Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Business

Doggy delights

Doggy delights
DOGGY HEAVEN: The Agrikura founder in her store

Like most children, growing up, Tapiwa Masalila Mkungunugwa loved dogs.

However, the Semitwe-native never imagined that one day she would make a living out of feeding canines.

Indeed, when she graduated from Botswana College of Agriculture in 2010, dogs were the last thing on her mind

After school, Mkungunugwa worked in several agriculture shops, including Agricorp and Agrifield.

“That’s how I learned agribusiness. We sold equipment, seeds, animal feed, etc. But when I went solo in 2016, I decided to focus on dog food and accessories,” explains the 34-year-old Agrikura founder, speaking to Voice Money from her small store at Block 3’s bustling shopping complex in Gaborone.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Glancing around her shop, which is neatly stocked with different varieties of dog biscuits packaged in eye-catching, colorful bags as well as a selection of dog toys, Mkungunugwa proudly notes she has come a long way in the last four years.

“I started by doing door-to-door sales and deliveries as well as Facebook marketing. But more and more customers wanted to know where to find me. Some even wondered if they could trust me so I was forced to open shop here,” Mkungunugwa says, adding she started the venture solely with her own savings.

Agrikura is tucked away beside Tswana Spar and is easy to overlook. That doesn’t seem to be a problem for the area’s dog keepers, who keep popping in one after the other.

Mkungunugwa says her customers include dog owners and breeders.

Explaining how her love for dogs eventually turned to business, she states, “My family had dogs when I was growing up and I own three lovely dogs and I know they have to eat. Imagine coming home tired and having to cook for dogs or if you have to leave them in someone else’s care and they have to cook for them. It’s trouble, but not when you have dog food.”

With established agriculture shops and supermarkets as some of her competitors, the industry has a number of established players.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Nevertheless, Mkungunugwa feels hers exceptional service delivery gives her an advantage over the rest.

“When my customers call, I don’t hesitate to help them, even if I’ve already closed shop!” she states.

Other challenges include high rentals and the fact that she gets her stock from South Africa, which means sometimes having to endure a frustrating wait for deliveries to arrive.

Like almost all other businesses, Covid-19 has dealt a blow to Mkungunugwa’s enterprises.

“Besides the fact that I could not go stock which is now running out, I was closed for two months but still have to pay rent and utilities,” she laments.

As if to explain the sandals on her desk, Mkungunugwa picks one up and declares, “I’ve had to learn a new craft in order to diversify because things are tough right now. The leather works business is gaining traction and soon I’ll supply retailers and vendors.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Tough as business may be, it has not diminished her future ambitions, which include moving to a bigger space, introducing more livestock feed equipment and accessories, and opening another branch.

Within the next 10 years, she intends to be producing and processing dog food, lucern, sorghum, and sunflower as well as buying crops from other farmers for processing.

Though capital is good to start big the self-funded entrepreneur says it’s best to start small so as to learn about the business.

“You will also certainly need patience,” she adds.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You May Also Like

News

*Former spy chief spends another night at SSG holding cells

News

Two men were burnt beyond recognition last Friday morning in Maun after a Mercedes Benz vehicle they were driving in veered off the road...

News

Police have confirmed the death of a 9-year-old girl suspected to have accidentally throttled herself with a swing string at Molepolole’s Lesetlheng ward last...

News

VIOLENT HUSBAND IN COURT FOR GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM An aggressive Zimbabwean man appeared before Francistown Magistrate Court on Tuesday charged with causing grievous bodily...

News

I want to hug Jesus-The General tells friends before killing himself Botswana Police are investigating another case in which one of their officers, a...

Sports

Following uncertainty over this year’s Botswana Sports Awards, Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) has finally cleared the air announcing the 19th or 26th of...

Politics

Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse, has assured the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) members of a better future ahead following...

News

Palapye Labour Officers to appear in court over Makoro Bricks case Two Palapye District Labour Office employees will appear before Justice Diwanga of Francistown...

News

•Boy 14, uses dad’s loaded gun to kill 6 -year -old sister A father whose six-year-old daughter died in a shooting accident by her...

News

Balopi says emergency meeting was for Bye election preparations Botswana Democratic Party’s Secretary General, Mpho Balopi, has come to the defence of his party...

News

REPORTS THE DISTRICT OFFICE TO COMMISSIONER Botswana Miners Workers Union has reported the Palapye District Labour Office to the Commissioner of Labour Goitseone Kokorwe....

News

PRINCE HARRY CONDEMNS DRILLING FOR OIL IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA, MOBILISES THE WORLD TO STOP IT One of the most powerful men in the...

News

The City of Francistown and AMA Future of Africa Holding (Pty) Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for the establishment of an...

News

Mother withdraws maintenance case after son’s poisoning A distraught mother, Boitumelo Mompati, this week withdrew a child maintenance case from Extension II Magistrate court...

News

*Lions terrorise Sepako farmers *10 cows killed within four days The human-wildlife conflict has reached an all-time high in Sepako, a village 50km north-east...

News

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Councillor for Medie/Kweneng, Edwin Shanakane, on Monday appeared before Molepolole Magistrates’ Court charged with defilement. Shanakane, 37, is accused of...

Advertisement

Copyright © TheVoiceBW. (Since1993) made with ❤️ in Botswana.