Kasope Ladipo-Ajai is the founder of OmoAlata Food Services, a company that processes and packages soups, spices and ‘peppers’ for flavouring local dishes. Launched in 2012, the company supplies 25 retailers in Lagos – including the Spanish supermarket chain Dia – and just signed a contract to supply Spar stores. The goal is eventually to export to foreign markets.
Kasope, a computer science graduate from Babcock University, loves cooking, travelling and old architecture. In her past life, she worked as team lead in Air Nigeria where her responsibilities included information technology (IT) related service, business analysis and project management. She also worked with Taytom Group where she handled core IT project implementation.
She ventured into entrepreneurship because she had the urge to do something more meaningful than the traditional 9-to-5 job. So, in 2012, she started OmoAlata, a Nigerian food service and packaging company that is focused on producing hygienically processed and packaged local Nigerian soups, spices and peppers.
OmoAlata Food Services desires to be Nigeria’s pioneer food packaging company providing easy to use pepper mix to the general public with operations in key markets across the country. The company aspires to use its strong local brand identity to position an international product range that will sit in stores all over the world for Nigerians and other customers present in these markets.
In 2015, Kasope won first prize in She Leads Africa Pitch Competition. She won a $10,000 cash prize, a mobile device from Etisalat, international media coverage and a host of other prizes.
Kasope’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurship is not for the lily-liver person. Business plans act as guides and are not cast in stone. Be ready to adapt to suit your environment.