Young entrepreneur Ashlee Nyathi is scaling up the ladder of success among business people of his age.
The 23-year-old entrepreneur is director of MagProm Trading, a company that specialises in imports and exports of kapenta.
Selling small fish (kapenta) has seen the youngman rubbing shoulders with the big fish of the business world.
MagProm Trading has already invaded markets in Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Nyathi’s story is a touching tale of how a teenager saw an opportunity in an area that was not attractive to his peers.
“As a teenager, I would visit markets where various wares and foodstuffs were sold. For some reason, I got interest in the business of kapenta and I would always talk to people who were selling the dried small fish at the market,” Nyathi recalls.
“When I told my friends that I was dreaming of selling kapenta, they laughed at me. They did not see the sense of a well-groomed teenager thinking of selling kapenta. But I had seen how the guys at the market were making money from a product that is light to carry and easy to store.”
Nyathi said he explained his dream to his parents who showed their willingness to assist. When he completed his high school studies, the young man pursued a different profession for a couple of years before he decided to drop everything to pursue his kapenta dream.
“Because of the information I had gathered at the market from kapenta sellers, I decided to go straight into importing the product to supply local markets. I started making trips to Mozambique and in a few months I began supplying kapenta.”
The young man says he felt satisfied with his new job and he enjoys doing what he fell in love with when he was still a teenager.
As the business grew, he founded MegProm Trading and the company has been growing over the years.
His major market is in his home country where he supplies kapenta in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Beitbridge among other cities.
MegProm Trading’s exploits in countries like Botswana and South Africa have led to esteemed business networks that were beyond Nyathi’s dreams.
“When I started, I did not think of reaching out to markets beyond our borders. My dream was limited to local buyers but travelling opened my mind to new possibilities. I made new friends from other countries during my trips to Mozambique and those networks helped me to establish new markets outside the country.”
Nyathi says he is targeting more foreign markets and is determined to keep pursuing his kapenta business for many years to come.
“There are many other businesses in the fish industry that caught my eye, but I am determined to pursue my line for more years. I might diversify later, but I feel selling these small dried fish is my calling. I love what I do and I know MegProm Trading will grow beyond imagination,” said Nyathi.