In the middle of economic difficulties and hardships, a young entrepreneur with a mindset that enables him visualize things beyond what his human eyes can see has imaged victorious winning this year’s Open to Export International business award held in Geneva, Switzerland defeating 12 other competitors.
Allan Chanda, a 34 year old Chief Executive Officer of Dytech Limited, the only locally honey producing company in Zambia won first place and US$5,000 in a global pitch Contest attended by many other competitors from around the globe.
His delectable product range impressed the judges while his company’s scope for employing and training staff (40% of whom are women) to fund them to have better living situations and opportunities which were truly inspiring.
Dytech vision is to hit 280 tonnes of honey production per annum in 4 years
Dytech limited has over the last one year produced a total of 15 metric tonnes of honey with each ton costing about K40, 000. The young entrepreneur says he has a vision of producing 280 tonnes of honey per annum which would generate revenues of about US$1 million in the next 4 years.
Dytech Limited produces organic honey (100% made by nature) and various innovative value added products such as honey sweets in various flavours (Lollipops, Candy & Lozenges) and squeezer bottled honey (250g,350g & 500g) and 300kg metal drums bulk export branded as SweetHarvest.
The company controls the quality of the product in every step of the production chain from the beehive to the consumer. Local demand in Zambia is estimated between 60 to 70 tons with estimated growth prospects of 60%.
Export demand from the EU is at 400,000 tons, from China 265,000 tons and from South Africa at 500 tons. The company currently has a contractual agreement with Norevo from Germany who buy 20 tons of honey every 4 months. Demand for bee wax and propolis from Europe is high as well.
Education and professional background
The young CEO graduated from the University of Zambia in 2009 after pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical engineering. He became disappointed with life after failing to get a ‘good job’ a year after his graduation.
Luckily in 2011, the young entrepreneur was able to get his first job with USAID in the rural outskirts of Solwezi district in North Western province. Chanda’s ability to socialize with people opened a door of opportunity after villagers started supplying him with honey which he sold on their behalf to his friend when he got out of town.
Nyamuka entrepreneurship competition gave the first spark
This idea prompted the young entrepreneur to apply for the Nyamuka Zambia entrepreneurship competition in 2014 that required young aspiring entrepreneurs to write business proposals in a pitch to win funding for a business. It was the victory of this competition that secured him ZMW200, 000 (about US$2,000) that saw the birth of his company, Dytech Limited.
As a young engineer, Chanda designed a Zam-hive which allows bees make honey using natural flowers. This method of harvesting honey is environmental friendly as it does not allow the cutting down of trees. This method also reduces the cost of honey production with higher productivity compared to the traditional method which allows for the cutting down of trees which destroys the forests.
Dytech limited has so far employed 10 people with the hope of increasing the number once the company grows. Honey is gotten from small sellers from Central province, North western province as well as Lusaka. The honey is inspected to ensure that no water or chemicals is added by the suppliers. The honey is then repacked and labeled according to its origin.
Zambians need to change their mindsets and support local products
As the only locally owned honey producing company, Dytech exports 90% of his products to China with the first export to Egypt being scheduled for December 2018. The 10% of the product is sold locally due to the mindset of local people who believe a locally produced product is never good enough for consumption.
The young entrepreneur says his target market is outside the country but hopes the local people can start believing and supporting local businesses that includes his business. He also says doors are open to those entrepreneurs that wish to invest in this business.
Chanda says he has plans of expanding his business to produce other products such as sweets, wax shinning polish, candies and other products using the left overs from the hive. This is will be ensure that their is efficiency and integration in his company’s operations.