Babson MBA student puts entrepreneurship to work by helping reduce hidden hunger in Colombia
Although job creation is one of the most important benefits an entrepreneur brings to society, it is not the only one. Sometimes, entrepreneurs start businesses that are focused both on profits and on improving the quality of life of the people around them. This is the story of one of our friends here at Babson.
Lukas Donado M´15 – Director of Nutritious Products in Aerodelicias (his family business) is truly innovating for good, by creating a delicious product that aims to fight hidden hunger and hopefully contribute to the health and development of children in Colombia.
Here is a brief extract from our conversation:
How did everything start?
Around the year 1995, our family business (Aerodelicias) started working with the (Colombian) government with the purpose of eradicating hunger. Starting from there, we decided to vertically integrate, and we created our bakery and dairy products business. We also bought two companies, the first one produces dairy desserts, and the other one produces cereal bars.
We created a division called “Nutritious Products” with the objective of developing products with high nutrition levels, at the lowest cost possible.
What are the current products you are working on?
We are working on a jam that is focused on fighting hidden hunger. Hidden hunger happens not when a child is hungry, but when the child lacks the necessary vitamins and minerals (also known as micronutrients) like folic acid, zinc and iron, to develop properly. Hidden hunger has irreversible consequences in the development of a child.
We decided to create a jam that guarantees that 50% of the micronutrients that a child needs every day are there. The idea is that each mom would receive 30 portions of jam so that she can give one to her child every day. The jam can be eaten directly, with bread or crackers, like any other jam.
We are also working on a cereal bar made of chickpeas, beans and lentils, to guarantee a high intake of proteins at a low cost. The problem is that protein is expensive, and sometimes the government is not able to pay.
When are you going to launch it?
We are expecting to launch our jam in 2 or 3 months. We are waiting for packaging.
We already have all the required paperwork. This took long because this is a new product and people don´t understand it. It requires sponsorship from the government to make sure that it reaches the right people every month.
Does the jam taste good?
Yes! We decided that a child would like something sweet that tastes good. This tastes like a regular jam, and the jam retains its perfect texture even after micro nutrients are blended in.
Note on Aerodelicias:
Aerodelicias is a family business that started in 1990 with the objective of catering for airlines. They have since expanding, creating different lines of businesses, all related to food. They have presence in Chile and Perú.