Here are some thoughts I'm leaving with from my conversation with Albany.
Learn from the inside
Business ideas come from all over, even from the place of current employment. Food Sasa as an idea took shape while Albany and his co-founders were still employed and it was a direct result of their curiosity about why only a few Tanzanians purchased from Jumia, their then employer. And why did Jumia Foods not have local foods? It was in the process of identifying these limitations that they identified a business opportunity and ran with it. Fast forward five years later, a thriving business came about as a result of that curiosity.
Could we relocate instead of fire?
Food Sasa’s approach to firing was something I had never thought of before. Perhaps because when I think “business,” I think super formal, soulless suit and tie, impersonal relationships between the organization and its employees. And that is generally true for large corporate cultures.
But thinking about the kind of company culture Food Sasa has and its size, it makes sense that they would go a step above firing to help former employees land other jobs. This is probably the case for small east african businesses because they can afford flexibility on how they manage their people. Is it scalable?
Need co-founders and teams? Think beyond skills
It’s intuitive that we need more than hard facts when making decisions about who we want to work with. Speaking with Albany and hearing about he and Susan approach hiring decisions highlighted this. Allowing intuition to make hiring decisions lends itself well to the nature of their business (being a small start-up) and their organizational culture (clan) and it works well. As Albany pointed out, with an estimated maximum 15% rate of getting it wrong thus far.