The Southeastern state of Enugu has always been said to to live in the shadows of hybrid locations like Abuja and Lagos when it comes to new concepts and trends.
The food and bakery industries in the Coal City this recent past are said to be a “copy and paste” from these cities as such trends only berth the shores of the state when they have already been phased out by the “latest” in the former.
This narrative is now becoming a thing of the past owing mainly to the drive of one of the fastest growing bakery amazon in the state, Mrs Onyinye Aniagu-Ugwu.
The industrious Managing Director of Adiana Konsult has taken Enugu by the storm, revolutionising the bakery industry and leading the charge to bring it at par with the best standard in the country without loosing sight of global best practices.
The beautiful mother of four said that her journey into the cake-making business could best be described as “divine”.
“All my life, I have always been driven by entrepreneurial spirit. However, eight years ago, I made the big move and went into productions. I travel out from my comfort zone, went for trainings, and started a small bakery business.
“It was very tough at the start as I had to personally go round marketing my products, telling people what I am into. Gradually, people started believing in me and I started getting jobs. The rest is now history,” she narrated.
While recounting the sequence of her progress so far, the woman referred to as ‘cake boss’ in some quarters said; “We started out with making of cakes but have now gone into bread bakery and production of small chops for events. We are also into the production of natural drinks like soya milk, tigernut and zobo drinks”.
Like every Nigerian entrepreneur, Mrs Aniagu-Ugwu also revealed that it has not been all rosy.
“I must admit we have also been through a lot of bad patches. Running a business in Nigeria is always going to be challenging considering that industries like ours have not been provided with some basic amenities.
“Ninety percent of our operations are powered by generators. This increases our overhead cost significantly. We have learnt live with it though.
“It is also very difficult to access credit facilities from financial institutions. This meant that we have had to deploy other legal unorthodox means towards sourcing fund to grow the business,” she said.
On what she is doing to ensure she leaves her footprint in mark of time, Mrs Aniagu-Ugwu said that she has devised a way of imparting her knowledge on the younger generation.
“I currently run trainings and skill acquisition centre for youths who want to acquire bakery and events management skills. I made sure these youths are taking through the A-Z of modern bakery business.
“I equally go on refresher courses myself. You know the world moves very fast. Things change by minutes so I will be doing a lot of disservice to myself if I don’t upgrade my knowledge regularly and in turn ensuring my trainees become well-equiped with the new trends,” the Adiana boss said.
On the future of the company, the trailblazer says; “In the next five years, we are hoping to expand our factory with state of the art machines. We are also hoping to reach an advanced stage in moving our skills acquisition school to the permanent site”.
“Finally, we are hoping to start actualising our dream of taking Enugu to the rest of the country through our products and concepts,” she concluded.