While many of her peers have gone to look for jobs in the corporate sector, Norma Nlanda has chosen an altogether different route.
Nlanda is a proud owner of Asali Hair and Bodycare, an enterprise she established shortly after completing her studies at the University of Botswana.
The Economics and Public Administration graduate specializes in the manufacturing of hair and body care products.
Explaining why she chose entrepreneurship while sidelining her qualifications, Nlanda explained; “My qualifications play a key role in what I am doing because as an economist, I am able to analyze the trends in the beauty industry and I fuse the knowledge I got from school with my business skills.”
She is quick to point out that in the short space that she has been manufacturing the products; she has received overwhelming support from the local market.
“I have received good reviews and I think it is coming up well seeing that it is only been a few months and have sold a number of units,” explained the 25 year old Nlanda, adding that demand is also growing a she is receiving a lot of enquiries and orders.
Having created a remarkable market for herself, Nlanda says she sees her product line as a household brand in the next five years both locally and internationally.
“I am actually working on hosting my products on an international online boutique and currently I am in talks with someone who somebody who owns an online boutique in the United Kingdom,” she proudly revealed.
Locally her products can be found at the Design House and another online platform.
Although she has been doing research for five years before starting to produce her products, Nlanda says the biggest challenge she faces is the unavailability of raw materials locally.
“If you happen to find them they are extremely expensive, so, it is better to buy from other countries. Another challenge is the red tapes to get into the retail supermarkets, there are too many blockages than encouragement to get into retail,” she said.
Nlanda says she currently manufactures her product at her parents’ house in Gaborone and her product line includes moisturizers, hair products and baby shampoos which she says are made from natural ingredients.