George Omedo from Kavi Foods was the winner of a consulting session following the recent 2SCALE bootcamp, on Building your Inclusive Agribusiness. We caught up with the Kavi Foods team to learn about how they are leveraging the gathered knowledge into their current business.
Please briefly describe what you do and who are your main target groups?
Kavi Foods evolved from a previous business venture in which we processed milk to make fermented products (e.g. yogurt). Via that initial venture we learned that value addition through the processing of milk near the area of production – what we thought would be our USP – was not enough to be competitive to sustain the business. From there we started looking into market dynamics and decided to focus on existing value chains for fresh produce.
In mid-2016 we created Kavi Foods with the goal to focus on bottlenecks in fresh produce value chains. We started by observing the market and noticed that there are several middlemen in the value chain, each imposing a markup at every stage of handling. That gave us the idea of reducing costs by adopting economies of scale via a wholesale food hub – we are currently at the pilot stage of testing a produce aggregation and distribution model.
Why did you take part in the bootcamp and what aspect did you enjoy the most?
We participated in the bootcamp to support and inspire us as we are exploring options for our concept. We really enjoyed the practical examples of what had been done in different regions of Africa – these gave us motivation for own work. The online aspect of the bootcamp enabled easy time management. The bootcamp also pushed one to think critically on how to work with BoP and initiate solutions for them.
What aspects could be improved?
Since this is an online course, it would be good to also include a face to face meeting, with for example participants of Nairobi meeting for a one-day workshop. That would also create more peer-to-peer interactions among participants and thereby extract even more value. We would also like to see more content on how to foster talent management and on how to navigate the investment landscape.
Are you already implementing some of the learnings of the bootcamp in your current strategy?
Yes, we are already incorporating some learnings from the bootcamp into our own strategy. After our first consultation with Niek van Dijk, we are now narrowing on our target group to start the trial with. We are developing a strategy to test whether can we generate interest and repeat sales within this group.
You won a consulting session with Niek van Dijk by 2SCALE at the end of the bootcamp. What did you cover? Was it helpful?
In our conversation we discussed the current state of our business, difficulties we have met and how did those affect our business and determination to pivot to start afresh. We talked about how to market our new business strategy and explored what is the current business situation in Kisumu, where we are planning to implement our business. Based on this information Niek shared his insights on how to run successful trials and sent us some content on marketing strategies used in other programs. We will have another interview to discuss progress.
This consulting session was very helpful and I would recommend such interviews for other entrepreneurs – an external perspective provides valuable guidance and revealed new insights. All entrepreneurs (seasoned or new) should have a mentor or business advisor to support with a critical eye.
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