Mkhululi Ncube, Business Reporter
HARARE-based Ngoda Granites, which manufactures tombstones and household granite products, plans to open its first branch in Bulawayo as it targets the southern region market.
Ngoda Granites is one of the local companies that exhibited at the just ended 60th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo.
Management said their stand at ZITF received overwhelming responses from clients who are interested in their products hence the decision to invest in the second largest city.
Ngoda Granites’ sales and marketing executive Miss Telema Marufu said the company has begun inquiries towards setting up shop in the city.
“Even before the decision to open a branch in Bulawayo, we have been having many clients from Bulawayo and as far as Plumtree who have been coming all the way to Harare to buy our products. They have been complaining that transport is a challenge for them,” she said.
As a stop gap measure, the company opened another branch in Gweru to try and address the problem of distance but still that could not satisfy the needs of customers further into the southern region.
“We have two branches in Harare and we opened the Gweru one to try and reach the southern region of the country but we realise our market is very huge this side. We need a branch dedicated to it,” she said.
“It will surprise you that we have a very big clientele from Bulawayo and places like Plumtree because of the quality granite that we use for our products. So, if we open a branch here our sales will increase as there will be a significant drop in transportation charges for them.”
Miss Marufu said the move will also assist in creating employment for the city as the company`s policy is to employ locals who speak the local language and understand the local culture. Beside tombstones, the company also produces granite kitchen tops, window sills, fire places and granite dining tables.
“We donated a tombstone for the late hero, Cde Chinx and as a way of honouring our clients in Bulawayo we are still consulting on two late heroes that we can honour by doing tombstones for them,” said Miss Marufu.