Elijah Samora Konguavi has a somewhat unconventional way of marketing his poultry enterprise, aptly named Konguavi Poultry Investment. While many like him are turning to traditional media, such as newspapers and radio to promote their businesses, Konguavi has chosen the least used ‘word-of-mouth’ route – and it has been working.
“I never stop talking about my business wherever I go. I introduce everyone I meet to my business and invite them to try my eggs. It might appear annoying to some, but I do it with passion, which is what has been driving the enterprise. It works in the end,” he said.
Konguavi said he is never shy to promote his business at weddings and informal gatherings. For him, it is all about getting the message across. Some heed the message and respond immediately by placing paid orders, whereas others take his business cards and consider getting on board.
Then there are those who simply wave the idea away and even refuse to listen. But it is all part of the game, Konguavi said.
“You cannot win people all the time. You lose some; you gain some – that’s how it goes. Even those who refuse to listen would have at least heard the name ‘Konguavi Poultry’, which is all I need in moments like that,” he said. Konguavi started his business in 2022, with a flock of 1 300 chickens. For him, the message was clear – go big or go home. He opted for the former, as the latter would mean dropping one of his biggest ambition of owning a fully-fledged poultry business.
He would take nothing short of going all the way, Konguavi said. Looking back, some months down the line, he still believes it was all worth it.
Nestled among the sandy soil of the Kalahari in Otjombinde’s Klipaar village of the Omaheke region, Konguavi’s poultry has been slowly spreading its wings in and around its native Omaheke.
“I took a bold decision to start a poultry business after researching different modes of business to go into. I immediately fell in love with the potential of egg businesses. Every home or at least every other home eats eggs daily. Eating eggs will never go out of fashion.
I realised that there are people selling eggs in the Otjombinde area, but they were not on a commercial scale,” he said.
His business location has had its fair share of advantages and setbacks; he has a unique market to sell to, but it seems to be losing out on larger markets due to the travelling distances between Klipaar and the nearest major economic centre of the region – Gobabis, located some 250km away. Even worse is reaching Windhoek, which is over a distance of 450 km to reach customers there. But Konguavi is not relenting; he has elected to make and do with what he has at his disposal.
He has employed two full-time workers, while three workers come on a casual basis as the need arises.
Konguavi Poultry Enterprises’ biggest achievement has been the selling of its products in the Spar Supermarket, one of the largest supermarket chains in the country.
“I walked into spar and saw that the prices of eggs were high on the shelves. I saw an opportunity and decided to speak to the shop manager, as I was certain I could supply at even lower prices.
“The manager was kind enough to listen to me as I sold my business. The rest is history, they are now stocking my eggs in Spar. It was indeed a breakthrough for me,” he said. Konguavi said the Spar deal was a major boost for his business, and it gave him the confidence to pursue even more challenging business opportunities.
“I always advise people to sleep with their eyes open in business so that they can spot opportunities that often lie at our fingertips. Business is all about responding to society’s problems against payment. Take charge and make money; it is possible,” he said.