News Tech Castle

Inside Quickteller Business pitch contest: Meet ₦1M winner Zhal Foods

Zhal Foods, a snacks production business enterprise based in Minna, Niger State, has emerged winner in the just concluded Quickteller Business contest.

Adeniji Mustapha, CEO Zhal Foods, walked away with ₦1M star prize after garnering 25 points in a virtual pitch session on Sunday, May 3, 2021.

The contest saw 10 Nigerian business enterprises compete for the ₦1M grant, and was adjudged by a trio comprised of Founder Nairametrics, Ugodre Obi-Chukwu; CEO AskDemz, Adedamola Ladejobi; and CEO SoFresh, Olagoke Damilola.

Speaking on his emergence as winner of the contest, Mustapha described his success as a mix of luck and hard work.

In an interview with Quillcastle Nigeria, Mustapha stated that he was hopeful of scaling his venture into a leading popcorn company in Northern Nigeria by 2023.

He said: “The contest was a competitive one. Right from the first round where we have to solicit for votes from friends and family to make it to top 10. It wasn’t easy. It was never a walk in the park for any of the contestants.

“I finished as the 9th position in the round that led to the main event where we pitched our businesses before judges. It’s a no play joke event as it was keenly contested.

“I must say that everyone did well. Eventually emerging winner came as a result of ample preparedness and a bit of luck.

“I was enraptured when I was announced winner. Above all, I see this as a step forward to my vision of having the leading popcorn company in Northern Nigeria by 2023.”

On how long the enterprise had been in the market and the running vision, the CEO explained that the idea was conceived during his national youth service year in 2015 but did not materialise until 2018 when the enterprise commenced operations.

“The idea goes back to 2015 while I was serving as a youth corp member. It, however, came into reality when we started operations in 2018. Since then, we’ve been smashing our milestones and working towards our vision.

“Presently our next Milestone is to have a value added product. We are considering a value added popcorn. It will take the form of a combination of popcorn and groundnut in one nylon that is Affordable and tasty.

“Hence, winning this grant will give us the opportunity to purchase an industrial groundnut roasting machine and bags of groundnut as raw materials.”

According to Mustapha, Quickteller has become a significant part of his business success story, and will remain a reference point in the future.

He said: “I’ve known Quickteller for 7 years. I have been a user for a long time because they are the brand I have always wanted to work with someday.

“Winning a one million naira grant from the company is a big plus for me, and I am very grateful.

“I say thank you to the company for being part of our success story because there is no way we will tell our story without mentioning Quickteller.

“To the management, I must say I am still shocked but I say thank you for believing in us and we promise to use the fund for the purpose it intended.”

Runner up startups (winning 250k each) in the contest include electronic certification platform, Akowe;

fashion design hub, Seun Ara Clothings;

Oyo-based agribusiness, Greenbles;

and financial solutions startup, Patriots Africa.

About the author

Quillcastle Nigeria

Quillcastle Nigeria is an independent premium news publisher covering tech startup news, analysis, art, lifestyle, career, and other top industry updates (especially) from Africa’s largest economy (Nigeria), and beyond.

We are on a mission to become Nigeria’s most authoritative digital news agency, publishing insightful stories on global trends to inspire, educate and inform the public at every read.

Email: quillcastleng (at)
Tel: +2348025300029

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment