Affiong Williams is the CEO of ReelFruit, a thriving agribusiness company. Her entrepreneurial journey in the agricultural space started in 2012 when she spotted a niche in fruits sector. Affiong tapped into her vision, and has set out to produce a world class fruit snacks and beverages venture. Recently, Forbes Africa made a list of 30 under 30 African entrepreneurs who were described as the billionaires of tomorrow who will create the jobs and wealth that this continent needs and Affiong Williams, Founder of Reel Fruit is on the list!
When asked what motivated her to go into the business , she said:
“My decision to launch ReelFruit in 2012 was borne out of my general decision to venture into the agribusiness sector. I believe that agriculture has huge untapped potential both in wealth and job creation. I am motivated by the possibility that I can change lives and create employment and wealth for myself and others. Reel fruit is a snack and Beverage Company, focused on locally made and well packaged snack. We started with a range of dried fruits because we saw a need in the market where we thought people wanted to start eating healthier, and we offer a healthy snack option. That made me to take a decision to start my own company”.
She also has this to say on what it takes for a young lady to start and excel as an entrepreneur in a tough business terrain like Nigeria
“First, being resolute about your dreams and ambitions; this will carry you during the hard times when things don’t go your way. Second, understanding the Nigerian terrain; which is not very straightforward and requires a lot of flexibility. Lastly, network. Reach out to other entrepreneurs to learn their lessons, to avoid potentially costly mistakes.”
Where she sees her brand in ten years :
“I have such big plans for my company. I believe that agriculture has huge untapped potential both in wealth and job creation. I am motivated by the possibility that I can change lives and create employment and wealth for myself and others. The values that drive our business are rooted in our long term vision, that through agribusiness, we can change lives. Nigerian products can be made to world class standards, and can be sold anywhere in the world. This is important as we are building an export based business.
I see my company being a massive fruit agribusiness. My goal is in 10 years is to provide employment for over 1000 Nigerians, so one can imagine how big we would have to grow to get there. I do not doubt that it is possible. We are currently working our way into a larger scale processing of fruit products for local consumption and export, and will probably extend our business into farming. We see huge opportunities in the fruit allied-agro sector. That’s where we’ll be focussing on. Wish us luck!”
Here is how Forbes Africa describes her;
Reel fruit founded in March 2014 is an emerging fruit processing company focused on packaging and branding and processing of locally, and quality fruit products. The first product is a range of dried fruit snacks and nuts. The products are currently stocked in over 80 stores in Nigeria. Reelfruit is an award winning brand winning both an international women in business competition in Netherlands, as well as an SME Exhibition (creative focus) in Lagos, Nigeria.
Williams is trying to expand her nut business into the lucrative airline market. She is raising capital to build a factory on the outskirts of Lagos next year.I hope to be on the cover of Forbes Africa in five years’ time she says.