Shambani graduate enterprise (SGE), a mini dairy co-owned by three university graduates, won Tshs. 12 million in the business in development (BiD) challenge.
"It came as a surprise to us. We entered the competitions with intention to win but when we faced the competition we knew it was not going to be easy. We were realistic about fellow participants in the sense that they too had strong business proposals; so we concentrated on what we had plan BUT THE FIRST PRIZE WAS A DELIGHTFUL SURPRISE BOTH IN TANZANIA AND NETHERLANDS says Victor Mfinanga, the Managing director.
Established in 2003 by local university graduate, Shambani graduate dairy has been a blessing to the farmers in Morogoro municipality. Shambani graduates started off with one milk supplier, processing capacity of 30 litres. Today the plant receives milk from over 200 suppliers and has a capacity to process 750 litres of milk dairy and produces up to three different products. Pasteurized cultured milk, pasteurized fresh milk and pasteurized flavored milk.
The SGE supplies processed milk and other dairy products to retail outlets within the municipality as well as the countries capital city Dar-el-salaam which is 120 miles away. The graduates use local technology to process their milk and have deployed hygiene standards and other innovative measures to compete among the leading processors in the country. Shambani graduates plans to increase their investment by US$ 78,000 immediately US$ 50,000 of which they will raise through loan facility. They plan to increase the investment to over US$ 100,000 in three years.
Mr. Mfinanga entered the SGE in the business in development (BiD) challenge with a lot of skepticism as little attention is paid to commercial dairy in the country. After winning in the Tanzania's BiD challenge, Mfinanga represented Tanzania in the BiD satellite award 2007 in Netherlands. The business plan emerged top among fourteen other fine business plans. From Netherlands, Mfinanga with his Shambani Graduate Enterprise business plan, entered for believe-begin- become business plan competition in which the plan emerged first runners up.
According to Mr. Mfinanga, the awards have exposed Shambani Company to investors and banks are now giving attention to it. This will facilitate access to finance expansion.
"The process has given us access to business development services that we were not able to access earlier. Thus managing Shambani Dairy Business will be more professional. We are making changes in our investment plans to keep up with new developments in business brought by success from the competitions" said the SGE managing director
From the experience, said Victor, I have appreciated the following
ü Discipline is a crucial aspect in pursuing a business goal. This applies to finances, personnel management, focus and leadership.
ü Knowledge of the industry one operates, commitment to what a person desire to achieve and perseverance beyond obstacles is what is takes to make a difference
ü Planning and preparation can make a difference in a competition, it helps to reduce stress; and saves time and money
Finally Mr. Mfinanga noted that the Dairy sector in Tanzania is increasingly receiving attention from different stakeholders including the Government. He would like to call upon stakeholders in the industry to join hands to take the industry to the next level.
For the younger generation, Victor challenges them to know what they want in life, make a plan to achieve it and take action today.