Promise Ogbor:  From the Bank to the kitchen.

My name is Promise Oghor, I’m from Delta state. I studied Mathematics/ Economics at the University of Benin and graduated in 2001. By the grace of God, I’m the CEO/Chef at Boundless PICK Ltd. We offer professional catering services for all outdoor/indoor events and occasions of all sizes and shapes.

After my graduation, I got a job with a bank and was posted to Awka, in 2005. I worked till November 2010 when I resigned as a cash officer. I resigned because my wife and I worked in the same bank. One of us had to resign so I chose to leave because I’m the more skilled person, I like to work with my hands. It would be easier for me to start up something…
It is the bank policy that a couple cannot be in the same bank to mitigate fraud, though we were in different departments. For malicious people, it would be very easy, and even tempting, to rob/defraud the bank. So you understand how that could be a problem. I left the banking job in 2010 and opened my catering business.
I love cooking. I just love it. It is one passion I have. That was why it was easy for me to decide on becoming a caterer. Cooking is something I do for fun. Even when I was with the bank or in school, I used to invite my friends over to my house and I would cook for them. That was even how I wooed some girls back then (laughs). It’s a part of me. I cooked my own food while I was in school because it was cheaper, richer and more delicious. I would tell my mom sometimes to leave the kitchen and I would cook for the house. It’s a passion.
When I left the bank, like every Nigerian, I had so many things in my mind I wanted to do. One of the first options I had at the time was MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) but it was not sustainable. Let’s tell ourselves the truth a lot of things are not sustainable in Nigeria, and I talked to myself and said I cannot be helping somebody else make money. A lot of people would say it’s a plan B but that was not a plan B for me because over time, you get jaded – you get fed up when the money is not coming. When your down-liners don’t perform, what do you do?

​Again, I love fashion. There were so many things I would love to do if I knew how to sew. I went to a lot of fashion designers here and told them I wanted to learn. They were like: you? Learn? I said, ”yes, I want to learn. Forget about my appearance and style and everything, I want to learn how to sew” You know the problem with most Nigerians is we are too proud to do a lot of things. My salary at the bank then was good but I was willing to set aside everything and learn. That was my mindset at the time. Problem was, none of them wanted to teach me.

There had to be something I could do without spending an insane amount of money and that was why I started a catering business. My passion for cooking just made it easier and more fun. Catering funds itself. You want me to cook for you, you give me money and I cook. I didn’t need millions to start. My wife was shy at first (laughs) because she felt I should start big. However, I believe in little beginnings. She has been very supportive since she saw the prospect in food business.
The first job I got was from a friend of mine. He was skeptical at first but I said, “Give me a try…try me.” So he gave me the job and I executed it perfectly. I cooked rice. He gave ukwa (bread fruit) and bitterleaf soup to someone else because he was afraid I couldn’t do it. Funny enough, when people ate the rice and asked who cooked it, he said I was the one who did everything (laughs) because it was amazing. I started telling people gradually, child dedication, birthdays, and that was how my business kicked off.
I lost a lot of jobs because of experience and uncertain market factors. I experimented a lot. For instance, I


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s