The CEO and founder of Titan Farms Multibusiness Limited, Aare Gbenga Eyiolawi, said his company has paid over five hundred and fifty million to their investors between the month of July that the payment issues started through December 2021.
The company’s CEO, who also doubled as Aare Kebimapalu of Ibadanland, was represented by Mrs. Ayoola Olaniyi, doubled as the company Public Relationship Officer (PRO) & Customers Relationship Manager (CRM), on Wednesday, at the NUJ Press Center, Iyaganku Ibadan.
Titan Farms management has earlier called for a press conference at the NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, to address their investors and pressmen, the press conference was later postponed indefinitely due to security reasons, according to the management.
While speaking to the pressmen available, when announcing the postponement of the scheduled meeting, the journalists and newsmen present used the opportunity to corner the company’s PRO, Ayoola, to ask her some of the questions about the things they’ve been hearing in town.
A correspondence asked that one of the complaints he has been hearing from some of their investors is that the company’s customer care number is no longer reachable. Mrs. Ayoola acknowledged that fact, she explained further, “primarily, one of the reasons we decided to toe the line of substituting calls for sending of emails is because most of the times, customers complain that the customer care unit doesn’t pick calls when in actual fact, they were on another call with another customer and they always try their best to make sure they call back all missed calls. We then adopted the mode of sending emails as official means of communication since the hurdles experienced in call making won’t be met while sending emails. While calls can be missed after office hours, emails cannot”
“So majorly, the essence is to create efficiency in attending to investors and not only them, customers, partners and collaborators and ensuring better communication channels with partners. It is also important to note that we will now be operating a Hybrid system of working.” She added.
Read the other questions by journalists present & answers given by the representative below:
Journalist: What’s the way forward for the company?
Titan Farms PRO: The Company is looking into altering its business model and by introducing new product lines and also new product sizes to cover more customer base. Our rice product would now have 2kg and 1kg sizes for shelf/supermarket sizes so new buyers can buy for sampling and tasting while they come back to buy bigger sizes once they are satisfied with the quality of products we offer.
We would also be introducing two varieties of Garri as part of our new product lines in partnership with an international food processing organization based in Ibadan. This Garri would come in various sizes ranging from 1kg to 25kg and would be distributed across institutions, markets, and supermarkets.
Our campus rave project that kicked off last year would enter full gear this year by ensuring the distribution of products to students at affordable prices while having them subscribe to our packages to ensure they get food cheaper than they would in their universities’ host communities. By so doing, students are able to save more and not also bother about food while studying. We are using this avenue to build a student community “Community of the Future” for our products where we presently have over six thousand members and by the end of the year, we hope to have over One Hundred Thousand members for the community that we will constantly supply on regular basis.
This means we would spread across at least 5 tertiary institutions before the end of the year with our full presence. That way, the company can make more money reliably while reducing the cost of logistics and staffing.
Journalist: What date do you want to resume the payment?
Titan Farms PRO: Payment of investors has never stopped as well as settlement of investors with considerations other than cash. The process may have been slow but has remained steady over time, and, we intend to continue and even scale up the payment process till all outstanding to investors are settled.
Regarding the date, as it stands, we have disappointed so many people by giving dates since we cannot pay/settle everyone at the same time. Some of these dates failed not because we intend for them to, but the agitations from investors that most times disrupt business and the rumors damaging the brand image.
Also, these dates failed because certain expectations on which the dates were fixed failed. We cannot be giving excuses why a date failed, rather we take responsibility for them and see how to redeem the disappointment and business as well.
Payment and investors settlement will continue, though slow, it will be steady and for some investors in installments spread over a period of time. We will communicate from time to time on the payment schedule for transparency and accountability reasons.
Journalist: What can the investors do to help out with the situation on the ground?
Titan Farms PRO: The role of investors in mitigating the current situation cannot be over-emphasized.
Investors can help out with the following: First is to stop the blackmailing being orchestrated by some people by posting damaging posts on social media and using that to request money which isn’t yielding any result. In fact, it only makes things harder because you don’t expect people to do business with a firm with a bad reputation and if we don’t do business, how do we pay?
Stopping this will help keep the staff members, their families, and loved ones from harm while they focus on the recovery process of the company.
Secondly, assist in managing the image of the company.
Thirdly, the investors should allow the company to do business in peace without the fear of attacks from investors or third parties.
Journalist: What have you done to mitigate it and how do you intend to do that?
Titan Farms PRO: As of now, a clause of the contract signed by investors and the company has been triggered.
The clause states that “where there’s a conflict in the relationship between the investor and the company, such matter shall be referred to Arbitration”.
We have on our part tried to maintain relationships by conversing with investors on what has transpired and the way forward. However, most investors won’t understand as all they need is their money which is their right.
We have since then engaged the service of an arbitrator for the arbitral tribunal to commence work without favoritism and bias.
Journalist: We heard about the Court cases, what can you tell us about that?
Titan Farms PRO: Yes, there are some court cases. As to how we will manage it, we have a legal team internally, and externally to see to that. That way, the management can properly see steady business growth.
May we also inform our aggrieved investors that the court is not the immediate channel of dispute resolution for issues associated with their investment with us. They should please explore the amicable resolution through conciliation, if that does not work, then arbitration. Currently, some arbitration sessions are ongoing.
We will also like to state that continuous petitions and court processes will further strain the available business resources. We know we are asking for too much, but they should please allow us to serve them better.
Journalist: Is there a possibility that we get evidence that indeed some investors have been paid? Titan Farms PRO: Yes, the truth is that a lot of investors have been paid, however, for privacy and confidentiality reasons, we cannot make such records or evidence public.
Between July, when the payment got slow and December 2021, we have paid over 550M (with available proof and data). For some investors upon amicable settlement, we were able to settle them with considerations other than cash.
However, without revealing the identities of the investors, the proof of payments can be made available upon request. We will make this record open and available if they can have a committee set up for such a purpose. This committee can be a 5 man committee set up by the investors without any interference from us as to who is selected.
Journalist: Is it possible they let go of their ROI and get their capital back as soon as possible?
Titan Farms PRO: By activating the refund clause, the company is expected to refund the investment capital over a period of time. However, our current predicament cannot afford an immediate refund, hence, we have to plead for more time within which to refund investors. It is our mandate to ensure that this refund is done within a reasonable time as business revives.
A payment schedule will be communicated as to the duration and spread of payment.
So far, we appreciate their understanding, patience, and sacrifices, we only hope and beg our investors to allow us more time within which to make their payments.