Episode 5 already & we're talking about the all famous African 'garri'.
First seeing a"WLS" series? No worries, get caught up by clicking the news tab on this website &/or view this Instagram post!
In west Africa, garri is just like water - its a must-have in the home, so you see why a chat with Gina just had to happen;
TSWi: Tell us about you & your business.
Gina: My Name is Regina Baridoo Ekiyor, I am the CEO of Nuazor Baridoo Global Resources and managing director of The Nuazor Ogoni Garri Product/Food brand, I am Rivers State/Ogoni by birth; the Ogoni people are mostly farmers, so most of my childhood and teenage years were formed around Farming. I am an Entrepreneur, a Lecturer in Management and Business, a Pastor, and a mother.
TSWi: Did you know anything about garri processing before diving into the business or this is a hobby turned business?
Gina: I learnt and loved cassava production and processing at an early age. I understood and could identify the various species of cassava and how they would turn out when processed, including the species suitable for tapioca as well as cassava waste management processes.
TSWi: Do you have a farm?
Gina: Yes, it's located right here in Rivers State as well.
TSWi: How many types of garri do you make and what are they suitable for?
Gina: Presently, we make just one type of the garri that comes in two variance, the white and yellow garri.
TSWi: Why do you think cassava-garri is such an important meal in Nigeria?
Gina: it is low in calories and has high fiber that helps you stay full for a longer period and it is affordable for every class strata.
"...looking back to when I started, here are the things I'd do differently: 1. Understand the market properly, 2. Understand product pricing, 3. Understand how to avoid losses and wastage...."
Gurl!!! If this ain't solid wisdom right there, we dunno what is! Got us all:
TSWi: How do you process your garri? Do you do mechanical or manual frying?
Gina: For now our processes are manual.
TSWi: That's very personal touch. How do you choose your staff & how does the structure help the business?
Gina: I choose my staff by their qualifications and experiences in the production of garri business.
TSWi: How wide-spread is your client base?
Gina: We have our products in the Market Square supermarkets in Rivers State, and Yenagoa. We also have distributors and wholesalers within Nigeria and in the UK.
TSWi: Do you have any mentors?
Gina: Yes, I have a handful, but when it comes to garri production, my mentors are my parents.
TSWi: Garri is pretty specific, how do you develop concepts to make your business future-forward?
Gina: We have a 5-year plan. So far, we have monitored our sales and financial growth for the past 3 years and we can say, we have achieved tremendous growth; Clientele base is largely increasing as we're now present in various spheres, markets, superstores etc. This 5-year plan ends at ensuring that our processing of cassava is fully automated to meet up our rapidly rising customer demands.
TSWi: Looking back to when you started, what would you do differently today?
Gina: Things I'd do differently: 1. Understand the market properly, 2. Understand product pricing, 3. Understand how to avoid losses and wastage.
TSWi: What is your impression of TSWi?
Gina: Hmmm, TSWi. The initiative has been consistent in helping women in business and in career which is quite impressive. I love to see women helping women to be better for the society.
TSWi: We've been focused on the business side of things, so we'd like to know what do you do for fun?
Gina: I sing, read, travel, watch cartoons and swim.
TSWi: How would you describe a typical week in the life of Gina?
Gina: Busy, creative and rewarding.
TSWi: If there was one meal you could eat at a place of choice, what meal would that be and where would be that place of choice?
Gina: Garri and fisherman soup at Jevinik.
TSWi: Of course, lol, what is your best fashion piece?
Gina: I love shoes. Stilettos!
TSWi: What success tips would you give aspiring SME owners in Africa?
Gina: Be consistent in whatever you set out to do, be prepared for anything, have an organized structure, keep records of everything, especially financial details and be focused.
Regina Baridoo Ekiyor is the CEO of Nuazor Baridoo Global Resources and managing director of The Nuazor Ogoni Garri Product/Food brand which is fully registered and certified by applicable bodies in Nigeria. She is from the Ogoni tribe in Rivers State, Nigeria so most of her childhood and teenage years were formed around farming.
She is an Entrepreneur, a Lecturer in Management and Business, a Pastor, a singer and a mother.
Regina is married to her amazing husband Rev. Tari H. Ekiyor and they are blessed with four kids.
Are you a female business owner/manager?....Maybe not, do you know one? Don't you think they deserve this kind of attention? It's real easy to get them on our list, comment on this post or reach out to us via email or social media & boom-chaka-laka! We'd reach out to them and schedule the chat.