The CEO of Hasania Food Ltd was interviewed recently on His business. Here are the answers he gave to the questions asked.
Yassir , tell us about your background. Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I am yassir Ali founder of Hasania foods Ltd studied French and international relations , … Growing up from a poor family I’ve always been that hustler that’s anti poverty ( laugh) , I hated it to be broke, so due to hardships I was facing growing up, I quickly started side hustles and I’ve developed a passion for agribusiness and with my IT skills I want to disrupt the old archaic agricultural system and make a difference in Africa. I come from a middle class family. My dad was a career person and my mom was a farmer. And the little experience I’ve acquired from her also led me to the path of entrepreneurship.
Tell us about your company
Hasania foods Ltd was born when I’ve noticed shortage of locally made products in supermarkets , if you go to any supermarket in Nigeria now almost all products are imported meanwhile we have all the agricultural commodities that makes up these products so I’ve decided to start Hasania foods Ltd as a value-added company that sources, packages and markets high-quality agricultural products. Though lots of Nigerians belive in the perception that developed countries provide superior quality products meanwhile these are our own exported agricultural products that were packaged and returned back to us! .
So right now we gradually grew our product portfolio by introducing plantain flour, beans flour and different snacks . We have inclusive strategy that involves our process of sourcing directly from farmers, and that has broadening our product offering and diversifying distribution channels
By doing so we also created more jobs to the local farmers.
What is your favourite part about running your business and what’s your least favourite part?
My favourite part of running my business is sorting out customers’ orders. Knowing that the package I’m handling will be received with joy and satisfaction makes me happy and motivated.
What has been your biggest accomplishment since you started your business?
My biggest accomplishment since I started has been attaining over 85% satisfaction rate from all my customers.
How challenging was it getting your business off the ground?
It was a huge challenge, but by God’s grace we always found a way. From raising enough funds to purchasing needed equipments to hiring the right people for the job, I met various challenges.
I have had challenges with marketing and distribution of my products; it is not really an area of strength for me. So, when I was building my team, I always made sure that I was partnering and hiring those who are good marketers and more extroverted than I.
I nearly went out of business, I ran out of funds to the point that I had to do some freelance and other extra jobs for other organizations to raise funds for my company . I have had to improve my self development dealing with employees, some of whom were senior to me by age. To do that i had to read ton of business books.
Though usually when I have big challenges I’ll pray to God for wisdom. And I ask my mentors a lot of questions; and they’ve been always the tree to help me through challenging times. I have always had mentors.
How much have you grown from where you started?
A lot! Always grateful to God my life is always changing for good, I will say we have come a very long way; over the years of involvement in business and youth development, we have learnt a lot.
I am certainly not where I was 5 or 10 years ago. The vision gets clearer and more concrete everyday. We are working on building more structure in our operations, especially in corporate governance. I want to build a business that will be a legacy for generations, There is a lot of work to be done.
What habits do you have that drive you to succeed?
I’m not really special for anything I think where I excel is the ridiculous work ethic that I’ve always had, when people are resting I’m working when people are eating I’m working I just work work work and I also like to learn new things. I always try to stay updated about my industry and study whatever change it has . I take out time to plan before I act, and after planning, I act on my plans.
How do you stay motivated ?
Everytime I think of my childhood I stay motivated , the ghetto environment and bullies, and all sort of hardship . That keeps me going and make me believe that if I can overcome that hardships then whatever in front of me now is not even 5% of my current challenge so I’m better than that.
Where do you see yourself and business in the next 5 years?
Insha’Allah In the next 5 years we would have successfully solidified our corporate governance structure, and then we will start expanding to other cities in Nigeria and West Africa centre Africa.
What are the three books you read that influenced your life and business the most?
First of all is rich dad poor dad , the 48 laws of power and blue ocean strategies
To Eng. Yusuf Tetede and the entire team of RexGists I want to say special thanks for your time, Regards