The power of networking can’t be over emphasized. Our entrepreneur, Henry Makumbi, from Uganda has been in touch with other Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs. He shares more information on his successful partnership with another Tony Elumelu entrepreneur after the TEF Forum.
TEF: Tell us how your business, Tsikenu Rabboni Ltd. has been since the TEF Forum?
Henry Makumbi: My business has leap-frogged. The business training and MENTORSHIP was timely and inspirational. We operationalized the Agribusiness stream having initially started out only providing transport services. We used the seed capital from the Tony Elumelu Foundation to buy the initial grain (maize) that we exported to Rwanda. Agribusiness has brought in more LPO’s than we are currently able to supply. It shows that the opportunities in Africa’s food and agribusiness space remain huge and will not go out of fashion anytime soon. With over one billion people to feed, Africa’s food and agribusiness market is a multi-billion dollar opportunity for entrepreneurs who know where to look.
TEF: Have you partnered with any other Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur?
HM: Yes, I have! James Ododo from Kenya. He is my good friend from Kenya. We met after the TEF Forum. First through email on the Programme’s portal and then he made the trip to visit my business and home. You must know your partner. It’s necessary so as to build trust.
TEF: How has your partnership with James worked so far?
HM: We are both passionate about facilitating trade and export within the East African region as the most viable strategy for economic and social development. James specializes in Oil seeds and I specialize in grains. My country Uganda is a net exporter of both in the region. He Leverages my simple network here with farmers, aggregators and also my staff to carry out some tasks for him especially sourcing price competitive supplies.
Whenever he is in Uganda doing business, he always enjoys free accommodation in my visitors’ apartment, a car and driver. We have become family friends thanks to the Foundation. I plan to coordinate a major supply contract for him to supply wheat from Kenya for a large scale processor here. As entrepreneurs, we are all looking for the same things, opportunities to create value and impact our world positively therefore it’s good to help where you can. After all, we have been mentored by one of the most generous, Mr. Tony Elumelu.