Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Consulting
GMAT 700, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Boutique Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.67
Harvard | Mr. Hustler
GMAT 760, GPA 4
Kellogg | Mr. Multinational Strategy
GRE 305, GPA 3.80
London Business School | Mr. CFA Charterholder
GMAT 770, GPA 3.94
Tuck | Ms. Green Biz
GRE 326, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Mr. Small Biz Leader
GMAT 700, GPA 2.61
Kellogg | Mr. 770 Dreamer
GMAT 770, GPA 8.77/10
Marshall School of Business | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
IESE | Mr. Future Brand Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Surgery to MBB
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. British Tech 2+2
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Career Coach
GRE 292, GPA 3.468
Columbia | Ms. Cybersecurity
GRE 322, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Fencer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.48
Wharton | Ms. Ultimate Frisbee
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
Wharton | Ms. Future CEO
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. Inclusive Consultant
GMAT 650, GPA 6.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Civil Servant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. National Security Advisor
GMAT 670, GPA 3.3
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Military 2.0
GRE 310, GPA 2.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Navy Electronics
GRE 316, GPA 3.24
Wharton | Mr. Naval Submariner
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83
Stanford GSB | Mr. Techie Teacher
GMAT 760, GPA 3.80
Ross | Mr. NCAA to MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2

Why These MBAs Are Keen On Tomatoes


Mira Mehta

Mira Mehta

In 2013, Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, splashed headlines by announcing his plans for creating a tomato paste plant in Nigeria. The billionaire teamed up with the country’s central bank to create a $25 million tomato paste factory and is supposed to boost income for 8,000 farmers. According to Kiernan, this has yet to happen. But it also serves as proof of the need and opportunity.

There are a few tomato paste factories in Nigeria but Kiernan says they get tomatoes from outside of the country. This drives the cost of the paste up and is just one step removed from importing product completely from China—which matters to Nigerians who seek local and fresh food.

According to a McKinsey report, Nigerians are incredibly loyal to brands. If they like your brand, 70% of them will most likely continue to buy your product. Half of the country is mainly concerned with freshness of food when grocery shopping. Still, the underlying goal is to shift more of the country’s economy from gas and oil to agriculture and boost income for local farmers.

“As it stands, a farmer may make $1,000 a season,” Kiernan says. “Through the Tomato Jos program a farmer can earn $5,000 a season.”

Shane Kiernan

Shane Kiernan


Despite the award from the HBS New Venture Competition, funding is still needed to expand operations for Tomato Jos to ensure a quality product. Mehta says the model is what is best for the farmers but the final key is translating that into what the consumer wants.

“To get this to work well, we need to get the right tomatoes in the right way,” Mehta says. “We really want to help change lives in rural Nigeria. We are going to test on a small scale first, then raise the funds and produce the first large-scale batch of paste.”

A Kickstarter campaign was released yesterday (Oct. 15) to help generate the funds to produce the paste on at a high amount.

“I fundamentally believe this is where the productivity from agriculture is going to come in the future,” Kiernan says. “This is the continent that will feed the entire world in the next 30 years. We want to do it right and help the farmers increase income. We want to become an agribusiness.”