BY BIMBOLA OYESOLA
PRODUCING bottled or sachet water has become a money spinning venture for entrepreneurs who realise the importance of water production not only to bridge the supply inadequacy, but to grow the economy at large. The importance of water to human survival cannot be over-emphasised, as a recent report shows that over $100 billion is spent globally on bottled water annually.
Though there are many companies, including multinationals and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) already in the production of bottled water, the leadership of the National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), about three years ago, in its bid to generate funds for the union, decided to tap into the potential available in this natural but essential product.
The National President of the union, Lateef Oyelekan, confirmed that starting a bottling water company in Nigeria is very lucrative and good business to invest in considering the population and the target market, but for the present electricity challenges. With many states’ water corporations obsolete, there is no gainsaying that the demand for clean water has expanded the market for bottled water in Nigeria.
Oyelekan said the product has potential market, which cuts across Nigeria with its ever growing population. The Food Labour water was started with a capital of N15 million bearing in mind the size of the factory, but Oy elekan said the venture can actually take off with a starting capital of between N1.8 million and N12 million.
According to him, it is possible to cover about 30 per cent of the initial investment in one year because of the high demand for bottled water in Nigeria and within three years and half, recover the initial start-up capital. He said, “despite all the challenges, we’ve been able to re-coup all the initial capital invested and right now we are moving to take up the profit. It is a good investment and has a good potential for expansion because people cannot do without water,” he said.
Basic requirements for bottled water production include:
- Market Research
- Business Plan
- Good location
- Buy or lease a piece of land (at least 1,800sq); can also use your own building but will have to demarcate it from residential accommodation.
- Build a factory or a warehouse and you will need at least four rooms, factory, office, a store and a changing room.
- Buy and install the water bottling plant.
- Get a bottle supplier.
- Get Labels. 9. Get CAC registration. 10. NAFDAC approval.
- Employ few staff at initial stage
Other requirements are:
- Fire extinguishers and prevention equipment.
- Online batch number printer.
- Trucks for delivering finished product.
- Offices for administration purposes.
- Office equipment.
- Bottled water filter and washer, filler and packaging machines
Creating awareness for the product is very essential, hence the need for publicity and regular advertising.
Going into a bottled water production could be much more easier as the would-be entrepreneur can easily access loan from the bank or get easily the SMEs fund support from the government through the Bank of Industry (BoI) and some other organisations.