand it with an attractive package.

“I went into shops to look at the packaging of other local formulas. I didn’t like what I saw and I didn’t want to also follow the footsteps of those products. So I also sampled the packages of the foreign products and felt I should follow in their direction and compete with them.”

She has subsequently rebranded to make it look better.

Another thing that also became a challenge for her initially was to get the right kind of cereal for her product. She could not make out a good cereal from a bad one.

“Dealing with cereal was the biggest challenge I had to overcome. I didn’t know much about it. So when I decided to work with cereal, it became difficult for me to select the best ones. So I always relied on Food Research to help me. So gradually I have been able to surmount it.

How Education has helped her

Many start-up businesses consider going through regulatory requirements an obstacle which is there to impede their progress. Well, however true or exaggerated that may be, Hadijah believes her educational background has helped her to appreciate that following regulatory requirements is to her own advantage.

“My educational background has helped me to understand that you need rules and regulations to work with. Some people think you just produce and push your products onto the market and expect that it should sell.

But what I learned in school is that one way to gain advantage over your competitors is to go through the various regulatory processes so that people can trust your product. So for me I went through all the various regulatory processes before I introduced my product onto the market.”

She believes what is driving her product is quality in terms of both content and packaging. To be sure whether she is using the best of ingredients for her products, she reads about the health benefits of the ingredients and knows which one to select.

Her Vision

Hadijah wants Myda Foods to be a registered brand in every household and also export to the international market.

“I want my product to be in every household in some few years to come. Then I also have the goal of entering the international market. That is even the more reason why I rebranded my product.

How government can support

Hadijah believes a lot of young people have very brilliant ideas which have not been materialized yet because of lack of capital. So she is urging government to step up efforts in providing easily accessible capital for people who are interested in entrepreneurship.

She also advises that while regulatory procedures are important for businesses to meet, it would be helpful if those processes are made easy for businesses to follow.

Hadijah also acknowledges the support of her husband for his administrative role and his encouragement that spurs her on.

 

Credit: thebftonline 

Advertisement
 

Trending