NDE KONG, is a young Cameroonian entrepreneur. In this Edition of Entrepreneurs Digest, he tells us why he left his IT career and decided to venture into agriculture. What has driven him to succeed and what sets him apart in the Agricultural Sector.
In subsequent editions, this uprising entrepreneur will be giving practical tips on how anyone can start and successfully manage a farm. We hope this inspires you to start your venture.
I am from the North West Region of Cameroonian. I studied Information Technology in the University and graduated in 2015. By the grace of God, I am the CEO of Nifty Farms. We are professional farmers, doing mixed agriculture in some localities in the Northwest Region of Cameroon.
Growing up as a child, my future was so uncertain. At some point, I wanted to be a medical doctor, and at other points I felt I was called to be a priest. However the urge to “run my own show” ignited the entrepreneurial flame in me.
After my undergraduate studies in Information Technology, I knew it was time to see how bright the flame in me could burn, taking into consideration the knowledge I had acquired from school.
I moved on together with a friend to create Nifty Services; an IT and Business consulting firm.
The Joy of being a CEO, made me work day and night. I never dreamt of nothing but success as I carried out the day to day activities of the business.
We created dozens of websites and 6 mobile apps, 2 of which were in House projects and 4 for clients. We did our daily planning, monitoring and execution of tasks as it was required. We recruited staff, approached potential clients and had the business dinners we all dreamt of.
With the first few invoices being paid, we knew our success in this sector was guaranteed.
But it was not long when we realized we were going out of business. Our business was a good one, our services were good, of course we had a great team; but we realized we were in a wrong market. Businesses and institutions in our market did not see the need for websites, mobile apps or Tech solutions. They were contented with the manual systems they had in place.
Our business failed, our dreams were shattered, we lost our clients and could no longer sustain the team. I was broken for I love technology, I love programming, and I love building and analyzing systems.
Being out of business for a couple of months was the worst thing that ever happened to me.
Nevertheless, I understood that failure should be embraced and seen as stepping stone to higher heights. With that in mind, I thought of getting into Agriculture.
Sharing the idea with friends was tough. Many of them asked if I was ready to become a farmer. My reply was the same: “I am not afraid to fail.” Because the Tech Company failed, I was forced to think harder. I went into agriculture with much more energy than before.
Now I am a farmer who enjoys what he does and is hoping to be a source of inspiration to young people who want to get into Agriculture.
Bearing in mind my first mistake (market) I was stringent on the location of the farm.
Nigeria due to its large population makes a good market for agricultural products. I therefore located Nifty Farms in village next to the border with Nigeria.
My vision is to reach the tertiary level of production. That is, the transformation of Agricultural products.
My years as an entrepreneur have thought me that entrepreneurship is all about having an idea, a great team and a great plan. That idea might change as you execute the plan but make sure the change directs you to your goals.
‘Failure must come your way as an entrepreneur, but you must never relent your efforts.’