As the focus intensifies on adding impact to the food value chain, several individuals and groups are keying into the vast opportunities available to them. Right from the raw material stage through processing, preservation/storage to sales and marketing, reasonable income is being made through selling and buying, employment generation, training and sometimes, export.
The truth however, is that operators in these various sub-sectors of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) face sundry challenges. These include decaying infrastructure, epileptic power supply, lack of low-interest loans to give life to their business ideas and lack of the application of modern technology to processing and even marketing .
The other challenge is the issue of rising costs of raw materials. This definitely affects the prices too. So, what is the way forward? That is where Grano Institute of Catering and Hotel Management comes in.
To begin with, it has a vision to check contemporary catering services and methods that can withstand the test and taste of time, and make amends with the right technology through vocational education. Its purposeful mission is “to raise a pool of quality professionals in Catering and Hotel Management who are reference points in global bench-marking”.
Established in Year 2000 with a vision of providing quality professionals in Catering and Hotel Management, Grano Institute today boasts of products that are remarkably marketable in reasonable hospitality industries all over the country. Its winning mantra is that it has got highly skilled professionals who consistently bring the needed knowledge to all its students.
Looked at dispassionately from the experience gathered in the field so far, its operational edge is the presence of world class facilities including a model student hostel. What more, it offers career guidance and counselling to help position the students on self-employment upon graduation.
In addition, its Industrial Training (IT) programme allows the beneficiaries to learn among professionals. Besides, it programmes are NABTEB and ITF- approved and it enjoys partnership with Olabisi Onabanjo University Consult. It means therefore, that people who drink from the fountain of knowledge of those who have gone ahead of them cannot become hungry. Except for more knowledge!
There must have been some thorough thinking-through before the take-off as the education and training of professionals in and Hotel Administration reflects the peculiar economic structure and ideological environment of Nigeria. Also, in an attempt to maintain acceptable training standards, the management has decided to follow the system of education and training similar to that obtainable in all well-established catering and Hotel institutions all over the world. This means that the standards align with the best global practices.
And to make its presence felt, especially in areas where its services are much-needed, it has its campuses located in both Lagos and Ogun states. These include Ifako-Ijaiye LG, Alimosho LG all in Lagos state. Those in Dalemo b/stop, Sango-Ota, Adiyan road, before Adiyan Gas line as well as in Ifo LGA are both in Ogun State.
As for the courses available, Professional Diploma in Catering and Hotel Management range from the Full Time of 6 months to the Part Time of 1 year and Weekend of 2 years. Admissions come up in January, April, July, and September of every year.
For the Diploma In Hotel Management, the Full Time course runs for 4 weeks, while the Part Time covers a period of 6 weeks. For both admission goes on every blessed day.
Why Grano Catering Institute stands out is that it has in its fold crops of experienced chefs, preparing several delicacies with great value; all boasting of creative cuisines. In fact, they are choices for not a few parties ranging from birthdays to wedding receptions.
The related courses in this regard include Certificate in Chinese Dishes Basic Snacks Production, Practical Cookery, Cake Making, Mixology(Mixology) as well as Recreation and Events Management.
Other relevant courses include Cake making, Designing and Decoration, Sugar Craft (Sugar flowers, foliage, and leaves), Modeling (Fruits, Wild Animals, Human, Figures), Basic Snacks Production, Intensive Practical Cookery (Dishes), in addition to the preparation of Continental and Intercontinental dishes.
In all of these, we have to learn the peculiarities of setting up small and medium scale food businesses, how to overcome its challenges and make a success of it. According to Temitope Olowu, the MD/CEO of Freesia Catering and Events Services, the industry is getting more challenging by the day which is good as more young entrepreneurs are getting involved.
In her words: “More people are now diving into the business which will create job opportunities for the unemployed and take our youth off the street. The truth is that Nigeria will grow stronger when the government does more for micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs). Graduates do not really look for white-collar jobs again”.
To overcome the challenges in the industry requires serious determination, adhering to budgets with regards to the customer’s choices of food items and hall decorations. There is nothing wrong for food entrepreneurs to go for more training and take advice from professionals as Grano institute of Catering and Hotel Management currently provides.
One’s candid advice to the current administration and others that will come after is to spread the benefits of the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Scheme to those operating MSMEs in the food industry. Similarly, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation at the state level should assist this set of people as they require more operational funds in the face of electric power supply, increase in the prices of raw items in the face of growing insecurity.
To succeed, they would need credible data to start with and not politicize the issue of those that should benefit. Above all, Grano Institute has provided the template, which like minds should learn from.
Ayo Oyoze Baje