If 2017 is giving you lemons so far, you know how the saying goes, make lemonade! Seun Abolaji did this when life as a pharmacist got a little sour and boy did it make him a lot of money. Our entrepreneur in focus for this week is this sharp entrepreneur who was able to squeeze millions out of $10. Over three years later, the company has lemonade in over 13 states in Nigeria as well as a multi-million naira turnover. Allow us to toot his horn a little bit more and mention that they have their own factory with over 30 workers, which means this product is fully Nigerian.
If you’re wondering how this idea came about, Abolaji was coerced into studying pharmaceutics as many children from afro-Caribbean homes often are and realized after acquiring a degree and doing a work placement in Nigeria, it wasn’t a career he wanted to be stuck in. one other thing he did realize when going to Nigeria to do his internship was that it was somewhere he could live. A family business that purposed to produce and sell ekuru, a local produce made from palm kernel cake was on the decline, so him and his brother decided they had to come up with a brand new business idea.
Their ability to identify a gap in the Nigerian market for sports drinks moved them to begin selling fresh juices and then lemonade from a kiosk at Covenant University. They found lemonade had the higher demand, so focused on that, eventually decided to throw it into a bottle, and the rest is history.
A few reminders of truths we know that can help us on our journeys to success that we’ve taken from this Abolaji are;
-Find a gap in the market when looking for business ideas
-Even if you’re unsure of what you want to do, keep busy. Many times you stumble across opportunity
-A closed door is an opportunity to find another open one
I personally LOVE the pink lemonade made from hibiscus, and am enthused to have a natural made in Nigeria juice drink alternative on supermarket shelves. For those looking for some Monday motivation and a potential business industry to delve into, the beverage sector is looking quite lucrative from where Wilson’s stand.