Entrepreneurship is not an easy path, and only a few industry giants like Kitso Motshidisi survive it.
From selling oranges during school days, to selling alcohol, operating a car wash, and venturing into film and television production, Motshidisi has left no stone unturned.
In his latest venture, the serial entrepreneur who currently operates a petrol station, partnered with Chris Phalatsi to exploit the water business after realising the need in the market.
The duo did not only intend to sell their branded water ‘Fresh Aqua’ but also aim to supply bottled water to different brands as per the client’s requirements. Their plant manufactures 500ml and 1.5-litre water bottles. They also clean and purify water through reverse osmosis.
Motshidisi intimated to Business Monitor he saw an opportunity in the water business after government banned the importation of bottled water.
“We identified the gap and embraced the opportunity because water is essential and it is a business that is sustainable,” he explained.
Last year, the government through the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry imposed a ban on the importation of bottled natural and mineral water.
According to Motshidisi, together with his partner they decided to buy the machinery in China, which cost them around P1.2 million.
“It is a full plant, we buy pre-forms in Phakalane which we then use to make the water bottles. There are about 14,000 per bail while the five litres come readily made,” he
Motshidisi said they sell empty water bottles and the filled ones depending on the demand of the client. The machinery has the capacity to produce 3,000 water bottles per hour.
Unlike their competitors, the duo also intends to work with small entrepreneurs as they seek to empower them.
“We have a totally different strategy, which is centred around empowering the youth thus creating employment in return. We will be having individual sales people who can just walk in, buy and sell for themselves. Our price will also be affordable compared to our competitors,” he said.
Motshidisi said they are currently waiting for the Botswana Bureau of Standards to check water standards and certify them for their business to start running.
In addition he said they would also be taking their employees for medicals to abide by the requirements. The company currently has about 15 employees, but intends to increase the number once the demand rises, as they also have plans of operating 24 hours if need be.
“I want to urge Batswana to support and empower each other because as a collective we can help diversity our economy. Who would believe that am I a school drop out, who once joined the military, and resigned after realising that being employed is not for me,” he said.