Local enterepreneur, Edson Modibedi aims to penetrate the regional market through artistic and quality products he produces from his small firm in Newstands Gaborone.
Modibedi started his registered his welding company, ET MOD Investments in 2013 which is currently trading as Classic Collection Club located at Newstands Council market. He manufactures tables, flower pots, garden chairs, wine rags, flower pots anther furniture.
He told the Business Trends that he believes his products can make it in the international market because he is highly skilled in design and produces the best products. “I am talented in design skills so my products are always unique and beautiful. They are always attractive to customers,” he said. He has worked as a welder for three years and this increased his skills and experience in the field.
Recently he got first prize at the Gaborone City Council’s mini show fair organised by the Poverty Eradication Unit. The City gave him the opportunity to showcase his products at the Consumer Fair at the end of August.
Currently he has two employees. Modibedi, who is a beneficiary of Poverty Eradication Program also wants to expand his small production to mass production. However, he is limited by equipment as he only uses manual equipment. “I need modern equipment which will enable me to speed up production and save time. The current machines are slow and this limits my production. I (also) want to export my products, ” he said.
Modibedi revealed to the Business Trends that Poverty Eradication Programme funding model contributes to low production and stunted growth of Small, Medium Macro Enterprises as they do not offer enough equipment required to start up the business. “They only provide few equipment which are not sufficient and this limits production levels. Even if we have submitted quotations of all the machinery we need they alter it but during the first application they do not give us the maximum amount they give,” said Modibedi.
The Poverty Eradication Programme is geared towards assisting Batswana to attain food and economic security, and at a minimum, sustainable livelihood among the disadvantaged individuals and families. The programme issues equipment worth between P35 000 to P45 000. Modibedi is currently designing a unique table with five legs using steel and rubber from car tyres. He is currently seeking funding from institutions to help him achieve his goals to produce in large quantities and supply big furniture shops locally and regionally. Currently his major clients are organizations and individuals.
Cell City rewards customers
Cell City gave away two Toyota Hilux pick up cars worth about P300 000 and three Hisense televion sets worth P15 000 each to their customers through their annual competition.
In partnership with Hisense and Orange Botswana, Cell City conducts annual competitions to reward their customers and contribute to citizen empowerment. Handing over the cars on Friday, Cell City Chief Executive Officer, Brian White said through the competition they want to satisfy their customers and give back to the community. “Cell City and Orange clients were given a chance to win either a Toyota Hilux pickup or a Hisense television set.
All they had to do was purchase any Hisense mobile phone from a Cell City or Orange retail outlet and fill in the competition form in the store,” said White.Thato Ntshabele, who won one of the cars told the Business Trends that she bought a Hisense cell phone worth P900. 00.
“I never expected that I can win a car. I was just filling the forms and dropped into the entry box and I forgot about it. I am so happy to receive this prize and I thank Cell City for this opportunity,” said Ntshabele. Another winner, Dimakatso Mmusi expressed his excitement saying he had always wanted a van and he is grateful to Cell City.
“I just bought a cell phone worth P899.00 at Cell City Railpark mall, I never expected anything, and I was just submitting the form as I was requested by the shop assistants. This car is very useful to me,” said Dimakatso.
Smecha chillie hits the shelves
For the love of food and the passion to apply modern technology processes in food manufacturing locally, Kgalaletso Mothoagae established her own brand, Smecha specializing in relishes.
She processes and packages chillie in 325 gramms and 1 litre bottles selling at P50 and P150. She told the Business Trends that she decided to process chillies as it is one of the products that are rarely processed in the food industry.
She started cooking it for home consumption and later started selling to friends and currently the product has gone beyond borders at South African Spar shops and Restaurants. “I couldn’t look for any other vegetable as most of them have already been processed in the market. It is my first product of research in the food industry so I found out that I can do good business with this product. This chillie is free from preservatives but still has extended shelf life of 6 months,” said Mothoagae
The Kanye born young lady studied food technology and has the passion to explore the food processing market in Botswana and contribute to reduce the high food import bill. “I wanted to explore more about food and use my skills to contribute to the development of the local food processing and manufacturing industry. I also wanted to supplement my income at the same time,” said Mothoagae.
She has a degree in Food Technology. She says there is a lot of potential for business growth as there is a demand for the product locally and in South Africa. “My main customers are individuals in homes, they have embraced the product, and they love the taste. There is also a market that has been secured in SA; it is available in several shops like spars and some restaurants”. In future, Mothoagae said she would increase the product range to 10 using various vegetables and flavours.
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