29 year-old Gambian, Momarr Mass Taal is the Founder and Managing Director of Tropingo Foods – a food processing company focused on dried fruit and nut exports. Momarr Mass Taal is a Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneur and his success story is an exceptional one considering how far his company has come from the $5000
29 year-old Gambian, Momarr Mass Taal is the Founder and Managing Director of Tropingo Foods – a food processing company focused on dried fruit and nut exports.
Momarr Mass Taal is a Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneur and his success story is an exceptional one considering how far his company has come from the $5000 Tony Elumelu seed fund. The surprising thing about Momarr’s story is although he never intended to go into agribusiness from the start as he wanted to be a diplomat like his father; he has always been a businessman.
At a very tender age of 18, Momarr Mass Taal had a clothing line – Malyka Clothing which was based in Canada. But on returning to The Gambia after his University degree, he saw a gap and felt the need to fill it; hence, Tropingo Foods.
In this interview, Momarr Mass Taal, recounts how it all started, how far he has come in the fruit processing and exports business and his future plans.
E54: Tell us about Tropingo Foods
Momarr: After returning home from studying international development and economics, I had set in my mind that value addition and agriculture were key to development efforts in Africa. I saw an opportunity after noticing that the majority of mango in my country went to waste. I went about developing a solution to address the lack of market for these fruits, this is how Tropingo Foods was born.
E54: What measurable impact would you say the Tony Elumelu Foundation has had on your business and on you as an entrepreneur?
Momarr: The foundation has equipped me with certain business management principles which I credit for my ability to strategically grow my company and scale my projects across the continent.
E54: There is no doubt that you are one really amazing success story of the TEF. How did you grow from a $5000 business to your current status within a year?
Momarr: To get the company to where it is right now I have to give credit to our amazing team at tropingo foods. We did many things to make sure that our company was competitive, one of the main things we did was engineer was too reduce operational and production costs without it having an impact on productivity and quality of product. We also developed a great reputation amongst customers and within the industry for quality and reliability.
E54: What challenges have you experienced so far and how did you solve them?
Momarr: We are challenged everyday, it is my job to find ways to overcome these challenges. One challenge was raising capital, we didn’t take any loans or investments. We systematically reinvested our profits strategically to reach our goals. The discipline to stay the course and be fiscally responsible has paid off and today we see the results of our investments.
E54: What has been the number secret to your success so far as an entrepreneur?
Momarr: Vigilance and discipline
E54: It is also a known fact that your business employs quite a lot of women over men. Is it intentional? If yes, why is that so?
Momarr: We believe in empowering women in the workforce, the majority of our workforce are women. We believe fundamentally that financial liberation of women has a greater impact on the community than any other demographic. So yes, it is intentional that we provide more opportunities to women within our organization.
E54: What milestones have you achieved so far based on the business?
Momarr: Forbes 30 under 30, Choiseul to 100 Africa Economic Leaders of Tomorrow, Nominated The Future Africa Awards – Agriculture award, Tony Elumelu Foundation Speaker at 2016 Entrepreneur Summit, Young Entrepreneur Association Gambia speaker at Entrepreneur Summit CEO round table.
E54: What are your future plans for Tropingo Foods?
Momarr: We want to ensure that there is 0% crop loss and create sustainable markets for agricultural produce across the continent.
Tropingo Foods is a food processing company involved in the processing of Groundnut and Mango in The Gambia. Since incorporation in 2015, Tropingo Foods has grown into one of the fastest growing agri-processors in The Gambia and has won a world bank matching grant to develop a mango processing factory in The Gambia. This dehydration facility will be the first of its kind in the country. Momarr’s entire effort in the processing and export of fruits and nuts is geared towards ensuring that crop loss becomes a thing of the past as far as the continent of Africa is concerned.2 comments