Ghanaian entrepreneur Bright Simons is the founder and president of mPedigree, a company that provides technology to help authenticate products such as medicines, seeds and cosmetics. The technology is used in several countries across three continents.
1. Tell us about one of the toughest situations you’ve found yourself in as a business owner.
A little over two years ago, a minor research activity in preparation for a conference panel led to an epiphany about a novel way of addressing a major threat to global vaccination: poor cold chain practices that expose vaccine vials to bad temperature fluctuations, leading to either waste or deactivated vaccines that cannot protect infants from disease.
The solution that suggested itself, though, required a different trajectory of technology and business strategy from what we were about at mPedigree. In fact, it called for a new business, a startup. I had been in entrepreneurship [for] almost a decade and [was] just starting to settle into a somewhat familiar routine at the helm of a growing business.
A new startup would unsettle that and throw me back to midnight panic attacks and seven rejections per day territory. But the biggest challenge would be unlearning a lot of the habits you pick up when you graduate from early stage to growth stage.
I decided to take the plunge by taking steps to prise me out of my comfort zone: geographical relocation, returning to an academic research environment, [and] ensconcing myself in multiple incubators and entrepreneurial hatchery programmes.
Read the full interview at www.howwemadeitinafrica.com