Zambia-based entrepreneur Mukupo Sichula has more than 10 years’ experience in the local business environment, powering his successful run in his own F&B business, Wanzana Processing. As Managing Director, Mukupo is responsible for the day to day running of the family business that he started together with his uncle Mwembe (40% stake) and Mwembe’s father, Maxwell (20% stake).
Wanzana began its operation in 2007, distributing its own brand of cordial (concentrated juices) under the brand name “SPAKA”, which has, over the years, become a household name. Wanzana’s competitive edge is that it produces a cordial drink that leaves no aftertaste upon being consumed, and has gained it the patronage of one of Africa’s leading chains of departmental stores, PicknPay.
However, Mukupo was facing capital constraints in the way of growing the business, which were preventing him from supplying from one of Africa’s largest supermarket chains, Shoprite, and growing its footprint beyond the Zambian market. In effect, Wanzana could not serve Shoprite stores as it was unable to meet the minimum stock level requirements of Shoprite.
At this stage, GroFin stepped in with a loan of USD 104k over 5 years to allow Mukupo to purchase the necessary equipment for growing his business.
“GroFin not only gave me the funds to grow my business, but also refinanced other, higher-interest bearing loans, thus allowing my company to avail the services of a dedicated long-term financier,” says Mukupo.
GroFin’s investment will move the company from its current production capacity of 3,000 cases per month at 50% factory capacity to full factory capacity. This will allow Wanzana to add Shoprite stores to their distribution list, and translate into increased cashflow and stability of the business going forward.
Under its business support function, GroFin helped Mukupo produce updated management accounts and to carry out alterations to the shareholding structure to ensure that the person responsible for day-to-day operations has larger stake and is more vested in the business.
“We expect to work with the client closely and ensure they have a full-fledged accounts department separate from the sales team and also that they fully implement their accounting system,” says Ernest Kando, Investment Manager, GroFin Zambia.
Besides, the increased business will sustain 20 jobs and create 10 new jobs, of which 3 will be held by women and a total of 6 employee at the bottom of the pyramid will be employed. Moreover, most of the low skilled employees will come from the neighbouring community of Kanyama, contributing to sustained local development.
Finally, small businesses located in areas where Wanzana distributes its drinks also stand to benefit from the increased sales as the SPAKA drink is a household name in most low and middle income homes.