This week, we had a long ride to Iju Ota in Ogun State to feature Wilson’s Lemonade Juice on the Startup Show.
Ever since we started the “Go There” episodes, it has never been this adventurous. First, we crawled through the long ride, the roads, the traffic, then we walked through the factory. This would be the first time I would enter a production factory and so it was like an excursion.
The first time I saw Wilson’s Lemonade on the shelves at the Barcelos, I thought that it was a foreign drink and so I ordered it. I shared the drink with a friend and we liked it. I looked through the bottle and found that it was a Nigerian drink. Being a startup lover, I started digging for info about them immediately.
When I got to know that it is pure fruit juice, I thought it was just like the smoothies bar at the back of my office where I walk down to get fresh juice daily. But it was so different. It was a state-of-the-art modern fresh juice factory.
Walking through the factory, one gets the picture of a multi-million naira business, but while sitting down to gist with Seyi and Seun Abolaji (Cofounders of Wilson’s Lemonade) I was made to understand that the whole thing started only with N2,000. Yes; you heard right: two thousand naira only.
In the video, you will see how blank I looked. I could not understand. How do they keep doing these things? How can a factory of this magnitude be started with an initial 2000 naira investment?
We talked about their lives as African-American kids, their return to Nigeria and their early beginnings.
Seyi and Seun said they were told at a very young age that everything in Nigeria was natural and fresh. But on returning to Nigeria after their study, they realized that most fruit juice in Nigeria was from concentrate. So they started out just wanting to make fresh juice for themselves but now have built a premium juice brand that gives every Nigerian an opportunity to drink healthy and to live a healthy life.
The Abolaji brothers disclosed that they have not spent any money on placement, marketing or advertising. But how did they get to where they are now with over 400 distribution outlets, partnership with Shoprite, Spa, Barcelos etc? Find out in this week’s episode of the Startup Show. Tune in and be inspired.
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