Delta Chem shines in tourist town me and my business
Having struggled financially for most of the six years since his graduation, earning the bare minimum as an intern, Hendrick Rampha is finally getting the most out of his degree.
In 2014, the 34-year-old Maun man graduated from the University of Botswana (UB) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Environmental Science.
The joy at completing his studies was quickly replaced by worry as Rampha found himself in the same predicament as over 80, 000 other youth: finding employment after graduation.
“After graduating from UB, I could only find a job as an intern with Water Affairs as a Water Quality Laboratory assistant and Research assistant at Okavango Research Institute respectively. That’s when the reality of unemployment hit me!”
Tired of living hand-to-mouth, Rampha applied for funding from the Ministry of Youth for the second time. Unlike his first attempt, this time he was successful.
He received his money in March and, on 1 August 2020, Delta Chem – a cleaning detergent manufacturing company – officially opened its doors for business.
“I came up with a business idea that is in line with my qualification because I didn’t want to feel like I wasted my time earning my degree,” explained Rampha, who was quick to dispel the assumption Delta Chem was inspired by Covid-19 and the demand for sanitizers created by the pandemic.
“The reality is far from that. I applied for youth funding in 2014 but I was unsuccessful because my business sourced raw materials in South Africa. I didn’t give up as I applied again and was only funded end of March this year,” the youthful businessman told Voice Money, adding he buys his raw materials from Major Chem in Selibe Phikwe.
Indeed, while Rampha notes Coronavirus has aroused people’s consciousness on hygiene, making it much easier to market products like sanitizers, he stressed the disadvantages caused by the pandemic far outweigh any positives.
“Our main target market has been hit hard by Covid-19. The whole idea of Delta Chem was to supply lodges in Maun and surrounding areas with cleaning materials but now some are out of business while others are making very little income. Obviously, when the target market is affected, we are also affected!” stated Delta Chem’s founder and Managing Director.
Almost two months into operations and, as well as Covid-19 complications, the enterprise is fighting to establish itself in the tourist town.
“Getting our product into the market has been challenging as only drop-in individuals buy from us. We have only had one supermarket from Boro buying in bulk,” said Rampha, who is confident the situation will improve once they secure their unique barcode.
Located behind Mummies Complex in Maun, aside from the founder, Delta Chem’s workforce includes Rampha’s younger brother, Sengwato Rampha, who serves as the Public Relations and Marketing Officer.
“As the business expands, we will be looking to employ more people,” added Rampha.
Currently, Delta Chem produces liquid detergents but aims to add toilet paper and bar soap to its range of products by the end of next year. Ultimately, their dream is to produce all cleaning detergents in their various forms and supply the whole of Botswana.
Their products come in containers ranging from 750ml and 25 litres.