Meet Ingo, who left his finance career and long hours in the City, to set up Adonis Smart Foods out of frustration for the lack of healthy snacks on offer. We talk to him about how his quest for a low sugar revolution began.
1. What's the biggest lesson you've learnt from starting up Adonis Smart Foods?
The key to success is a strong team, which I am thankful for, and not to lose your nerves when sailing close to the cliffs. If you lose your nerves, your team will be negatively impacted.
2. What's the one piece of business advice you wish you'd been given?
Don’t start a business alone. But also make sure your partner is reliable, reasonable, balanced and that you understand his or her goals, why they want to do it and that your goals are aligned with theirs. There will be many bumps in the road along the way and it’s a shame if you derail after a few because of misunderstandings.
3. Was there ever a point when you wanted to give up?
Yes. When my parents lost everything after a lawsuit, I had suddenly more serious responsibilities and had to work on helping to bail them out, whilst also in the throws of setting up the business without the finances I initially planned to have. It was a really hard time. But many people have similar experiences and I think it isthe key to always strive to do the right thing, regardless of outcome, and keep doingit.
4. What's been the biggest milestone for the business so far?
There isn't one milestone to speak of as building a business means we achieve many tiny milestones constantly. The key thing I look forward to is when we break even so we're in a better position with more confidence, then we can just act much more out of passion with everything rather than need.
5. Who is your inspiration?
I don't have one person in mind. My inspirations are rather the dreams that I want to realise. However, I respect anyone who proves that they can achieve something ”impossible” through sheer effort and thought.
6. What keeps you motivated?
As a company, we're motivated by contributing to society with the provision of something healthy and helpful to the lifestyle of many people. For me, it is personal freedom. For me this means to live in whichever country I want and to build any business or pursue goals like studying something new, sailing around the world or supporting politics and NGOs.
7. If you weren't doing this, you would be....
Creating another startup – or still sitting in an office tower working on transactions in an investment bank or a fund and maybe planning my escape.