In Food-Entrepreneurs

Acha can be processed into varieties of nutritious foods-Dr. Obodozie Chime, C.E.O Chime Foods

Dr.Obodozie Chime-Acha

Dr. Obodozie Chime is a Medical Doctor and an Entrepreneur in food processing and packaging. He is the C.E.O of Chime foods. He is happily married with 2 children. Dr. Obodozie loves reading, listening to music and engaging in innovative thinking and ventures.

Chime Foods is a food processing and packaging company that produces the following products:

Sterling Acha- Indigenous  nutritious grain good for diabetics and as a breakfast cereal

Sterling Acha Flour – For making pastries and confectionaries

Sterling Nutripap- A nutritional pap containing soybeans, guinea corn, and tiger nuts

Sterling Nutri-Mix- A nutritional beverage containing soybeans, dates, sweet potatoes and tiger-nuts

These products are distributed in Bauchi states and across other states (Abuja, Plateau, Kano, Lagos, Maiduguri, Adamawa, Taraba, Niger) in Nigeria.

Acha

Meet Dr. Obodozie Chime as he takes us on his entrepreneurial journey.

Briefly describe your entrepreneur journey so far. How you started, and how you grew your business to what it is now.

The vision started in a one-room apartment,  where I  personally packaged already processed sand-free acha to the local market in Bauchi state. We later relocated to a 4 bedroom apartment where we got our NAFDAC accreditation to our present facility at the technology incubation center

Initial I funded the business from my personal savings and proceeds from my salary. Through commitment and hard work backed by God’s grace, we moved from a business I ran personally to having 13 staff currently. At chime foods, we have the vision to package natural and nutritious food products for the Nigerian and International markets through innovation and partnership

What inspired you into food processing?

The business idea came up due to a need I discovered as a medical doctor that patients with ailments ( Diabetics, hypertensives e.t.c) did better when they ate nutritious foods. I realized preventive medicine is better than curative medicine. No matter the drugs you give to diabetic patients, if they do not adhere to proper dieting, they are not likely to do well healthwise.

I tasted Acha(Fonio) while growing up in the North and I liked it. I discovered it is highly nutritious, gluten-free with essential amino acids important for the growth of children. Acha can be made into varieties like acha pudding, acha Jollof, acha porridge, acha swallow and confectionaries. Later realizing it could be an answer to innovative food options for diabetics and healthier food options. This made me resolved to introduce this grain to Nigerians. That brought about the birth of CHIME FOODS

What are the major challenges you face and how did you overcome them?

1. Funding –  We sourced for low-interest, long term loans and engaged in competitions that got us a Government grant. Currently, we are still sourcing for funds to expand our business operations and to offer more innovative products

2. Committed workforce- We sourced for committed workers through trustworthy referees and offering incentives.

3.  Unstable market forces and difficulty in market penetrance- We worked with distributors with established distribution chain. I made sure we acquired our NAFDAC accreditation and remained committed to our vision despite ups and downs.

What advice do you have for people interested in starting a business? From your experience what should they do to establish a successful business?  

1. Do a proper feasibility study, make sure there is a need you are meeting

2. Get necessary training through mentorship before starting, and keep in contact with mentors even while in business.

3. Start now, don’t wait for perfect conditions.

4. Start small and grow over time.

5. Be ready to live within your means while building your business.

6. Read books and develop yourself.

7. Persist, persevere, and seek innovative ways to solve daily problems.

Remember tough times do not last, tough people, do.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 to 10 years?

I see Chime food’s as a leading brand in food processing in Nigeria. In the next 5 years, our various innovative food brands will be found in every Nigerian home. We will also be a major exporter of indigenous food products.

What advice do you have for young people interested in food processing?

1. Start small

2. Initially, you can outsource some parts of your processing until you acquire machines

3. Be ready to invest and pursue funding – manufacturing business needs a lot of capital to run efficiently over time

4. Get NAFDAC and SON registration for your Products

5. Seek professional advice on marketing, human resource management, financial management, etc  as your business grows

6. Persist, persevere, and seek innovative ways to solve daily problems.

How can Nigeria harness her full potential in regards to Agro-processing? 

By Investing to support SME’s through training and fundings especially easily accessible low interest, long term loans.

CHIME FOODS is located at The technology incubation center near kasuwan waya Bauchi, Bauchi State.

Visit Chimefoods.com for further information

Email: Chimefoods@gmail.com

Facebook page –@ Sterling Acha

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Shola Oladejo

She is the editor in chief of foodpreneurshub with vast experience with food manufacturing and processing industry.

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