"Growing up in The Gambia, I was taught that all of life's opportunities and desires would come from the western world. After all, this was easy to believe. As I looked around, motor vehicles, building materials, books, branded food and clothing, mobile phones, refrigerators, televisions et cetera, were all imported...”
- Sol Sahor (founder of VILLAGERS)
My father was a dedicated businessman who gave me the opportunity to be educated in the UK. Having the simple intention of buying and selling European goods in the Gambian market, a story lived by my many predecessors, I became a student of Business Studies & Marketing at Nottingham Business School.
During my placement year, I worked with a leading technology company selling Dell and HP infrastructure solutions. The idea of selling technology solutions to Gambian telecoms companies, I thought, could be a lucrative business model but after speaking with my father, it became clear that the start-up costs involved would not be feasible. Instead, I continued to mimic my father’s work ethic and was proud to share my graduation day with him where I received a first class honors degree.
“...Being a student of business, I began to see the abundance of opportunities back home. My childhood was rich with local traditions and VILLAGERS TEA played a big part in the many celebrations that I shared with my family and friends. I realised that something as simple as my local brew had the power to enrich people’s lives through health, wellbeing and pleasure. I have no doubt that VILLAGERS TEA will be enjoyed by connoisseurs around the world, as it is back home.”
I think, whether you are talking about personal life or business, it’s an absolute must to have a set of values in place that will keep you aligned with your goals and give you a clear indication of how to progress. Profit is of cause important but it’s about deciding at what costs? What are you willing to sacrifice or commit to and why? I believe that being principled and producing high quality outputs are key values to a successful business. Quality has dimensions beyond a finished product and together with all our stakeholders, I commit to taking on board any ideas that will contribute to the quality of our outputs.
VILLAGERS TEA will remain a truly local product, grown and sourced from The Gambia. As we grow, we will be able to create more jobs in such a poor economy and ensure consistency in quality farming through the utilisation of the villagers expertise.