Wambu Muigai is the co-founder and Managing Director of Andaa Capital, a management consulting company based in Nairobi, Kenya with specialty in Management Consulting, Corporate Finance, Market Entry, Business Development, etc. with over 11 years of experience spanning business advisory, investment banking(M&A and equity capital markets across various industries), private equity, consulting and entrepreneurship all within SSA. In this e-Interview with Alaba Ayinuola, he believes that the greatest impact is giving as many people as possible access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities Africa. Excerpts.
Tell us about Andaa Capital and the role you play? Especially it’s mission and vision?
Our vision is to grow African world-class businesses and we aim to achieve this by building the preferred African integrated investment platform. Put simply, we want to be the go-to platform for early stage high growth potential African companies looking to scale, as well as for investors looking to invest in Africa. “Andaa” means “prepare” in Kiswahili and that is exactly what we do with our clients through a blend of management consulting, corporate finance and business development. I am a co-founder and the Managing Director of the business.
What was your startup capital and how were you able to raise it?
My partner and I started with a vision, our experience, our laptops and co-working space and therefore did not need much startup capital. We have bootstrapped the business, ploughing all revenues back into the business while keeping a keen eye on managing costs. We did however spend a relatively significant amount on our branding as a startup, as we wanted to build strong brand equity right from the start.
Why is Andaa Capital different from other management consulting firm in Kenya?
We did not necessarily set out to be different from other players, we set out to be true to ourselves and authentic in our approach to clients. For us that means truly listening to and respecting our clients, building long-term mutually beneficial relationships that are well aligned and having the integrity to admit when we are not best placed to address the immediate challenges our clients face. In other words, our culture places great emphasis on the “softer” aspects as we believe the more technical aspects are commodity-like and therefore easier to replicate.
What are the challenges and how are you overcoming them?
Perhaps our biggest challenge is our target market’s ability to pay, despite being willing to after seeing the value in the services we offer. We know that identifying and establishing relationships early with tomorrow’s winning companies will pay off, however we need to remain viable in the interim to get there. We are dealing with this challenge by seeking out very strategic collaboration opportunities within the ecosystem that allow us to stay true to our vision and strategy, as well as keep the lights on long enough to enjoy the upside.
What advice would you give potential entrepreneurs who intend to start a business or invest in Africa.
Think long and hard about what level of sacrifice you are willing to make for the business you want to start before taking the plunge. It is a tough environment with a number of systemic challenges and things tend to take longer to pan out than expected. However there is massive untapped potential and those with the agility, creativity and persistence to navigate the challenges stand to reap great upside.
Where do you see your business in 5 years and what steps are you taking in achieving them?
As mentioned we want to be the go-to platform for early stage high growth potential African companies looking to scale, as well as for investors looking to invest in Africa. We believe that having a collaborative approach is key to achieving this and we are therefore establishing strategic relationships and partnerships with various players within the ecosystem. We are also working very hard to really understand the needs of our clients and seeking out innovative ways to address their challenges on the path to scaling up. Our culture is very important and we are focusing on institutionalising it as much as we can in order to attract great talent with the right fit that will achieve great things.
How is your business contributing to the development of Africa?
We believe that the greatest impact is giving as many people as possible access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. The more companies we manage to scale up, the more opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship along the respective company value chains. This then has the knock-on effect of stimulating demand for other goods and services.
What inspires you and keeps you going?
My strong desire to build a business that outlives me and continuously reminding myself that this entails the mindset of a marathon and not a sprint keeps me going. Meeting and interacting with people from different backgrounds, with diverse perspectives, working in different sectors and where possible hearing their story really inspires and energises me. Lastly and most importantly, wanting to open up a world of opportunity for my family fuels my ambition.
How do you relax and what books do you read?
I recharge through spending quality time with my family and friends, which also keeps me grounded. I love to listen to a broad range of genres of music and also really enjoy an intense game of squash as often as I can. I especially like books that tell the stories of successful people and speak honestly to the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of their journey. Some great recent reads include Shoe Dog, The Hard Thing About Hard Things and The Power of Broke.
Wambu Muigai Bio:
I co-founded Andaa Capital to pursue my great passion for building realisable value for African businesses, through leveraging experience in looking at companies through the eyes of an external advisor, investor and in-house executive.
I have gained a multi-perspective view through experience spanning investment banking (Renaissance Capital), private equity (Progression Capital Africa), in-house corporate finance (MODE Group) as well as various consultancy roles. My experience spans multiple industries including Banking, Fintech, Agri-business, Telecommunications, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods and Real Estate across various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Wambu holds a BSc. International Securities, Investment and Banking honours degree from the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading.
