My name is Ashimole Godson Okey. I am 34 years old, from Imo state, Nigeria. I am a visionary, dynamic young Nigerian entrepreneur with a strong drive, passion and commitment to translate my business ideas into profitable sustainable ventures.
I’m very confident, exceptional at multi-tasking with great organizational skills. My entrepreneurial journey has sharpened my interpersonal skills, showing me the importance of confidentiality, discretion, tact, diplomacy and being a team player.
FATE Foundation – Aspiring Entrepreneurs Programme (AEP)
National Open University Entrepreneurial & Business Management.
The entrepreneur in me is born out of passion to fill a need, creativity and inherent managerial skills. Being unemployed amidst many untapped potentials awakened the spirit and quest to create value by filling needs and impacting lives.
Leadership Skills and Experience
I started a business in chicken processing about 6 years ago. I was doing well when suddenly everything went wrong. I decided to retrace my steps and realised that the failure was as a result of my own mistakes and oversight.
My biggest mistake was making my projections on unrealistic assumptions and not learning the ropes before getting involved, and secondly, inadequate understanding of finical management. I lost everything and I have learned a lot to make me a better business man.
It is said that experience is the best teacher but I would rather people learnt from other people’s experiences. People ask me why I am still going in to agriculture. My answer is, I do not accept failure. “In that failure lies my success lesson”
I possess a proven ability to build, supervise and manage a team through major projects and assigned tasks while keeping them motivated and focused. My experience in a managerial capacity with two chicken processing companies (Ice-Farm-Solutions and Pedro-Farms-Nig-Ltd) with a combined staff strength of over 25 workers over a span of about 4 years equipped me with requisite understanding of how to run and manage an agro-processing supply chain.
My experience ranges from farm, processing, packaging, refrigeration, storage, logistics and marketing. I have first-hand experience of the challenges and pitfalls that come with the day-to-day running of chicken processing business, which has fully armed me to handle most possible start-up challenges.
I invented and fabricated the gasoline-powered chicken plucking machine (EG-1000, 5000 and 3000 Series) which is designed to adapt to the unique power situation in Africa. The machine can process 6 – 10 pieces of 1.5 kg chickens in less than 90 seconds. I also introduced a marketing platform created to support chicken sellers, small farmers and individuals by providing an accessible processing kiosk.
The Product: The chicken/poultry feather plucking machine (EG-Plucker) is designed for small and medium scale commercial poultry processing with a unique gasoline/petrol engine power option to meet Africa’s peculiar power challenge.
It has two built-in wheels for movement. The EG-Plucker has different models (EG-1000, EG-3000, EG-5000) that are designed to satisfy different market segments of our target market.
The EG-plucker separates plucked feathers from the chicken through its feather discharge. Whole EG-Plucker barrels are made of recycled rubber barrel and metal which has reduced our production cost by 5%.
Our Services: As part of our marketing strategy we are setting up a mini-processing kiosk (booth/tent) at marketplaces where chicken sellers and individuals can pay a token to have their products processed by our trained agents in a faster, hygienic and professional way. In this way we will render on-the-spot-fresh poultry processing services to their customers.
All of our machines are locally manufactured and have a processing capacity of 5-12 chickens (1.8 kg each) in less than 1 min, faster than any known feather plucking machine/method of its category. Training, maintenance, and after-sales services and feedback will keep our costumers satisfied.
This kiosk programme is focused on creating employment for the disabled, deaf and dumb within the market locality by making them operators of the processing booth/zone project.
The Problem Solved
My chicken-plucking machine offers an affordable, automated solution to the age-long manual, unhygienic practice of hand-picking the feathers off large volumes of dead, scalded-and-steaming, wet-foul-smelling chicken or poultry products.
Our processing kiosk is designed meet international hygienic standards and is equipped with portable water supply for cleaning, hand gloves, blood drainage cones and hangers and feather collection bags.
With our solution, subsistence and small-scale farmers will no longer stop at raising poultry products but complete the production cycle by processing and packaging their products with ease. We offer on-the-spot commercial processing and packaging of live poultry products devoid of preservatives to consumers.
Poultry products are Nigeria’s second largest source of animal protein (excluding fish), with daily consumption of locally bred poultry products at over 3000 t per day and $1.8 billion annually in revenue (National Poultry Farmers Association). About 40% of these are processed manually with hand-picking of feathers. This inconvenient, time-consuming and unhygienic practice creates for us huge, sustainable market potential
The market segmentation is divided into the leading target markets. This division reflects the differences in marketing strategy and revenue models that will be used.
Revenue Model: Direct sales, Contract/High purchase, maintenance, repairs and spare parts, setting up mini processing centres within existing markets, leasing/renting of machine.
We will use different forms of distributive channels, first by establishing product awareness and partnering with associations and stakeholders in the poultry/chicken processing industry. We will also commission distributors and middle men and partner with logistics companies for delivery. We will also explore online platforms for sales and publicity.
Competitors and Differentiator
Being the inventors and manufacturers of the product gives us an edge, allowing us to set the pace while running the race as we have no direct rival brand at the moment. Our perceived competitors are: 1) Pirates, 2) Imported processed poultry products and machines, and 3) People who hand-pick the feathers.
Every other existing chicken processing plant and machine is designed for industrial capacity (of between 500-1000 birds per section) and requires much manpower and electrical energy to power. Our unique product focuses on small-scale production with an alternative power supply, and less resources (only one person required) to run the entire process.
Our first milestone is to set up mini-processing booths in over 10 open markets within Lagos State, which consumes over 20% of the national volume of poultry product, while selling to other users including hotels and restaurants in our first 6 months of production and operation.
Our next milestone is conquering the Nigerian and West African market. To do this we must improving on quality and packaging to meet export standard, introduce other agro-processing equipment to the chain of products, establish a research and training centre on poultry processing, and becoming Africa’s leading brand in agro-processing solutions by 2020.
The funds will be used for fabrication and renting of kiosk space, fabrication and deployment of EG1000 plucking machines, and logistics.
Rent = $150 per yr. x 10 units = $1500
Kiosk fabrication = $75 per unit x 10 units = $750
Hand gloves, feather bags, slaughtering cone, water cans = $25 x 10 units = $250
Manufacturing and deployment of EG1000 plucking machines = $200/unit x 10 units = $2000
Logistics = $500
Note: we will split the 10 units into two batches of 5 units each to accommodate the funding system disbursements.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Godson Okey (Nigeria) – godsonokey[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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