A young woman’s trouble in finding a safe and reliable caregiver for her bedridden granny, made her think of filling that void for others. As a #MotherlandMogul who believes in improving the African economy by identifying and solving problems, Chika Madubuko is using technology to support Nigerians, one elderly and disabled person at a time.
Making life easier in Africa is one of the causes Chika is passionate about, she has businesses in the agricultural and health sector including her caregiving online platform Greymate Care. Greymate Care offers a safe and secure platform for people to look for a caregiver for their elderly family. With experience in multinationals such as Amazon Inc. and Guinness, Chika is gradually turning Greymate Care into an empire and improving the lives of the vulnerable people.
In this interview, Chika talks about the selflessness and business acumen of African women when it comes to unconventional business ideas.
What is the story behind the birth of Greymate Care?
Greymate Care was created so Nigerians never have to experience the same hassle we did when my granny became bedridden due to diabetes. We were all busy and couldn’t provide her with the care she deserved. Hiring a caregiver for her was so complicated. Sometimes miles were travelled in futility to interview one caregiver, and we often ended up with a poorly trained caregiver. Not to forget the security issues that had to do with having a total stranger in the home. I asked around and discovered it was not peculiar to our family. The busy professionals complained too.
Greymate Care addresses the problem and is an online platform that connects the vulnerable to a competent, insured, and professional caregiver. Our caregivers are background checked thus taking the stress of care off busy professionals. The icing on the cake is that you can get even a doctor or a nurse from the platform. Even in the event there’s a strike, doctors never have to worry as there is a source of income for them.
The African market is a very unique one and a foreign business idea would fail if necessary tweaks are not carried out Click To Tweet
What skills have come to play for you in the course of running your business?
My meticulous nature and business acumen have been pivotal to the success of Greymate Care. I was able to identify winning business routes and steered Greymate Care in that direction.
The business also requires a lot of personalised activities per service user; I could spot each peculiarity by paying attention to detail.
Did you experience hiccups in localizing this western business concept into the African market? And how did you scale through?
The African market is a very unique one and a foreign business idea would fail if necessary tweaks are not carried out. One marketing or recruitment error can grind the business to a total halt. For Greymate Care, it was hard initially to convince everyone on the value chain, from the investors to the consumers.
The consumers were worried about safety due to concerns about crime rate and the investors, viability. We subscribed to premium insurance and background checks from experts and with that, we were able to convince the prospects on security. They were converted to paying clients, and when the numbers increased, the investors became convinced on viability.
What business support(s) have helped you so far in the course of running your business?
Mentorship from successful entrepreneurs has helped a lot. Attending relevant networking events has also proven useful in the growth of Greymate Care.Build an excellent product and watch it sell itself - Chika Madubuko Click To Tweet
How do you sell your business to your clients and make them trust you?
First is developing a good product that speaks for itself, our methods are different. For example, instead of manually lifting a service user, we insisted on hoists. We then sell our uniqueness and reviews from existing customers through social media, press releases, and offline marketing.
Our best bet is influencer marketing where we partner with key individuals/firms and gain referrals from them. Gaining their support is easy as our services are unique and of world standard. Our mantra remains ‘build an excellent product and watch it sell itself’.
What four words resonates with your business
Priority, Attention, Technology, Compassionate.With the right business strategies, your market share will be significant - Chika Madubuko Click To Tweet
As a young entrepreneur, what are your expectations in the business world?
I am mentally prepared for the daunting process called entrepreneurship. I hope to achieve my milestones, such as gaining 30,000 service users by 2018, and raising enough funds to expand to other African countries like Kenya and Ghana.
Does monopoly from a starting a new business concept play any role for start-ups?
Running a monopolistic business can be likened to a life-size oxymoron.
With the right business strategies, your market share will be significant but your marketing budget has to be really high since you’re first on the scene.
If not Greymate Care, what other name would you go for?
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