Victoria Mamza is the young woman tearing up the Lagos hemisphere with her packaged African food brand, Wangarau Foods. The Lagos State University Marketing grad, who can be reached on Instagram and Twitter, loves to experiment with cooking.
Having experimented with different business models, Wangarau Foods has evolved into offering to cook to the specification of customers, as well as branding and packaging food items for events.
Mercedes Alfa caught up with Victoria, who reminds us aspiring Motherland Moguls how pertinent the ability to identify and exploit a business need is to launch oneself into the market space.
What prompted the startup of Wangarau Foods?
The inspiration to begin Wangarau Foods came from a neighbour who is a banker. As you know, Nigerian bankers often have crazy schedules and she could hardly find the time to go to the market to shop for food items.
I overheard her conversation from my kitchen window about how stressful it was to go to the market after office hours. Right there, it dawned on me that there could be a market for many people like her who as a result of their busy schedules, do not have the time to purchase local items.
I, therefore, saw a service I could render, one where hygienic, quality and affordable food items could be delivered to their doorsteps.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face running a business in Nigeria?
As an entrepreneur in the agro-allied sector, the major challenge is power. If the regularization of power supply can be effected, most of the problems faced by food manufacturers and packagers would be reduced to a minimum.
Another challenge is the limitation of funds to set up Wangarau Foods to my ideal vision.
Do you run your business using a business model that just works or adapt to different ones at different times?
Initially when I started Wangarau Foods, I had just one business model in mind, which was to reduce the lead time in the preparation of food by saving customers the stress of going to the market.
Over the last few months, I have had to adopt a few other business models to generate revenue for the company. Currently, I offer to cook to the specification of customers, and also to brand and package food items for events.
For a lot of entrepreneurs, certain people have helped groom their businesses in different capacities. Who has had the most significant impact on your business and why?
My good friend who happens to be the angel investor in my business has played an invaluable role in the rise of Wangarau Foods.
He is a mentor who has not only encouraged me but taught me to be confident in my abilities.
Do you have a philosophy you live by and apply to your business?
Yes, I do. My philosophy is; “Be passionate about everything you do. Passion gives you a reason to get up in the morning and the energy to burn all the way till midnight”.
I know this may sound so cliché but I have found that if you follow your passion and dare to dream, work doesn’t really seem like work. It will not be your job but your happy place.
I would also say find the courage to follow your heart and intuition. These have so far, not led me astray.
What is the next move for Wangarau foods?
Setting up the Wangarau factory is definitely the next major step for us.
Which Wangarau food items would go into a yummy concoction rice recipe?
My go-to ingredients for concoction rice are Wangarau Foods rice, Wangarau Foods palm oil, Wangarau Foods crayfish, Wangarau Foods dried prawns, Wangarau Foods dried fish and Wangarau Foods cameroon pepper.
Tell us what amazing entrepreneurial things women are doing in your communities here