19-year-old Odunayo Hussaini is a student at Covenant University and also the founder of Mobile Waiter, a food delivery company for students in Covenant University. A resident of Lagos State, Odunayo tells the story of how she started her brand, her challenges so far and expectations for the brand. Do enjoy!
Startup Story of the week
Mobile Waiter is a food delivery company in Covenant University, Ogun State, that provides a platform for the students to place orders for food & groceries near them. I started this business a year ago when I noticed that there were always long queues when I wanted to get food in the cafeteria. Also, my hall was quite far away from where the cafeteria was located. I developed the idea to provide comfort for the students of Covenant University with hopes for expansion to other universities soon. The target audience for the brand is university students.
While in my first year in school, I developed a flair for owning a business. I started by selling all my provisions, not because I needed the money but I just liked the idea of having something valuable enough that would make people part with their money. Then I began to read financial and business-oriented books that opened my eyes to look for problems around me. That was how the idea sprung. I sent so many applications about the concept to a lot of companies, but it got ignored. Two years later, my school called for budding entrepreneurs in a dreamers program, I applied, and they invested in Mobile Waiter. That was how I started floating the idea.
For publicity, I focused on Social Media. I used Twitter & Instagram to get people to know about the brand and also pasted posters around my school campus. I also made use of word of mouth marketing for referrals.
My primary inspiration has been from my mom. She is a very independent woman, and I have always aspired to be as independent as she is and never wished to depend on anybody for anything. My mom is also the wind beneath my wings. She regularly prays for me and tries to inspire me. My other mentors are Mrs. Ibukun Awosika & Mrs. Tara Fela-Durotoye. These women are living testimonies of women with exemplary lives. They have high-value systems and high spiritual backing to give them the necessary support they need in the business field.
My major motivation is the fact that I am not doing this only for myself, I believe in giving back. Therefore, I want to reach pinnacles in business to pull others along with me. Being a student and an entrepreneur is very hectic, and sometimes I have misplaced priorities, but having a great support system is so important because that is what keeps on my feet when it seems difficult. Also, employing the right staff to drive the vision has been tough. I have had the sad and struggling times. There were times I felt like quitting, but I am glad that the brand is a year old and still going fine.
Mobile waiter is going to be a subsidiary of another brand. I plan to build a conglomerate of businesses that would solve local problems in Nigeria and will eventually take the country out of the current recession.
To the young entrepreneur like me, develop yourself continuously. Don’t dwell on past glory after one achievement. Always find newer ways to grow. Build good teams and be mindful of who your business partner is. More importantly, you need a solid spiritual backing. Let God be your partner. Always pray!
Founder, Mobile Waiter