Kindly tell us briefly about yourself
My name is Ramatu Oyibo. I am the founder of NADIM foods and spices. I am from Katsina state but grew up in Kaduna but now live in Lagos. I have lived in Lagos for the past 15 years. I am married with 3 children. I studied Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello university Zaria.
What inspired you to start spice business?
I have always been a business person right from when I was little. Myself and my younger ones always practiced buying and selling at home.
I moved to Lagos and craved most of my Northern meals but couldn’t get them here especially the pure natural ones that’s not mixed. It was hard to get here in LAGOS.
I am talking about spices and the Fonio Acha.
Growing up, the kitchen has always been a central focus in our home. We gather there with my siblings to help out in the kitchen. It has always been a rule in our house that even though we had people who helped us at home, when it comes to making meals, we all participated. My own specialty has always been flavour enhancement. When it comes to spices, I always had a knack for knowing which spice goes well with what soup and how much of it is needed. Another thing I picked up is knowing where to source the most natural and pure ingredient to prepare the spices from. So naturally I decided to put those qualities into good use by starting a business.
What is the unique selling point of this brand?
They are naturally sourced locally from the best quality organic ingredients. 100% natural and from the Northern part of Nigeria.
Hygienically cleaned and packed. Eating healthy has become somewhat difficult in Nigeria. My aim to make healthy products available for Nigerians with no fear of it being adulterated.
The response so far from customers
The response has been beyond expectation, it has been Fantastic. Our spices have been well received all over Lagos. We are mainly a wholesale distributor, we supply to various supermarkets and major markets around Lagos we are also in some states like Abuja, Imo, Akure, Bayelsa Etc.
We are a business that always value feedback. Earlier on in the business we listened to a lot of constructive feedback from our customers and implemented their suggestions. We have never looked back. We have been steadily building our business and carrying our old customers along whilst also introducing our product to new customers along the way. We still value feedback from our customers, as business is a journey, and you never stop learning and improving.
Aside work how do you relax yourself?
I relax by hanging out with great like mind friends, I also enjoy watching movies, Nigerian movies are my big favourites. I also take care of myself by getting my hair and nail done. I also enjoy some retail therapy myself and When I shop, I try to patronise Nigerian businesses. There is joy in uplifting each other. (I have been known to go on girls’ trips with my friends a few times)
I work Monday to Friday. On my days off I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. My hobbies include reading business books, watching movies and interacting with friends.
How do you juggle being a mother and an entrepreneur?
Running a business can be all consuming. It is very easy to get caught up in wanting everything to work out well all the time, so it can be difficult to make time for yourself let alone anyone else. I made a commitment to myself earlier on not to leave my family behind in my business journey. And so, I committed to making time for my family. I make myself available for the kids’s school activities, we sit together to get the homework done. We spend time together around the house cooking, watching TV together. Technology has come to stay so we may as well make the most use of it, hence as it’s normal these days we do some Tik Tok videos with the kids as a way of having fun and connecting. We go back to Kaduna with the kids for part of the long vacation holiday and they enjoy this a lot. I am no super woman. My husband helps a lot too. We can afford to pay someone to help me in the house, and I am grateful for that privilege. I do not take it for granted. The quality of time spent together is more important than the quantity of time spent together.
Where do you see the brand in five years from now?
My dream is for my spices to become a household name. Five seem a bit too far, I would prefer that it happens earlier than that, but If it happens in five years I would still be thankful to God.
What keeps you going in this pandemic?
Let me start by expressing my sympathy to the people that were taken away by the pandemic, and also to their loved ones. My prayers is with all of them.
The pandemic period was very challenging for everyone, especially businesses. The battle to remain relevant was real. Thank God for technology. We were able to keep our supply chain open by communicating through all the avenues available during the pandemic. The use of WhatApp, Zoom, Google meet to conduct business was especially very beneficial to us, we were able to remain in contact with our distributors.
As a new brand, how have you been able to penetrate into this competitive market?
We were consistent and we also made sure we were at a level where we can compete in terms of capacity and packaging. Accepting a new product can be difficult but with consistency and hard work and most of all God, we have been able accomplish a lot so far.
We can’t complain.
What makes your brand stand out from other brands?
It is unique and natural.
Different from all they can find around them in terms of great taste and aroma.
Your favourite business quotes?
In business, No is not an answer. It just means keep trying until you get a Yes.
Nothing is impossible as long as people are doing it.
You can achieve anything as long as you have a vision
consistency and hard work equal growth and satisfaction.