Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Prime Food Products
Explain your idea in details:
The first main objective of Prime Food Products is to solve the need for a good quality potato product at an affordable price. The second, is to be an addition to the potato value chain, increasing the outlet of potato product to match the growing diversity of not only the Malawian market, but also of neighboring countries. Our last main objective is to be a major formal player in the potato market. To date, the potato market in Malawi is a largely informal sector, and so farmers, distributors and vendors do not benefit enough to grow their businesses and advance to their next level. However, we hope that with our participation, we can realize the potential of this market, to not only employ people in the plants, but also bring more revenues to farmers and vendors. Our main activities are the operations of the packaging plant, and the marketing and distribution associated with it. We plan to have cleaning and drying machinery, conveyor belts for sorting, and warehouse space to store raw and finished product. We plan to have our plant in one of the high-yield potato areas so that we may have access to good product at an affordable price. This will also help us to establish a good working relationship with farmers, our main suppliers. For our marketing and distribution, we plan to use the conventional means for marketing and distribution (internet, print and TV adverts, distribution through local supermarkets and shopping centers). However, we also intend to use another approach when it comes to selling and distribution. We plan to have Kiosks at busy intersections in all urban areas, operated by independent vendors (selling on wage and commission basis) to reach out to customers on-the-go and also to make the brand visible.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Our main commitment remains to the health and well-being of the consumers of our product. By doing this, we plan to build a company that has a large visible impact in Malawi, employing people, and having a high corporate social responsibility. We also plan to diversify our machinery, to also supply pre-peeled and pre-cut (into fries and wedges) potatoes as part of our product variety. Our targets include, but are not limited to; profit margin of 30-40 percent, output of 2 tonnes a month (with a steady 15% increment per month), 20 employees by the end of the First Year of operations, growth of our capital base from $11,000/Year to $80,000/Year over the next 5 Years; and the expansion of our customer base to cover all of Malawi (Three Regions, 24 Districts) by the end of the First operating year. Our measure of success will be the achievement of these growth targets set for the next Five Years. We wish to grow our output, and with it our customer base, to enable us to expand to markets in Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania (neighboring countries). By the start of 2022, we hope to have acquired enough capital to start a potato chips processing plant to diversify our service offering. We view this as the next step to our value addition process, and something that will likely be more profitable. However, the costs and demands (labor, experience, market knowledge) of such an initiative require us all(founder and staff) to first enter the potato market, and gain the experience needed for when we will be launching the next step.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Our business model is both Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B). Apart from the supermarkets and kiosks, we plan to sell our product to organizations (Hotels, Restaurants, Government institutions) through bidding for the awards of supply contracts. A far as financing is concerned, our venture is fully bootstrapped. However, the available capital would not be enough for all the operations of the first year (only about 30% of the required capital is self-raised), and so the prospect of obtaining a bank loan is being evaluated. However, we are looking into the chance of getting external venture funding through pitches to potential investors and accelerator hubs. By the end of the year 2019, we hope to have established enough collaborations to raise the $11,000 we need in order to start this venture by March 2020.
Martin is a 19-year-old college student, finishing his Final Year pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University of Malawi, The Polytechnic. Martin is passionate about business, and started a media company, Grandline Multimedia, which has grown to be a medium-scale provider of photography, videography and social media services in the city of Blantyre, Malawi. The company now also supplies photography equipment to individuals and organizations across Malawi. His drive for agribusiness comes from realizing the huge potential that agribusiness has in Africa, and Malawi specifically. He believes that with the right investment, management and expertise, agribusiness may contribute to the development of Malawi on a larger scale. Currently, he is also a Youth Think Tank researcher under Restless Development, and is part of a research into expanding youth businesses. He was invited to attend the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations in New York, USA that took place from 11th-18th July 2018.