KAZUNGULA: A former mechanical and electrical technician at Debswana’s Orapa mine, Motlhagodi Lamont and his partner Tennyboy Matebesi have taken advantage of initiatives offered by Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) in order to boost their water purification business to maximise profitability.
The duo operates Chobe Pure, trading as Eden Drops, which is well known for its services and products in the Chobe District and other regions across the country.
Lamont told a group of journalist during a recent media tour organised by CEDA that their business started in 2011 and back then they only operated using small purifying machines.
He revealed that the business was self-funded from savings by the two partners. Lamont said the small purification machine produced close to 800 litres per an hour.
He however bemoaned that packaging then became costly as they used to order bottles from as far as Gaborone and South Africa.
He said in 2012, CEDA injected P450, 000 into the business and they managed to buy extra purification machines, blowing machine, heater, filter and compressor although it was was not enough on the back of rising demand.After clearing their loan with CEDA they applied for another loan, which was approved and they were granted P1.5 million in 2017. Lamont shared that they used the funds to expand their business by purchasing six more blowing machines.
The entrepreneur added
Lamont said there has been a ramp in production as compared to the past since in a day they can now produce 200 to 250 cases of 500ml bottles.
He disclosed that some of their clients include lodges in the region and Namibia who place orders for different sizes of water bottles ranging from 330ml, 500ml, 1 litre to 5 litres.
He said some of the challenges they encounter are shortage of raw materials and spare parts of the water-blowing machine, which can only be acquired in China.
They have employed seven permanent staff, the youngest being 21 after they decided to downsize in 2017.
He said that due to the introduction of more machinery they were forced to retrench five employees.
He disclosed that on an average they have an annual net profit of P60, 000.
He adviced Batswana to make use of schemes offered by CEDA and use business opportunities that exist in their communities to better their livelihoods.