Kindly Visit: http://andaacapital.com/
Vetwork Inc, MENA’s leading startup for animal care is bringing petcare to your home
Vetwork Inc Founders, Abdelreheem Hussein and Fady Azzouny (Source: Vetwork)
Pets today are considered family members, best friends, confidants, and so much more. Taking care of them requires more than just love and dedication, but also the right knowledge to recognize when something is not right. Vetwork Inc, MENA’s leading startup for animal care industry one country at a time and its mission is to make pets healthier, pet owners happier. In this interview with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online, Fady Azzouny Founder and CEO of Vetwork Inc talked about his entrepreneurship journey, his vision for petcare with Vetwork and the future plan. Excerpts.
Alaba: Why did you start and what’s the passion behind it?
Fady: Petcare should be easy, as it stands its full of inefficiencies for both pet parents and vets. Instead of a crowded clinic with a waiting time of 30-45 minutes, vets come to you at home at the time you choose. Rather than try to muster up a massive amount of money to fund a clinic, vets can practice their services without any initial cost and make extra money to live a better life.
The vision of regulating the petcare industry involves a lot of innovation, our dream is to use the available technologies to make everyone’s lives easier and right now we’re on the right track.
Alaba: What is your background?
Fady: I graduated as a veterinarian, but I consider myself an entrepreneur. I saw some problems in the veterinary market while I was still studying and started a bunch of projects, with a few of them turning into medium sized companies. My initial problem was the absence of technology in my solutions, with Vetwork I think we can really achieve my vision of making petcare easier.
Alaba: What are the problems you are solving and what is your value proposition?
Fady: Its simple, we are solving the problem of finding a good vet by selecting our vets from a pool of more than 1000 annual applications. And the problem of waiting in the clinic through Home visits available 24/7. Also, we are addressing Vets problems of low wages and salaries by offering them easy access to extra income.
Vetwork is reliable, affordable and available petcare.
Alaba: Tell us more about the process, users, business model!
Fady: As we stand the process is the same across Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate (UAE). We onboarded more than 300 vets across these three countries. These vets help us cater to our customer’s needs. A pet parent can log into our website or app and request a service at the time of their choosing. A vet will be assigned and introduced to the client.
The vet will then arrive, conduct the visit and deliver a detailed orientation on the tips and tricks of petcare. Our medical records also allow us to follow-up with our pet parents to make sure that everything is going according to plan and their pet is getting better.
Alaba: What are your main challenge?
Fady: Since we promise to deliver all your pets needs to you, finding the right groomers, trainers, vets and boarding facilities is always a challenge due to our strict onboarding guidelines.
Alaba: What is your achievements and coming plan?
Fady: After launching in three countries our plan is to start expanding further into the MENA region and build our presence in the countries that need us the most. Our tech infrastructure allows us to launch in any country in a matter of days and we plan to take advantage of this to test markets and become your pets partner anywhere in the Middle East.
Alaba: Do you think the ecosystem support you?
Fady: Ideas and mentorship, we’re always happy to learn and listen to other people’s ideas on how we can make petcare an easier process. We try our best to promote pet adoption since a lot of shelters are full of pets that need a home. Access to people with a wider audience can surely help us deliver our message to the people that need us the most.
Zoe Adjonyoh, the Ghanaian Irish Chef, Writer and Activist revolutionizing African Cuisine
Zoe Adjonyoh, Founder at Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen (Source: Zoe Adjonyoh)
Zoe Adjonyoh is on a mission to bring African food to the masses. Born to a Ghanaian father and Irish mother, the writer and chef from South-East London deepened her understanding of West African cuisine after a trip to visit her extended family in Ghana. Described by the Observer as “the standard bearer for West African food” and named by Nigel Slater as ‘one to watch’ bringing immigrant food to Britain. She was named one of “London’s hottest chefs” by Time Out and most recently has been included as one of ‘The 44 Best Female Chefs in the World’ by Hachette Cuisine France. She became a judge at “The Great Taste Awards” in 2016, which is known as the “Oscars” of the food industry, and in 2018, she won the Iconoclast award at The James Beard Foundation.
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen
Zoe began by selling Ghanaian food outside her front door during the 2010 Hackney Wicked Arts Festival to ‘make a bit of pocket money’ after returning from traveling across The United States. After the popularity of the stall she set up selling peanut stew outside her front door, Zoe went on the host many supper clubs in her home consistently selling out.
