ANGOLA - Industry
CEO, Befco Industria
Youssef El Sahely worked in the Republic of the Congo in timber and retail before locating to Angola in 2007, where he helped found Purangol, currently known as Befco Industria.
TBY talks to Youssef El Sahely, CEO of Befco Industria, on the bottled water sector, challenges surrounding the cost of logistics, and objectives for 2023.
Befco Industria is a food and beverage company in Angola that produces Angolan water brand “Perla” and a wide range of soft drinks and juices under international license agreements. What has been the company’s evolution since its establishment in Angola?
The evolution began with the development of our own brand, Perla water. After that, we began to have other licensed brands for Monarch Beverage. Monarch is a brand that have multiple bottlers in Africa, and our most diverse portfolio is from Monarch. In 2023, we will also be the partner boasting the most diverse portfolio for the Bubble Up brand. We started with Perla and moved to another licensed brand at Monarch. In 2016, we also commenced operations with our international partner Tampico, a part of Tampico International, and in 2017 with Orangina from Suntory, while from 2017 to date we have also developed our own brands.
How are these strategic partnerships meeting your expectations in the local market?
The expectation for the consumer is good. One of our best-selling SKUs is from our licensed brand, the Planet, which has enjoyed good accessibility in the market. The partnerships also give us an advantage and know-how on how to develop our own product. This collaborative work suits us well and is ideal for the market because we produce our own brands with the quality and standards of international companies.
What strategy differentiates Befco from other companies in the sector?
One of our challenges is the opportunity to create our own brand for the consumer. This is what differentiates us from our competitors, in that most of them work exclusively with licensed brands.
Did the global supply chain crisis affect the company in terms of transportation and supply times?
This is the common experience of any company that works with external partners in light of the pandemic. The prices of transport were increased and we faced certain delays in terms of production, due to the logistical challenges that have arisen. The delays to the delivery of products and consequent price increases undoubtedly impact the consumer. We have tried not to change our strategy too much to avoid placing a burden on the consumer while ensuring sustainable distribution.
What CSR actions does the company take in Angola?
Our CSR field is active, and we are focused on awareness of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and the fight against HIV. So it’s pink in October, while November’s blue, and December’s red. We are also signing partnerships with external companies, this year we signed with Pernod Ricard, the French company that launched a global campaign to drink more water to reduce the harm of alcohol. And we were happy to be one of the companies chosen to be partner in this global campaign. Meanwhile, we have other initiatives concerning plastic reduction and recycling, as well as campaigns for garbage recycling. We also encouraged the state to distribute water at vaccination centers for free, and to distribute water to more remote communities providing transport to the vaccination centers and giving water.
How did the company approach the COVID situation, and what is the situation currently?
We put into practice many strategies that don’t impact our performance and that enable us to realize the deliveries demanded by the market. In addition to this, we implemented working remotely.
What are your objectives for 2023 and what does the roadmap look like for you?
For 2023, our road map is basically one of enlarging our portfolio. In 2023, we will have double the SKUs that we have today. So, we will invest in product portfolio expansion and create strategies and business models that best serve the consumer. Portfolio expansion it the way to go for 202
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