The family-run enterprise that conquered BDC’s Business Den
Last month, a local start-up, Alosa Group beat off competition from 243 other hopefuls to walk away with the first-ever Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) Business Den Award.
The Group, a conglomerate that consists of two companies, Alosa Briquettes, and Alosa Feeds, won a cool P500, 000 as part of the prize.
The family-run enterprise is under the capable command of 25-year-old Samuel Ntshiwa, who serves as Alosa Group CEO.
His younger sisters, Ludo, 22, and Tshegofatso, 23, are at the helm of each of the businesses.
Alosa Briquettes produces briquettes from biomass charcoal mixed with raw materials while Alosa Feeds manufactures livestock and poultry feeds among others.
“It is a family business and the name Alosa was derived from the prefixes of our parents’ names, Alois and Samantha,” revealed Samuel, explaining ‘Alosa’ means to grow and take care of something until it is mature, which is exactly what the company aims to do.
“This group of companies is in a start-up phase, with the feeds manufacturing launching soon. We are in the process of procuring the machinery and securing supplies, then we will launch the briquettes business,” he continued.
The Tsamaya native added the formation of the group was inspired by the need to create local trade through manufacturing.
“Our manufacturing sector is not strong, the need to boost it and create a resilient one motivated these ideas,” he highlighted.
Samuel revealed that after intensive research and in-depth analysis of the market, including dissecting export and import statistics, they realised there is a need for the product.
According to the young CEO, the vision is to grow the group into a formidable business in the next 10 years and incorporate as many companies as possible.
These will range from agriculture, property, services, and more manufacturing operations.
“The vision is to incorporate as many manufacturing businesses as we can under the group which will result in boosting the sector in Botswana and increased contribution to the GDP,” Samuel predicted boldly.
The BEng Mining graduate from Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) described the recent BDC win as the Group’s ‘greatest milestone’ to date.
“It provides an opportunity for funding, recognition, and ultimately growth. It is also an opportunity for partnerships with different stakeholders. The win also is a confirmation of a good business plan, therefore starting up a business and running it with the plan will ensure profitability venture,” said S.Ntshiwa.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation alumni are confident Alosa Group will create a huge value-chain, which in turn will create more job opportunities.
The business currently has five permanent employees but Ntshiwa forecast the number to grow by seven more employees after the launch.
As part of their prize, Alosa Group will remain in the Business Den for 18 months, with BDC providing constant monitoring and evaluation, playing a mentorship role until the project is fully established.