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Young Motswana Makes It Big With Arabian Fragrance

DUMISANI NCUBE
Thatayotlhe Molaoa
A youth-owned operation, Lakewood Resources, has found a lucrative market in the distribution of Arabian fragrance called Afnan.

Company’s youthful owner, Thatayotlhe Molaoa, saw an opportunity in mother nature, Botswana’s sweltering temperatures that has people in need colognes and other fragrance to stay fresh.

Lakewood Resources has been trading since last year, distributing Eau de Parfum from Dubai, offering concierge of door-to-door delivery of the goods.

The company’s marketing manager, Thabang Kwapa said that they went into perfume distribution on the realisation that the clothing market was saturated.

“We had already been involved in the lifestyle industry and image has always been important to us so fragrances were a natural choice. Batswana have started being more conscious of their image as you can see from increased gym memberships, boutiques, and photographers. Image has started to matter,” he said.

Kwapa emphasised that they are targeting a market that is not already saturated, noting that their target market is fashion enthusiasts and trendsetters, young professionals and more seasoned professionals with their range of woody scents.

He explained that their fragrances

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work well in Botswana’s climatic conditions, and the scents are long lasting. They have fragrances for both men and women.

“Arabic colognes are more potent. The climate in Dubai is similar to ours here so that is why we chose Arabic scents,” he said.

The fragrance distribution business in Botswana has not been commercially successful, as many traders have decided to distribute their products through street vendors at places such as the bus ranks.

“The response (for other distributors) has not been extremely positive and we do not have too much of a struggle moving stock. The first range that we introduced was sold out and we have since acquired new stock which is also moving at a great pace,” he said.

Kwapa said Lakewood Resources is making strides to penetrate into the commercial mainstream of fragrance distribution as they have given some local celebrities endorsement deals. The prices for the fragrances range from P600 to P1,000.



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