Business Editor
Local manufacturing company Prochem is looking at making inroads into the southern African and COMESA markets following a $1 million investment into new machinery which ramped up production. Prochem manufactures consumer and personal care products which include Elegance Petroleum Jelly, Maxi Smooth Camphor Cream and Promise cologne.

Exports manager Aluwed Chakona told the Herald Business in Lusaka yesterday that the new investment called for the company to look for new markets.

“Naturally if you have this objective SADC and COMESA regions are low hanging fruits.”

Mr Chakona said the company had started exporting into Zambia in April and sales were averaging $40 000 per month.

He said the target is to grow the market in the next 12 months to cumulative sales of $1 million.

“We are now starting to expand to other towns through our distributor who is active in the market.”

Mr Chakona said Promise cologne which is traditionally for the low-end had been well accepted in Zambia with the group moving 100 000 units a month.

Mr Chakona added that while the products had not penetrated the big retailers they had made significant inroads in general trade.

“We have not faced major challenges in penetrating the Zambian market as we found a partner (the distributor) who in into pharmaceuticals. We are also enjoying the benefits of the bilateral agreements that exist within SADC and COMESA.”

He said locally the group holds between 44 to 46 percent of the market but at one point this had risen to 80 percent as Unilever had not been supplying Vaseline.

Prochem is part of the 26 companies led by Zimtrade exhibiting at the ongoing Zambia Agriculture Show.