We also had to do a backward integration into the provision of quality potato seeds to farmers. This has ensured quality raw materials input for our factory. Most of what we did in setting up the business was deliberate, to ensure that we would minimise risks of failure. Some steps, such as setting up the cold chain logistics, cold storage and marketing, were deliberate and considered upfront in our business plan, but others, such as seed importation and multiplication, were done later out of necessity.

Isn’t it easier, then, to link up with other service operators?
In our operating environment, there are low linkages in businesses, and in a number of cases, such linkages are completely non-existent. Therefore, relying on another person or business to provide you a service or a critical input for your business can be a very frustrating experience. For instance, in the course of developing our business plan in 2010, we realised that without an effective cold chain logistics in place, we would not be able to deliver our products consistently and in the required quality to our prospective customers.