Nigerian alumnus named in Forbes' under-30 list
An alumnus from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) has been recognised as one of Africa’s most promising young business people by being named in the prestigious Forbes Africa 30-under-30 list.
Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed Falalu, a Nigerian who graduated from UNNC with an MSc in Entrepreneurship in 2014 is the founder and CEO of rice-mill company, FaLGates.
FaLGates employs 30 people at its factory in Kaduna and over 150 workers at farms in Niger and Kebba. With an annual capacity of over 5,000 metric tons, the company recorded a turnover of $450,000 in 2017.
“I always had an interest in farming,” Sadiq says. “I remember writing in our high school yearbook that I wanted to be a farmer.”
A passionate farmer, 27 year-old Sadiq was sharp enough to spot a niche in the national rice market. Nigeria consumes about seven million tons of rice per year, but only 2.7 million tons is produced inside the country.
His business idea coincided with the introduction of an agricultural development incentive policy in 2012 by the Nigerian government. Having this unneglectable opportunity, he set up FaLGates in the same year, but instead of starting operations immediately, Sadiq decided to pursue further study in China to enhance his business skills.
Sadiq said his first trip to China was impactful. “Even though I had learnt a lot about China, I was still shocked after landing,” Sadiq said. “China is undoubtedly a rising superpower. Its industries such as technology and construction are booming. I have seen lots of amazing projects like Alibaba and WeChat at that time.”
Reflecting on the two year experience at UNNC, Sadiq said he loved the diversity at the University. Students from different countries brought different cultures and perspectives to the classroom, which greatly broadened his horizon. The skills and knowledge he had learned at the Business School also gave him a profound influence. "The theoretical perspectives of business I have learnt has laid a solid foundation for my current venture,” he said.
Now watching his employees realising their personal dreams, Sadiq felt proud.
Some of them built their own houses in their hometown; some of them got married and gave birth to babies. This is my primary goal rather than creating more capital.
“We have got a lot of phone calls shortly after the release of this list and some of the callers have intentions to cooperate,” he said in appreciation of the Forbes recognition, “Hope our company could continuously develop and benefit more people in the future.”