Juicy stuff: Indeed just for you

By Michael Tambo
December 2011/January 2012
Prime Business
Contrary to the adage that the most successful companies are the ones that have successfully convinced people to buy their products, Namibian Quality Beverages Pty Ltd (NQB) has managed to turn the tables through its supply of a unique brand ‘4 U’, which has been warmly welcomed by the local market.

The NQB is a Namibian registered propriety limited company, which specialises in manufacturing, import, export, sales and distribution. It opened its doors in 2008 with a mission to produce highest quality juices and ice tea. As a local manufacturing company, it produces local products of quality, hence the name ‘4 U’, implying ‘for Namibians by Namibians.’

The NQB CEO, Charl Coetzee says, “The brand name ‘4 U’ implies that we love our customers, therefore, our products are for them. We looked for people’s needs and saw that people need to eat and drink and we had to look for something that adds value. The ‘4 U’ is always on the heart of our logo, because we produce our products for the people we love.”

The company, which currently has 40 local employees, started by manufacturing juice, then expanded to add in YKP Fire balls, YKP Cheese Curls and Hi-pro Dog food. Their juices come in three ranges: 100% fruit Juices, Lite Juices and Nectars and have recently introduced ice tea made from Rooibos extract. Juice ‘4 U’ is sold in more than 30 retail shops around the country.

“Where as many people cap their juice according to different flavours, we have decided to cap our products according to their quality, to tell you what it is. The orange cap is for 100% fruit juices with no sugar added in them, whereas the green cap is nectar juice for the 20-40%, which is intended to bring out a high quality product but a cheaper juice.

“We also have the red-capped ice tea made from Rooibos extracts, which no other company supplies. Our new editions to the juice family include the blue-capped daily blend juice and the ‘Aqua 4 U’,” adds Coetzee.

NQB is currently working on a very exciting long term project in which they want to make oil from local fruit called ‘project nut’ and the oil-made will be used as a cosmetic oil for skin care and secondly for cooking. This is part of NQB’s social responsibility and a way to plough back into the market.

“The idea behind our ‘project nut’ is not to make money out of it but it is our social responsibility. We looked at what we can do to plough back into our market as NQB is a Namibian company owned by Namibians and managed by Namibians, creating work for Namibians. The oil will be used as cosmetic oil for skin care and for cooking and NQB is planning to set up groups, which will pick up the seeds and give them to a person from whom we will buy the seed from, thereby creating jobs for local Namibians,” says Coetzee.

“We are trying to do something that will create jobs for the local community therefore; we try to keep our machines as manual as possible. Obviously we have certain required health- requirement for the machines to be automated but we tried to keep our machines semi-manual in order to create work for people. The automated part is whatever the health requires but we are trying to keep them semi-manual to create employment,” he says adding that, “Import products create work for a driver and a merchandiser but if we manufacture those products locally and distribute them locally, we then create work not only for the driver and merchandiser but also for a lot of people that will be involved in the manufacturing of the products.”

One of the strengths that Coetzee boasts of is the fact that NQB’s products are aimed and focused on the Namibian market and is adapted for the Namibian market, which means that everything they manufacture is done for the local market and in a way, empowers the nation.

Part of NQB’s strategic plans for the coming years is to make sure that they will be able to meet the growing demand in the market for their products and be able to supply their customers on a weekly basis and ensure that every town around the country has their products, before exporting to neighboring countries.

“We intend to put our products within the reach of Namibia and after that, we expect to export to regional countries. We are also currently working on new products for the Namibian market and our aim is to take beverage, work out its recipes and change it to suit the demands of the local market, having it produced locally.

“We believe that a product locally manufactured creates an extra job and that locally manufactured products are money kept in the country,” he emphasises.

Business, for Coetzee, is not just about making money, but about saving the money. If there are more local entrepreneurs who open their businesses, that means there will be more income in the country and more taxes and infrastructure also grow and if infrastructure grows, more foreign investors will be attracted in the country and the more the investments, the more growth the country will achieve. The more we make, the more hospitals and schools will benefit, hence making people happy.

“We believe that Namibia has a huge potential and that there are many people who see the potential but the challenge is when it comes to the actual solutions, we are lost. A lot of things have been done by outsiders and realising baby steps to start doing things for ourselves is the challenge. We are also focusing on the youth because if you want to fix the future, you must fix the next generation. Every single day on a small scale level, we try and change people’s views and outlook on life. “If you don’t invest in the money where you are, in my opinion, you will be short-sighted because, you will be taking money out and eventually that bucket will be empty. If you put money back into the society, it will generate more money, which means by investing locally, you grow locally,” he explains.

His parting message to the upcoming entrepreneurs is, “In business, you need to be pro-active; work with a goal and work towards achieving that goal, without losing focus. Always think win-win when working with other people and remember that business is not a 100-metre race but a marathon. Don’t barn bridges, build them.” PF