Zoe has been making waves in the international food scene ever since. Zoe has taken her fresh interpretation of classic Ghanaian flavours to pop-up venues across London, Berlin, Accra, Russia and New York, and is a leader in the new African cuisine revolution. Along with her world-renowned supper clubs, Zoe launched her first fixed restaurant space in 2015, at shipping container community project Pop Brixton.
In 2017, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen became a roving private dining, street food, wedding and events company, which Zoe ran alongside her chef residencies. The brand is a prominent force in the festival community around the UK, including Camp Bestival as part of The Feast Collective, and came runner-up as ‘Best Street Food Trader’ at the UK Festival Awards 2017.
Revolutionizing West African Food
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen was the first modern West African Restaurant in the United Kingdom. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen was the epitome of social, relaxed and affordable dining – where guests gather to enjoy Ghanaian favourites, notable for their heartiness and spice, alongside Zoe’s contemporary West African creations.
In 2014, Zoe began writing her debut cookbook titled ‘Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen’ and was released in 2017 by
Octopus Books. The first modern West African Cookbook to be published in the United Kingdom. Due to its demand the publishers decided to re-release of the cookbook in November 2020 and is the process of working on her second book.
Visit Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen
Coco Olakunle, the Nigerian Dutch photographer passionate about humanity, inclusion and diversity
Coco Olakunle is a Nigerian Dutch photographer with a background in Human Geography based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her cultures and lived experience are constant sources of inspiration. This produces a photography style that can be seen as a crossover between documentary and fashion, where she always try to highlight the importance of the subject’s identity and background. During her work time, she likes to create a space where the subject feels comfortable and at ease being themselves and letting their personality show. Coco finds that when the subjects in her work feels comfortable, it is felt in the overall process and in the end product.
Her work revolves around people and the personalities they embody: Coco uses her camera as a way to engage with humanity and peacefully open the doors of full spectrum inclusivity and representation. She’s constantly creating spaces for her subjects to express themselves and discover who they are. The subject is always the starting point but what you see in the image is actually a snapshot of her vision: how I want to see us.
“For most of us, 2020 was a tough year. At the beginning of the year, all my jobs were cancelled. Being in lockdown and not being able to work forced me to rethink my skill set. I wasn’t able to practice photography though photoshoots, but I was able to share my experience as a freelance photographer with others. During that time, I got the opportunity to be in front of the classroom multiple times at various art academies, including one I had been previously rejected from as an applicant. To me, this proves that there are different tracks and ways to achieve your goals. Talking to the next generation of visual artists about my work and the philosophy behind it was a new experience for me. It was refreshing to bring other perspectives to the table, especially not coming from an art academy myself. I feel a great responsibility bringing new perspectives into these institutions and guiding students in finding their visual identity and translating it into their creative work.” Coco said.
One of my absolute highlights from 2020 was shooting the cover of ELLE magazine’s September issue. This was super exciting because I got to focus more on the fashion side of photography, and it was such an honor to have my work on the cover of such a big magazine. I look forward to doing more work in the field of fashion, where I can bring my photography style and cultural background to the table. I am constantly inspired by so many great African photographers, some of which are Nigerian, which makes me even more proud. Seeing all the creative work that comes from the continent inspires me from a distance, and even more when I am there.
Coco aim to get back to Lagos, as soon as possible. She said, “Creating in the motherland is very personal for me because it’s a way for me to connect with and learn more about my culture and my people on a deeper level. Being on Nigerian soil gives me a different type of creativity and inspiration from within and I love working with my people when I am there. My camera is like a passport that gives her access to new people and stories which I love bringing back with me and sharing.”
One of her personal projects is a documentary fashion series about her family in Lagos, which she sees as a personal exploration of her Nigerian culture and an exciting challenge. The idea for this project stems from when she was young. “I dream about Nigeria a lot and created my own image of how it would look in my head, and how my family would be. This visualization is my starting point for this series, blending my own vision with what I see when I am there. This project is a way for me to connect with my heritage and discover more about Nigerian culture, and, through that, myself.” Coco said.
In terms of personal development, she hopes to explore different sides of photography she is less familiar with. Coco is excited to master the physics of lighting, because she believes light is how you paint a picture. She loves learning new things in general, making the entire process to be a fun one.
“The past year brought me a lot of new opportunities and new perspectives which I am grateful for, and hope to take with me further into the next years. For the new year, my focus will be on sharing and creating supportive environments where other photographers can connect with and uplift each other.” She said.
A few weeks ago, Coco organized a ‘Creative Catch Up’ for a small group of creatives to reflect on the past year and share ideas for the next year. With good food, music and a table filled with (photography) books this get together turned into a supportive environment where they shared project ideas, thoughts and insecurities. Something she thinks they as freelancers should do more often.
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