Week 2 in Ghana marks the week of new beginnings. I’ll be working in a new business and living with my new host family. As with all new beginnings, there are always a few nerves and a little anticipation of what to expect.
My Host Home
My host home is based on a busy street in Tesano and I’m fortunate to have some nice places to go. My host parents are currently abroad but my host Aunt and little sister Gabriella have made sure that I’m well settled in. Our house chef Atah, has also kept me satisfied with his culinary skills and I’ve enjoyed the variety of dishes that have reached my taste buds. I guess the only down side is the heat, but with a fan in my room I can’t complain. Dumsor Dumsor has been a little better this week, adjusting to no light just takes some time.
As I mentioned in my previous post my counterpart and I are working with a Small Medium Enterprise, Renny Foods. The business manufactures and distributes ‘Renny Tom’ and Gari mixes to various stores around Accra to be sold. However, our focus is on the ‘Renny Tom’ product which is the businesses main seller. Renny Tom or better known to consumers as ‘Tom Brown’ is a legume mix which can be made up of a variety of ingredients. For instance, Renny Tom is made up of Rice, Wheat, Soybeans, Groundnut and Beans and is usually taken for breakfast amongst children and adults because of its nutritional components.
Our first meeting with the business owner was an exploratory meeting where we learnt more about the business and also about what our roles would be over the next 8weeks. We had a terms of reference that was provided before meeting our business and the first meeting helped to ensure that our roles were as stated. As Junior Consultants are main tasks amongst others were to:
- Create an online financial accounting/book-keeping system for the business
- Conduct market research looking at the competitors of the product and increase the visibility of the product through marketing whilst also devising a marketing plan
- Updating the existing website and creating mock brochures that promoted the product
One thing to note is that in Ghana many SME’s have no system set in place to record their financial statements. Many of our counterparts have spoke about the struggle in trying to access figures on the expenditure of a business. Thankfully for us this has not been the case and our business owner has been very open in providing all costs which we have needed.
This week has been a great learning curve and I’ve been able to refresh my skills on excel. One of the biggest issues faced this week, was developing an excel profit and loss account that suited our business. However, after a few times of trying to devise the correct formula we managed to successfully have something in place in one week which we expected to take two.
The structure of the business means we have also been able to see how the products are individually packaged and ready to be distributed.
Being a foodie it’s impossible to end a post without something about food. This week my foodie trophy definitely has to go to fried yam and plantain which I buy from a local seller where I work. It’s a nice snack that just makes the heat more bearable. The fried plantain just makes me smile, don’t mind me while I smile and type.
The second runner up is ‘FanYogo’ which is a frozen yogurt! This product is soo good and refreshing I get one almost everyday! Every time I hear the seller blow his horn I hop out my chair, over the gutter and into the streets to stop his small truck. I sound like such a big kid, but I mean for 1cidi which is UK equivalent 20p you just can’t go wrong!
Hopefully. I’ll have some more exciting snacks to share with you next week! And further development on our business .