M.Bashir: Nigeria is no doubt the giant of Africa, and as the giant of Africa our unemployment and underemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 is 27.1% and 28.6% respectively, indicating that about 55.7% Nigerians remain unemployed.
This is contained in a recently released unemployment data report published by the National bureau of statistics. It is my great pleasure to bring to you another peculiar individual who has taken it upon herself to contribute towards reducing the horrible rate of unemployment in our beloved country Nigeria. Please miss, introduce yourself.
Miss Araphat: Firstly I will like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Muhammad Bashir Muhammad and the entire team of campus entrepreneurs’ hub for having me.
It is an honor to be here with you. My name is Arafat Olayiwola CEO Rahpty pastries. I am from Osun state, but reside in Kaduna. I graduated from Dec international secondary school last year and I’m 17 years old.
M.Bashir: Thank you. It is lovely to have you here with us, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us. Wow! 17 years old and already you are running a successful business, our country needs more youths like you.
Well Miss Arafat, what are Rahpty pastries? Why? And how did you come to start your business?
Background of Rahpty Pastries
Miss Arafat: Thank you. Well Raphty pastries as the name implies is a catering service where we make cake and a variety of pastries such as; samosas, spring rolls, meat pie, doughnuts, bounce, pizza, cupcakes, and cookies etc.
I have always loved baking, it’s the only thing that I drive fun from. It is stressful and requires too much hard work. But, when I’m done and marvel at how I was able to create something so delicious and perfect, the satisfaction is priceless!
I used to bake since when I was in JSS 2 but then I was just an amateur. Sometimes, sugar would be too much while sometimes butter or I wouldn’t get the mixture correct and it ended up getting burnt.
Actualy, I used to search for recipes and procedures on YouTube or Google and try them out. still getting the end result correct was proving to be difficult.
So, last year after my 16th birthday, I decided to join a catering school to undergo a 2-3 months training program. After like 7 weeks I skipped, because I figured out I was not making any ample progress.
I started putting more effort and making lots of research and after a series of trial by error. Alhamdulillah, I am now a successful caterer (Smiles!).
M.Bashir: Miss Araphat you are an inspiration to all and sundry out there, when most of us were on our phones making friends, playing games, watching movies and dilly dallying on social media, you were using the same phone to learn a skill which you have now transformed into a successful business.
It goes without saying that catering is a very delicate and competitive business that few people are able to survive. Would you be as kind as to share with us some of the challenges you faced and how you overcame them.
Challenges faced and how she overcame them
Miss Arafat: Yes and yes. Undoubtedly catering is a very time demanding and gruesome business. But like I said earlier the end result in itself is a payoff.
When working becomes play, one does wonders. I faced a lot of challenges. Sometimes I felt like quitting. I have a lot of burn marks on my hand, which were all as a result of baking. But the most trying challenge I faced was customer’s feedback.
God!! I don’t even want to start. After hours of careful work and calculation, a customer would just take a bite and tell you “one of the flavors does not taste as it should” or “it’s different from the one he ate at my friend’s birthday”. Lol.
Different hurtful remarks, but as much as it used to hurt me, I never took it personal. I saw every criticism as a constructive criticism. Plus I always kept it in my mind that the customer is always right. Eventually, I started keeping a log of all the complaints I received from customers and made sure to avoid them next time.
M.Bashir: Lol. I cannot even begin to imagine the level of frustration and heartache. Miss Araphat, we would love for you to share with us your marketing strategy because I am sure you have a unique way of appealing to customers.
Miss Arafat: Ok let’s see, my marketing strategy is a very simple one. I used the three important avenues at my disposal, family, friends and social media.
Firstly, my parents have been really supportive. They provided me with everything I needed and allowed me to turn their kitchen into my workshop. Love you mom and dad you are the best.
My families were my first customers. They don’t only patronized me, but also proudly tells their friends that I’m a caterer. My friends also have been really amazing, they made sure I was the one to bake their birthday cake and that was how many people got to know me and my brand.
And finally, I use all my social media handles to advertise my business. And that has tremendously increased my customer reach.
M.Bashir: Family, friends, and social media. I will be sure to remember that when I start a business. Thank you. Well miss Araphat, here comes the big question. Where do you see Raphty pastries in the next five years?
Miss Arafat: Uhmmm, well I want to study food technology in the higher institution and with the knowledge and expertise I gathered, I intend on building a very big restaurant where we won’t just focus on pastries, but also different local and international cuisines.
M.Bashir: That is some awesome plan you have. I wish you success in all your endeavors dear. As a successful young entrepreneur, what is your advice to students and youths out there?
Words of encouragement
Miss Arafat: My advice to students and young entrepreneurs out there, is that catering is not for lazy people because it requires serious dedication and efforts. We all need to buckle up and start planning on our futures. Thank you all.
M.Bashir: Thank you Miss. Araphat it was so nice having you here with us. We wish you success and blessings. Thank you. To our viewers, don’t forget to comment, subscribe and follow us on twitter @Campus entrepreneurs hub. See you next week on another amazing segment of “My Weekly entrepreneur” interview (MYWE). I remain your host Muhammad Bashir Muhammad.
AT A GLANCE!
Address: Kabala road, opposite kirirgi government secondary school, Kaduna, Kaduna state.
Facebook: Mhiz haraphat pretty
Instagram : mhiz pretty 16