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Bulb World targets P50m regional expansion

PAULINE DIKUELO
Aiming high: Jacob plans to expand Bulb World regionally PIC: BULB WORLD
Bulb World is hunting for capital of P50 million to expand to five regional markets, BusinessWeek has established.

The full amount will cover operational costs, cost of sales and purchase of raw materials, the fast-rising citizen-owned manufacturer says.

This week, the Light Emitting Diode (LED) manufacturing company told BusinessWeek that talks are currently ongoing with a few local financial institutions that are known for funding large-scale projects.

Established two years ago, Bulb World produces an array of lights for household and commercial use including A60 (screws and pins), downlights, filaments, tubes, tower lights and street lights. The Selebi-Phikwe business also produces customised lights upon special request/specification.

Bulb World CEO, Ketshephaone Jacob said the company’s expansion strategy includes penetrating Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Malawi. The company already has a growing presence in South Africa.

“We are using a phased approach,” he said.

“Effective next month we have plans to start our marketing in South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique, which will include listings with retailers and kick-starting distributions for at least four months then the rest will follow around August or September.”

Jacob said Bulb World’s concept has been well received in South Africa and talks are in progress with the relevant authorities there.

“Our first interactions and engagement about our business was with the North West Development Corporation and all other

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relevant bodies who have allowed us to set up in the North West.

“They have given us a plant in Mogwasa that has great allowances and we are truly grateful for the support they have given us thus far,” he said.

Jacob said the existing partnerships with international regional retailers like Shoprite, Checkers, Builder’s Warehouse, which already exists in the neighbouring country, will work to Bulb World’s advantage.

“The easiest ones we plan to start with are our existing retail partnerships, as through them we will be able to gain traction and the trust of other bigger retail chain stores,” he said.

The local manufacturer currently has 65 workers, but plans to increase the number to 1,000 across the five new markets. On average, Jacob said Bulb World’s projected revenue for the next five years is P100 million.

Despite the machinery capacitated to produce 20,000 units per day, Bulb World currently produces 5,000 units per day due to the current demand within the local retail market.

“Our focus for production has been retail, larger projects have taken longer to come in. After expansion, we are projecting to produce 50,000 units per day to service all our markets,” he said.



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